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Stop overcomplicating leadership

In a recent podcast with Phil Durst of the Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) Dairy Team and leadership expert Ben Lichtenwalner of Radiant Forest LLC, Lichtenwalner explained the simplicity and effectiveness of servant leadership on dairy farms for retaining employees and boosting farm culture.

Leadership can come in two basic forms. A top-down culture has the manager or CEO at the top. Servant leadership flips that pyramid upside down and puts the boss at the bottom and the people they serve above them. Lichtenwalner mentioned, “At the end of the day if you’re not serving others, you’re self-serving.” Servant leaders build better bosses and break bad boss behavior.

What does servant leadership look like in practice on a dairy farm? Lichtenwalner breaks it down into seven core principles based on the SERVANT acronym.

Sydney Flick

August 28, 2023



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