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July 8, 2002

Hascall outlines FM's vision

By Eric Rangus

As part of the Servant Leadership Brown Bag speaker series, Bob Hascall, senior associate vice president for Facilities Management, spoke to more than 40 employees from throughout the University at the Goizueta Business School, July 12.

He discussed Vision 2003, the plan that has guided the FM management team since March 1998. It’s a blueprint that stresses employee development and empowerment—two of the most prominent features of servant leadership’s credo.

Hascall’s words were specific to FM, but his procedures could be applied to any division on campus.

“A key element in leadership is staying in touch with employees,” Hascall said to what was the largest turnout of the series to date. “You can’t do that sitting in your office. Reports will give filtered information and most just tell you what you want to hear.”

Vision 2003 was represented by a wall-sized mural taped to the board behind Hascall; pocket-sized replicas of the drawing were handed out as well. Bisecting the mural was a highway symbolizing FM’s path to achieving its vision. Surrounding that highway were a variety of figures and brief slogans and messages. Smoothly—and in under 10 minutes—Hascall referenced every picture and talked about how FM has worked to achieve this vision, first conceived around the time Hascall joined Emory five years ago.

“We want our leaders to be teachers and mentors,” Hascall said. “We don’t want the old-time, ‘my way or the highway’ leaders. There are still a lot of those around, but they are becoming fewer and fewer.”

Bill McBride, cochair of the Employee Council’s servant leadership committee, was laudatory in his introduction of Hascall. “[He] is a genuine servant leader,” said McBride, who—like Hascall—works for FM. “He recognizes and acknowledges that an organization’s people are its greatest resources. He leads by example and treats everyone with the same respect and candor.”

Hascall’s 45-minute discussion touched on elements of team building, setting measurable goals and independent thinking.

“Being at a university where employees care about relationships and communication is important to a lot of people,” said Julia Leon, cochair of the Employee Council’s servant leadership committee and cosponsor of the brown bag series.

It was a shared interest in servant leadership that prompted Leon and McBride, then-president of Employee Council to search for ways to pass along its theories to a wider audience.

Soon, the Center for Ethics, which has its own servant leadership arm, joined the council, and the brown bag series was born.

The brown bags, which are open to all employees, began in March 2001, and Hascall, coincidentally, was the first speaker. Previously they were monthly activities, but now they will be held every other month. The next event will be Sept. 6 and will feature Ginny Plummer of University Health Services, who will discuss personal wellness.

Leon said finding speakers hasn’t been a problem. Already such campus notables as Women’s Center Director Ali Crown, University Secretary Gary Hauk and former chair of the Board of Trustees Brad Currey have led brown bag discussions.

The bimonthly cutback isn’t because of a lack of interest, Leon said; instead the work involved in planning monthly events just became too cumbersome.

However, the committee’s servant leadership conversation groups remain on a monthly schedule. On the third Friday of every month, the more intimate conversation group (about 10–12 people) meets to discuss the book The Servant as Leader, by Robert Greenleaf.

It is upon this work that the entire servant leadership concept is based. Like the brown bags, these meetings last an hour and are open to all interested parties. But instead of a main speaker, all attendees participate equally.
For more information on the servant leadership brown bag series or the discussion groups, refer to the Employee Council website at www.