Developing the Art of Servant Leadership
Student Stories: Glen Taylor, MS ‘09
Many threads make up the tapestry of our life. The magic is to find the one piece that consistently crosses over and under all the other ones, binding them together. For some, this thread is obvious. For others, it has always been somewhere in the background and is only recognizable in the quiet moment of self-reflection.
For Glen Taylor, '09, realizing his passion for servant leadership came years after he earned his graduate degree in organizational leadership at Quinnipiac University. Thinking back on his life, he began to weave common threads together and recognized that he has been getting ready for his executive leadership role his entire life. The sports he played, the coaches that mentored him and the teammates he played with have become part of the fabric of Glen’s life as he has consistently drawn from those experiences.
Glen’s current role as Vice President Support Services at Phelps Hospital - Northwell keeps him very busy, but Glen continues to share his leadership abilities in his large circles – business, personal and community. Glen is a giving, kind and humble person who puts the needs of others first. “While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the ‘top of the pyramid,’ servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.” This is who Glen is and how he leads his life.
Glen recognizes the value and the potential in those he works with and is the epitome of a servant leader. He is excited to help others by leading them through inspiration. He combines the goals of the project with the motivation and passion of his talented team. Glen’s servant leadership style puts others first, coaching them to meet their own goals. He knows that without a strong team, the larger goals can’t be met.
Early on in his career, Glen was asked to be part of a 21st Century leadership program funded by General Electric. He learned the Six Sigma engineering process and found that he loved leadership. Glen reflects, “Because the hospital has many different arms, all with one mission of treating patients with an excellent service model, I began applying what I learned in the leadership training to my role as Administrative Director of the Department of Pharmacy Services at Greenwich Hospital.”
He was inspired by the success of the implementation of the Six Sigma program and was intrigued to know more about the behavioral side of leadership. This curiosity began his research on graduate programs. Quinnipiac’s online organizational leadership program piqued Glen’s interest. He consulted with his admissions counselor and was ensured this program would deliver the advanced leadership skills he yearned for. He did like that the university was close to his home in NY, but the online component fit his lifestyle. He had two children and one on the way. His leadership position was demanding, and he needed the flexibility that online learning provided.
He was primed for his role as a student in the program, and ready to absorb every experience. One of his many take-a-ways was how to synthesize both numbers and people. Glen coaches and mentors with this in mind: “Motivate people toward the results you want that add value. This is an engaged process of working together.” Glen’s mission-driven work builds teams with a genuine care and concern for the company’s goals and with the development of each team member in mind.
Some years later, after he earned his degree, he thought back on his life and realized that he has been preparing for his role all along. The thread that ties his life together is servant leadership. Glen learned the importance of influential leaders and how to be part of a strong team from years of being around capable coaches, mentors and teammates.
Glen has masterfully sought opportunities to continually improve his leadership efforts and has been rewarded for his focus, determination and insight by being able to share his gift of leadership with those around him.
Q & A
What was one aspect of the program that stands out to you?
The Capstone project was the best part of the whole program. There were about 8-12 people in this group from California, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and Korea. We had to coordinate roles and figure out how to work together globally. This situation was such a benefit in learning how to communicate effectively. It was challenging, but a welcome one. There are a few members that have kept in touch over the years.
How did the program prepare you for the next part of your career?
After I graduated from the program, I thought about my next move. I asked the question so many of us have, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” I reached out to trusted friends to talk about my next move. I was thoughtful during this process and realized that I had a wealth of knowledge and experience from the hospital. I knew how to drive results, work across disciplines and had a lot of experience to share. Phelps Hospital - Northwell Health was in my backyard. I would not have had the opportunity to contend for the position if it weren’t for the MS in Organizational Leadership program. I would not have been in the frame of mind without the excellent coursework and experiences I had in the program.
How does your leadership experience connect with your community involvement?
I joined the Sleepy Hallow Tarrytown Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors when I joined Phelps in 2017. The Board was recruiting new members while undergoing leadership transition. With another community member we became the Co-Vice Presidents and ultimately ascended as Co-Presidents of the Board of Directors. We partnered with the existing members and worked to develop an infrastructure upon which to build the successes that had made this community so rich and vibrant. Two (2) years later, we have a growing membership and a robust Chamber of Commerce that everyone is proud of. Our community and the surrounding villages connect through the many events we organize.
Learning how to manage other people begins with knowing yourself. The MS in Organizational Leadership curriculum explores all aspects of leadership including the process and the people. If you are interested in learning how to enhance your leadership skills, learn more about how Quinnipiac University’s online MS in Organizational Leadership can help you fulfill your goals.