Have you ever wondered where interest in servant leadership principles is greatest? Many people have asked me this or similar questions. The specific interest varied from which country had the most servant leaders, to what region in the United States was best for servant leadership jobs. My typical answer was I believed the Netherlands held the greatest interest in servant leaders, it was common in Europe in general, that the Philippines had a rapidly growing interest in servant leadership principles and within the United States, most interest was in the midwest and southern states. It seems I was only really accurate on my assessment of the states.

Tired of guessing at these answers, I looked to the all-knowing entity, Google, for validation. Google has a great tool, currently in Beta release (is anything Google not still in Beta?), called Insights. This tool essentially tells the degree of interest for a particular topic, according to search term frequency, by geography, over time. The results below reflect the interest for search terms “Servant Leader” or “Servant Leadership“, from 2004 to the present, according to Google Insights. Results are shown globally, by region and city and by state, within the United States.

Servant Leadership Interest by Region

The top regions for servant leadership interest are as follows:

Servant Leadership Interest by Region

Servant Leadership Interest by Region

1. Philippines (100)

2. Singapore (69)

3. South Africa (57)

4. United States (50)

5. Canada (20)

6. Australia (16)

7. Netherlands (14)

8. India (11)

9. United Kingdom (6)

I was glad to see the popularity of servant leadership in Europe, especially the Netherlands, was accurate. However, it seems the Philippines has an even greater interest than I anticipated and the United States falling below South Africa was a surprise – though a pleasant one for South Africa!

Servant Leadership Interest by City

The top cities for servant leadership interest are as follows:

Servant Leadership Interest by City

Servant Leadership Interest by City

1. Atlanta, GA (100)

2. Singapore, Singapore (99)

3. Minneapolis, MN (92)

4. Phoenix, AZ (86)

5. Dallas, TX (81)

6. Richardson, TX (77)

7. Washington, DC (66)

8. Seattle, WA (65)

9. Chicago, IL (60)

10. Los Angeles (38)

Seeing Washington on this list made sense, given the number of politicians in the region that claim servant leadership practices. Seattle may have made the list, given the proliferation of material on Starbucks as a great servant leadership company. I have not figured out how Los Angeles popped up here – though I am glad to see them. The rest of the U.S. cities holds true to a general popularity in the midwest and southern states. Singapore is huge and, frankly, bigger than I expected, though I am thrilled to see it.

Servant Leadership Interest by State (United States)

The top states for servant leadership interest (within the U.S.) are as follows:

Servant Leadership Interest by State

Servant Leadership Interest by State

1. North Dakota (100)

2. Indiana (90)

3. Tennessee (63)

4. Kansas (62)

5. Wisconsin (59)

6. Georgia (59)

7. Minnesota (57)

8. Nebraska (57)

9. North Carolina (56)

10. Kentucky (56)

“You’re pretty much out of luck there” a servant leadership author told me when I asked him if knew of any servant leadership companies in New York or Philadelphia. I recalled those words when I looked at this chart. It was pretty clear to me, if you want an organization already practicing servant leadership, your best shot is in the midwest or southern states.

Overall Interest for Servant Leadership

In all though, I was glad to see there was some degree of accuracy to my previous answers. Certainly, the Netherlands, United States and Philippines are among the most popular regions, globally, for servant leadership interest. Seeing Singapore, Los Angeles and South Africa high on the lists was a pleasant surprise.

I encourage you to only consider these lists intriguing data in our support of the ongoing growth of servant leadership adoption. Don’t use the information to run somewhere and hide from those still proliferating the narcissistic, power-based mentality. Instead, consider it evidence that Servant Leadership has global support with regional variances. We’ve proven this is no niche philosophy, but the authentic form of real leadership, adopted by individuals and organizations everywhere for the greatest, most sustainable success.

Question: Did you expect to see stronger results in another region, city or state? Was there anything in this data that surprised you?

More About Google Insights

Essentially, Google’s Insights tool tells you the popularity (“interest”) of search terms across all Google domains. They do normalize and scale the data to ensure it is reflected relative to the total overall searches within each region. This ensures geographies with the greatest search volume overall do not always dominate the results. For greater detail on how Insights works, click here. The preceding is based on several assumptions and I encourage anyone (perhaps a student or someone who is actually paid to research leadership) to investigate further the implications of attributes such as language, existing knowledge / familiarity within the region or similar factors, on these results.