That ALL Might Be Edified: Discussions on Servant Leadership Uncategorized Care, Compassion, Affection, & Tenderness Produce Amazing Results

Care, Compassion, Affection, & Tenderness Produce Amazing Results

It was a true joy and great privilege to have former Division I NCAA basketball coach, current leadership coach and Gonzaga doctoral student, Adam Gierlach on this episode ( Adam and I share a passion for servant leadership which connected us together. Adam highlighted the importance of nurturing the attributes of care and curiosity to foster connections and relationships as servant leaders and shared a portion of his story of how he transitioned from basketball coach to leadership coach.  He reminds us that leadership doesn’t need to have anything to do with one’s status in a hierarchy, and that as a servant leader it should be more about one’s focus on commitment to the growth of others. Adam illustrates the importance of decoupling career growth programs from leadership development and creating a dedicated path to focus on servant first instead of leader first mentalities. This means we are coaching those around us and helping them achieve their ideal self.

Adam educates us on the powerful concepts of emotional contagions in organizations and highlights profound research that emphasize the importance of being in tune with the emotions in our teams. The research shows that the lowest performing teams are often characterized as focus on self and as having the lowest emotional range, whereas the highest performing teams have the highest emotional range. This highlights that the case could be made for emotions as one of the most important thing to study in organizations. Adam also teaches the profound implications of negative emotions and even worse the numbing reaction of indifference. Leaders who listen to this material will be better prepared to build a positive community with the real individuals on their teams.  

Adam operates his own leadership coaching practice, Adam Gierlach Coaching, where he primarily works with athletic coaches and student-athletes, while also serving as a leadership coach for the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University, and the coaching company Ama La Vida, where he serves executives and leaders across a variety of organizations. He holds a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential from the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and is a certified leadership coach through Rice University’s Doerr Institute for New Leaders. As a leadership coach, Adam helps leaders to become servant-leaders, and increase the capacity of individuals to lead. His work with others is a co-creative partnership that provides the time, space, and opportunity for you to learn about yourself, so you can serve others in more life-giving ways and act with greater impact.

He transitioned into leadership coaching after nearly a decade in men’s college basketball, serving as an Assistant Coach at Rice University and Cornell University. During his time at Cornell University, the program achieved their most successful season in eight years. 

Adam is a doctoral student in Gonzaga University’s School of Leadership Studies, where he studies servant-leadership and leader development. Adam earned his M.A. in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Servant-Leadership from Gonzaga University, and a B.A. in History from Rice University. He resides in Spokane, Washington. 


Adam Gierlach – Love in Basketball: Transforming Inappropriate Power in Men’s College Coaching through a Servant-Led Response and Companionate Love

Sigal Barsade and Olivia A. O’Neill – Manage Your Emotional Culture

Marcus A. Canady (USCG) – Racial Tension in America Requires Intrusive Military Leadership

Richard Boyatzis, & Kleio Akrivou – The ideal self as the driver of intentional change

His Holiness the Dalai Lama & ArchBishop Desmond Tutu – The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

The Book of Joy : Lasting Happiness in a Changing World 

Listen to the full episode with Adam here on the embedded YouTube player for a ClosedCaptions option or find it on your favorite Podcast site!

Adam Gierlach – Love in Basketball Podcast 

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