Robert K. Greenleaf was the founder of the modern Servant leadership movement and the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.
Greenleaf was born in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1904. After graduating from Carleton College in Minnesota, he went to work for AT&T, then the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. For the next forty years he researched management, development, and education. All along, he felt a growing suspicion that the power-centered authoritarian leadership style so prominent in U.S. institutions was not working, and in 1964 he took an early retirement to found the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.