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The World's Most Powerful Leadership Principle: How to Become a Servant Leader Hardcover – June 29, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Readers who benefited from Hunter's bestselling 2001 parable The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership will enjoy this follow-up, which fleshes out some of the principles of servant leadership discussed in the earlier book. (For that reason, it also works as a stand-alone book for those who have not read The Servant or those who find straight advice literature more helpful than allegories.) Effective leadership, Hunter states, is about relationships, not coercive power; leadership development and character development are one and the same. The book's ideas are solid and the anecdotes helpful: Hunter trots out examples ranging from Southwest Airlines and General Electric to the U.S. military and professional football. The book draws on Christian themes but in a soft, understated way. One strong element is Hunter's attention to the history of different management styles in the 20th century, assessing what worked at the time and what needs to change for our era. Since business books tend to be myopically ahistorical, Hunter's glimpses of the past are refreshing and instructive. While some readers will be put off by the book's oral-style presentation-complete with overused exclamation points and rhetorical questions-others may find that the style contributes to the book's conversational and accessible tone.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Hunter, observing our post-9/11 environment, recent corporate scandals, and the large number of managers who are not leaders, offers his thoughts on what he calls a servant leader, "a person of character who is skilled in influencing and inspiring others to enthusiastically contribute their hearts, minds and other resources toward goals identified as being for the common good." With a reference to his religious faith and prayer, the author sees leadership's spiritual underpinnings. We learn that leadership is an acquired skill and is synonymous with influence, while character is moral maturity in action: doing the right thing regardless of the cost. Hunter offers important lessons, which he has learned from successful organizations, including selecting workers very carefully, finding ways to make work more challenging, compensating people fairly, demanding excellence and accountability, training people well, and building community. The need for effective leadership has never been greater in our twenty-first-century society, and particularly in our workplaces. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press; 1 edition (June 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578569753
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578569755
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James C. Hunter is the author of 3 internationally best-selling books. His books are the texts used in many MBA and other higher education curriculum around the world, are translated into dozens of languages and have sold well over 4.5 million copies worldwide. Jim speaks on leadership to audiences around the world and assists organizations in creating a culture of excellence by growing leaders and building community. His clients include many of the world's most admired organizations including seven (7) Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award Winners, American Express, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald's, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble and the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey E Ellis on February 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
James Hunter follows up on "The Servant" with this book: "The World's Most Powerful Leadership Principle". I am still not sure there is enough new material presented to warrant this release. It contains so much from the first book but does add additional quips, quotes, and anecdotes, and some new material.

Perhaps Hunter wrote this book to appeal more broadly to a secular readership. "The Servant" was clearly a spiritual journey; "World's Most Powerful..." is a more secular treatise and will be much more widely accepted in MBA classrooms.

But whether one approaches servant leadership from a faith or secular point of view, the truth remains the same. These basic, solid principles of leadership work.

Not all truths about human nature and leadership are self-evident: some are contained in paradox: leaders must be servants, giving of yourself releases giving to you, to get love you must give love first, and others.

All in all, this is a solid book which contains some real gems.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. Wojcik on March 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After Jim wrote The Servant, he was bombarded with questions! How does a person become a servant leader? That lead to the writing of this "how to" book.
If you haven't read The Servant, don't despair, Jim provides a review of the concepts and benefits of this type of leadership. Then with both inspiration and detail, he shares how to move forward and become a real servant leader. It is not a process for the faint of heart.
For example, he asks the leader to get feedback from their associates. The book gives you the actual feedback form to distribute. Once the results are in, the leader is asked to thank their team members and tell them specifically what the leader has chosen to improve. This takes some guts!

If you are a leader in a social organization, a non-profit, at work or in a club and you are interested in leading with your heart and spirit, give this book a try. You won't be disappointed.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am an avid reader of leadership books; this one is at the top of my list! James Hunter does a wonderful job at laying out the principles of true leadership, Servant Leadership. He will tell you (I have attended one of his workshops too) that these are all things we know and have been taught and caught for centuries, he just puts it all together. The way Jim puts it together is great and really hits to the core if you apply it (personally and in your relationships). Jim stresses that Leadership development and character development are one.

This is a sequel to his first book The Servant, which lays out all of the same principles in a story form. This book is more of a how to or a map of the Servant Leadership principles for those that want to read some more and get a process with instructions. Reading is good, but the book ends with a chapter on implementation and a challenge that only 10 percent of learners, really learn. The challenge is to not just read this book, but to become engaged in the principles and values that this book communicates, truly work on yourself and commit the material to real learning (behavioral changes).

It my have just been a timing thing for me (a point ready to learn) but this book changed my outlook and habits to grow as a Servant Leader. I'm not where I want to be, but I'm working at it daily (read the book, you'll understand).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kug VINE VOICE on July 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Never heard of this guy until I read his first book. Then saw this a couple weeks ago and he brings it once again. He gets it, there are few leaders in this world right now today. He tells about leadership in a direct, no nonsense way but is preaching love in the workplace. He is teaching that leaders are people who hold their followers accountable, can be tough when they need to but do care and that creates more followers.

Sounds simple. Everyone says they know this stuff, a handful do it. Hunter lays this out and its good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D.H. on September 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book for looking at things in a different light and realizing you do have more control on the outcomes of almost all situations. The book suppports the belief that people can change if they want to. A good book for business as well as everyday living.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Seth A. Berl on August 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
i have read many leadership books. this is one of the best if you subscribe to the servant leadership principles. well explained. good examples. given to me as a gift and now i have bought a number of copies to give to my employees
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Kloosterman on January 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
James Hunter has produced a well written, to the point book on what it means to be a REAL leader. I would also recommend "Launching A Leadership Revolution" by Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward. The combination of these two books is everything you need to become the leader you should be.
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Format: Hardcover
The World's Most Powerful Leadership Principle is James Hunter's follow up to his #1 bestseller The Servant which is an allegory on servant leadership. In this second book, Hunter offers a practical, step-by-step path to actually implementing servant leadership in both work life and personal life. The book is both practical and very inspiring.

James Hunter has consulted with organization of all sizes on leadership for over 20 years, but his consulting work began with dysfunctional organizations with labor vs. management disputes. What he learned relatively quickly was that the vast majority of these issues were a result of poor leadership. His focus quickly became identifying and resolving leadership issues, as his research pointed to leadership as the single greatest predictor of an organization's success or failure.

Hunter makes a clear distinction between management and leadership, and assumes that anyone put into a leadership position has the requisite management skills. His focus is on leadership, which he defines as the skills of influencing people to enthusiastically work toward goals identified as being for the common good, with character that inspires confidence. In other words, the most effective leader is the one who looks at his or her role as an opportunity to serve others, helping them to excel and grow, and it requires tremendous character to achieve that consistently.

Hunter did not invent the idea of servant leadership, which has existed for thousands of years. He points out that nearly a third of Fortune Magazine's top 100 companies to work for employ servant leadership in their organizations. He makes it clear that servant leadership is essential for creating sustainable success and an organization that can survive difficult times.
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