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Serve to Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Boardroom Hardcover – May 5, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In keeping with the spirit in which Serve to Be Great was written, all author proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to charity.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Serve to Be Great

“Matt Tenney has a clarity about the world that is remarkable. His experience and the lessons he learned need to be heard by as many people as possible.”
—Simon Sinek, Optimist and author of Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last

Serve to Be Great draws you in with one of the most powerful stories you’ll ever hear and offers an inspiring path to true greatness as a leader. I encourage anyone who wants to be great to read this book.”
—Jon Gordon, Bestselling author of The Energy Bus, The Carpenter, and The Seed

“With a gripping narrative about his journey from prisoner to monk to social entrepreneur, Matt Tenney shows how leaders can elevate those around them and make everyone better off in the process.”
—Adam Grant, Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take

“Learn how you can be of greater service and make a bigger difference as a leader whether you have a tile or not – read this book.”
—Mark Sanborn, Bestselling author of The Fred Factor and You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader

Serve to Be Great is one of those rare books that is an enjoyable and inspiring read, and also quite useful for helping you and your team succeed.”
—Chip Conley, Founder and former CEO of Joie de Vivre Hotels and New York Times bestselling author of Peak and Emotional Equations

Serve to Be Great provides you with powerful tools for becoming an extraordinary leader who gets results and makes our world a better place. This inspiring book is a must-read for leaders at all levels.”
—Chade-Meng Tan, Jolly Good Fellow of Google, and New York Times bestselling author of Search Inside Yourself

“The insights from [Matt’s] journey and the examples he shares of truly great leaders will improve your performance, widen your perspective, and raise your leadership game.”
—Skip Prichard, CEO of OCLC and blogger at www.SkipPrichard.com

“This is an outstanding book full of truly powerful ideas, tools, stories, and advice. I strongly recommend you read and apply the lessons of Serve to Be Great.”
—John Spence, named one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America by Trust Across America and author of Awesomely Simple

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (May 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118868463
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118868461
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
If you have seen my other reviews you know I read a lot of business books... I have have read several hundred leadership books and even written a book on leadership. After reading "Serve To Be Great" I would now put this book as one of the very best. I believe that the ideas in this book are supremely important and represent the future of leadership. I have long noted that the number one factor in highly satisfied, loyal and engaged CUSTOMERS, is highly satisfied, loyal and engaged EMPLOYEES. "Serve To Be Great" gives the reader lots of facts, data, ideas, tools and techniques that will help you be a more caring, effective and successful leader. It has great stories and examples -- as well as plenty of "how-to" lists and action steps. I recommend this book VERY highly.

** I am quoted in the book - but that honestly has NO bearing on my review -- it is truly a superb book - period!!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Serve to Be Great will expand your thinking about leadership. He provides powerful case studies and practical advice about what it takes to be a highly effective leader in today's culture. This is worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Devoured this one. I love Matt's story. I was moved by his courage to fight through some serious challenges. The book is a great balance of his personal journey while providing resources, stats and examples that you can run with in many directions (ie. I started watching/writing about Thich Nhat Hanh after reading that part of the book). The book refocused my thinking to "How can I serve in this moment?" which has a value that's hard to measure. PS. Reading that Matt donates all profits above his normal living expenses was truly inspiring. Thanks for being a great example for us all Matt. Can't wait to read your next book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had the pleasure of reading Matt Tenney's book and also speaking with me during our Everyday Humanitarians conference ([...]) and he is a real inspiration. I loved talking with him just as much as I loved reading the stories in his book. If you want a fun introduction to mindfulness meditation and some great examples of how it is impacting our world and being used in organizations, businesses and nonprofits to make a big difference in the world, check out Matt's book. You won't regret it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is just outstanding! Well-written, with lots of great insight and inspiration. Mr Tenney writes in a very open and honest way. I loved how his authenticity comes through in his words and actions. If you want to be a better leader, read this book!
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Format: Hardcover
Matt Tenney's book Serve to be Great, definitely left a favorable impression on me. Tenney has a captivating story of how he became the leader that he is today! In addition to that, he masterfully frames the compact that the Ultimate Leader should put serving others before themselves. While not a new concept, it is one that is too often overlooked by those in leadership positions. This book is not just based in theory either, he provides tangible measuring tools that help to gauge return on investment. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book after seeing an interview with Matt on Huffington Post and was intrigued by the book's title. A short book, 224 pages and well written. Author has an interesting story of how he ended up in prison and what he is doing now to help others. A good book for anyone to read, young and old. Part memoir and mostly stories of inspiring individuals and successful companies that create a culture of trust and giving within their companies instead of greed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Highly impactful book. Above all I've read, Matt does an unparalleled job earning instant credibility with his readers by pulling on his experiences, so shocking you have to read to believe. His book delivers a life changing message that can and should be incorporated into not just the professional world, but is a recipe for success in every part of one's life. He does a great job with the use of examples to further explain his theories and how to incorporate them into daily life. I've had the pleasure of attending 2 of Matt's speaking engagements and I can't sing his praises enough. His message truly has the ability to revolutionize the way we think about business, our customers (internal and external) and driving overall success, no matter what industry you are in.

I've met Matt in person and he truly lives and breathes the teachings in his book. Furthermore, he's one of the happiest people I have met and needless to say a delight to engage with. Can't wait for his next book to come out in 2016!
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