Understanding Prosocial Leadership
Albert Schweitzer’s father and grandfathers were both ministers as well as brilliant musicians. Schweitzer followed this legacy, receiving his doctorate degree in philosophy and began ministering, while simultaneously pursuing music and working in administrative roles at the college he attended, Theological College of St. Thomas within the University of Strasbourg. Then, in 1913, he earned his Medical Doctorate (M.D.) degree and was given permission to practice in Gabon, Africa as a medical missionary - since the country did not allow pastoral missionaries. Schweitzer did not initially have an interest in medicine, yet he spent his time and money earning his M.D. as a means to bring the Christian faith to visit Africa. He sacrificed this time so that he could serve a larger purpose.
Albert Schweitzer cared more about teaching God’s word and providing healthcare to Africans in need, then he did his own personal safety or advancement. Using his own money, he extended the hospital to be able to take care of over 500 patients by 1960.
Schweitzer represents a prosocial leader because he acted selflessly by taking the risk of his own safety in Africa. His empathy toward the people in need addressed his ultimate goal of providing care to others. His legacy of prosocial leadership is still alive today through his Albert Schweitzer Fellowship which is influencing and growing healthcare in the United States today.
Submitted by: Shelby Lawrence
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