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Servant Leadership Snapshot

Devereux’s talented and hard-working team members lead to serve, while inspiring others to learn and grow. Our “Servant Leadership Snapshot” series shines a light on exemplary servant leaders across our organization who empower all those around them to be their best selves. Look below to read features written by these compassionate collaborators as they help their teams, programs, departments and centers reach even greater heights through Servant Leadership.


Denis Oswe, Program Manager

Denis OsweCenter/office location: Devereux New York/Red Hook, New York

Length of service: January 2022

How do you embed an inclusive, Servant Leadership mindset into your daily processes?

I lead by example, treating everyone with respect, and demonstrating empathy with our individuals, as well as our staff. I value shared accountability, where my team can hold me accountable and vice versa. With my experience as a leadership coach, I inspire team members to grow in their roles, offering guidance to help them discover their strengths, overcome challenges and reach their full potential.

How do you inspire others to embrace Servant Leadership practices?

I share successes and learning opportunities, while taking full accountability for areas where we can improve. I believe in working together as servant leaders, and communicating how this is beneficial for everyone involved. I encourage collaboration among my team, urging them to take initiative, contribute ideas and be part of the decision-making process. This empowers them, and fosters a positive, inclusive work environment.

Share an example or story of how you demonstrated compassion or delivered quality customer service at your center.

When I joined the program, one of our individuals felt sad whenever his friends went home to visit family. On Thanksgiving, I asked if he wanted to talk to his dad, and he was really happy. I made it my goal to arrange regular video calls between them, even though his dad often had a very busy schedule. To make it more enjoyable, I offered the individual some of his favorite snacks during the calls. The conversations went so well that, now, they talk almost every weekend. It's amazing to see how a busy father can always find time to connect with his son, and I'm grateful for their commitment to speaking with each other.