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  • Writer's picturePeter Miller

The SGG podcast examines the everyday stories underlying leadership and impact in sports. In particular, we learn about how lives and communities are improved in and through athletics.

Javonte Lipsey was a five-time All-American track athlete at the University of North Carolina. After his decorated career, Javonte embarked on a doctoral research journey at Ohio State University. His dissertation study examined servant leadership in collegiate athletics administrators. On this SGG episode, we discussed:

1. Growing up in the loving Lipsey family that adopted seven children: “My existence in the family was created in their willingness to serve.”

2. Witnessing his father and mother as servant leaders.

3. The servant perspective “gave me a huge amount of humility” in athletics. “It’s about being part of a community that’s part of something larger.”

4. The impact of his high school coach. “He was much more than a coach…He was there through every phase of my life, not just on the track.”

5. Why he pursued the Ph.D.: “My parents told me that are two things to take with you wherever you go: salvation and education.”

6. What is servant leadership?

7. Doing what is right because it is right (as opposed to having ulterior motives).

8. Listening to hear, to understand, to serve.

9. One of Javonte’s research questions: What are the antecedents of servant leadership?

10. Another question: On a day-to-day basis in college athletics administration, what does servant leadership look like?

11. Third question: Are there experiences that helped shaped servant leadership behavior?

12. The research design.

13. Servant leadership is animated by humility.

14. Religious affiliation and servant leadership.

15. Exemplars of servant leadership: Tony Dungy, Muhammad Ali, LeBron James, Steph Curry.

16. “I challenge people to ask ourselves, ‘How can I serve others?’”


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