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Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self Interest Paperback – January 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers (January 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1881052869
  • ISBN-13: 978-1881052869
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Block ( The Empowered Manager ), a professional in organizational training, runs riot with assumptions about human nature. Reaching for the stars, he constructs a productive business/industry model under which increasingly empowered employee/workers establish a new category of partnership and accountability that will render traditional management hierarchies almost obsolete. In simple terms (not notably indulged in here), sales and service personnel will so promote the interests of customers, distributors and production workforce that overpaid executives will forgo wealth and power, re-address priorities and bend moral attitudes to this end as stewards of the common good. Though there will still, admits Block, be a place for bosses, their role will radically change when the subordinate becomes "the customer of the boss." 20,000 first printing; $40,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Block, author of The Empowered Manager (Jossey-Bass, 1987), which offers an individualistic approach to "empowerment," here explains this movement on a much broader scale, offering his original and profound new view on running organizations. Block shows executives how to move from controlling and directing to his vision of shared governance, partnership, and total ownership of a business by all team members. This concept represents no less than a complete redistribution of power and a total restructuring, which will probably confound most present-day managers. Block transcends all extant leadership literature with this primary source on the organizational dynamics of the future, which will soon be copied. He has heard an as-yet-unknown muse and conceived the organizational structure of the 21st century. Guaranteed to be controversial; strongly recommended.
- Dale Farris, Groves, Tex.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Peter Block is a citizen of Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a partner in Designed Learning, a training company that offers workshops designed by Block to build the skills outlined in his books. He is the author of Flawless Consulting, Stewardship, The Empowered Manager, and The Answer to How Is Yes. He is the recipient of the American Society for Training and Development Award for Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance and the Association for Quality and Participation President's Award. He is also a member of Training magazine's HRD Hall of Fame.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Peter Block has hit the nail on the head with his book "Stewardship".
GJohn
I highly recommend this book for those looking to think more systemically about organizational life.
Marty Jacobs
Their job is to make it possible for the work force to accomplish its mission.
Charles Stump

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Richard R. Carlton on October 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Although he captured me with his initial quote from Shakespeare's Richard III as rationale for a practical means to insure corporate survival, I found Peter Block to be the most refreshing thinker I've yet had the privilege to study. I used this book in a Doc course where we included a fairly lengthy conference call with Block, thus giving our rather small cohort (12 of us) a good opportunity to quiz him on some of the gritty application details. I must admit that I finished the course with a distinct impression that Block may well be the next Deming. Unfortunately, the mistakes of the past seem to be repeating in that although a new generation of managers understands his philosophy and may be buying into it at a fairly respectable pace, the bulk of corporate thinkers are just not willing to jeopardize the thinking that got them into place. The problem is typical....one of my earliest lessons in administrative thinking was a CEO who told us to use that new CQI process because he was going to foster change in our org.....right up to where he told us to find a way to make sure the results of the process met his goals for the org.
There is no doubt that Block is challenging the big thinkers to have the guts to give up the power while still holding the responsibility. Like Deming before him, he's a prophet with a message everybody believes in but few are willing to sacrifice adequately to reap the enlightenment. I'm not a CEO, but I've used his principles fairly successfully the past 4 years, occasionally I can't make it work, but when it does, the results have been spectacular. What's important for me is that I think of myself as a steward entrusted with a valuable resource.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
The harsh reality that confronts much contemporary optimism. A book about helplessness, tyranny and profit. But also about leadership, democracy, the human spirit and prosperity. Though addressing the fundamental Christian principle of choosing service before self-interest and carrying a message for church management and denominational structures, Block's focus is entirely in the world and the workplace. From the fragmentation of our lives we are all familiar with he leads us to wholeness, integration and reconciliation and writes about a redistribution of power, partnership and community. But if all this makes it sound theoretical, far from it. It is absolutely practical, down-to-earth and built on solid day-to-day issues.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 27, 1996
Format: Hardcover
Peter Block has taken the principles and Edward Demming and put them into a usable methodology that will not only help any business owner focus on the essentials necessary for success but will also inspire members of the team at all levels.
Block, who has written two other books on management, focuses on the prime issue for a success business: that those who are doing are the one's who should be making the decision on how to serve the customer. He writes that the old way of doing business, that of patriarchy, can never succeed in today's world that demands business be able to move with the customer at a moment's notice.
The books is insightful about how to go about implementing a pardign change in a business and in your way of thinking about how business is being conducted.
Block speaks of bottom up management, where the key to success as a mnanager is not to be in control, yet still be responsible.
It is a life-changing typoe of book for any manager who can see that this is a style of management which will set free the entire work force to become successful stewards of your business.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CO Reader on December 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
I read this for an MBA class. Most of my classmates did not like this book and did not like the whole concept of servant leadership at all. Block's ideas and the changes he advocates are unconventional, however the book is written very well. I found the book easy to understand, easy to relate to and quite compelling as a result of Block's good use of concrete examples and mini "case studies" within the chapters. He does an effective and commendable job of demonstrating how to implement his ideas into an organization, a piece that is often lacking in books like this. The beginning is a little slow -- it was very theoretical and rather preachy for me.

However, it is a must read for anyone interested in leadership or management. Block's ideas present specific challenges to the old "command and control" corporate mentality that any maverick will find interesting to say the least. In the information age where knowledge workers are becoming an increasingly interesting challenge for leaders/managers, this is a great book in helping someone navigate the changing times.

Overall, the book is quite good -- I'm looking forward to reading more of Block's work as a result!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
Peter Block read my mind, articulated my dream, and has captured the essence of my new consulting business, Revolution Consulting. I was profoundly moved to read that someone has so clearly articulated the things I struggle with every day in promoting a new order in business. The distinction between traditional or even new-age leadership and the possibilities that stewardship creates was crystal clear and brilliantly articulated. This book was an inspiration to someone that has taken up the cause in the real world. It will be an on-going source of inspiration and support.
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