- Hardcover: 370 pages
- Publisher: Paulist Press; 25 Anv edition (November 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780809105540
- ISBN-13: 978-0809105540
- ASIN: 0809105543
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 113 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness 25th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, November 1, 2002
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Servant Leadership is one of those rare books that will live far beyond the life of its creator. -- James A. Autry, author of Servant Leader and Love & Profit<br \><br \>This book will create leadership that contains such virtues as growth, responsibility and love. --Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor, Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California; author of Organizing Genius
This is both symbol and substance on the shelf of anyone blessed with the opportunity to lead. --John Carver, author of Boards That Make a Difference
This most welcomed new edition will influence a new generation to serve better. --Godric Ernest Scott Bader, Life President, Scott Bader Commonwealth Ltd.
About the Author
Robert K. Greenleaf is considered the creator of the modern trend to empower employees; he also coined the term servant-leadership. He was a top executive in management, research, development, and education at AT&T, as well as a visiting lecturer at MIT's Sloan School of Management and Harvard Business School. He also taught at Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia. Upon his retirement from AT&T, he founded the Center for Applied Ethics, which eventually became the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, located in Indianapolis. Greenleaf died in 1990 at the age of 86.
Larry C. Spears is CEO of the Greenleaf Center in Indianapolis, IN.
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Armed with varied and extensive civilian leadership experience, Greenleaf boldly took me on "a journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness." This journey challenged me early on when Greenleaf stated that the traditional hierarchical leadership used in most organizations, one person in charge as the lone chief atop a pyramidal structure, is the likely cause of most of our leadership problems. Greenleaf favored another, less frequently used tradition where the principle leader is "primus inter pares" - first among equals.
Throughout the book, Greenleaf made a compelling case that "primus inter pares" exists in important places with conspicuous success. With my leadership experience rooted in the traditional military hierarchical structure, at times it was difficult to understand Greenleaf's perspectives on the first or second read.
Greenleaf's insights into the servant as leader (one who makes sure that other people's highest priority needs are being served) in the first chapter lays the foundation for his subsequent chapters: the institution as servant, trustees as servants, servant leadership in business, servant leadership in education, servant leadership in foundations, servant leadership in churches, servant leaders, servant responsibility in a bureaucratic society, and America and world leadership.
With all the recent attention focused on moral and ethical breakdowns within some large and powerful institutions (Enron, WorldCom, Arthur Anderson, the Catholic Church, etc.), this book's continued relevance is obvious. Overcoming my challenges in reading this book was definitely worth the effort.
This is the book that started that trend.
Published originally in 1977, it contains articles and concepts that found their germination in the turbulant decade of the 1960's. While you might imagine from the term "Servant-Leader" that the ideology of this book stems from religious conviction and it certainly does include that, you may be surprised to read in the first chapter of the book that it finds its inspiration in literature. Specifically, the Servant-Leader who captured Greenleaf's imagination and catalyzed the writing of this book was the fictional character Leo in Herman Hesse's "Journey to the East."
More surprises remain in store throughout this book that challenges concepts seemingly ingrained in human nature and counter-intuitively argues for several revolutionary premises, not simply on the basis of morality, but rather effectiveness and societal need.
In particular, Greenleaf argues that the advent of big business, large institutions, and corporate growth requires a paradigm shift in the view of leadership. Contrary to the anti-authoritarianism so ingrained in the 60's, Greenleaf argues that large organizations hold tremendous promise to accomplish correspondingly large results. What is needed are leaders who will embrace the organizations and see them almost as separate entities, living organisms as it were, love them, care for them and serve the population within and without through them.
The qualities that Greenleaf profers as indicative of such growth and service are:
1. Do those served grow as persons?
2. Do they, while being served become healthier wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?
3. What is the effect on the least privileged in society?
4. Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived? (Greenleaf 1977/2002 p.27)
In practical terms Greenleaf argues strongly for such Servant-Leaders to rise up and shake off the traditional trappings of leadership within archaic and dusty organizations and equally archaic leadership models, where the emphasis has been upon elevating managers to de facto leaders of these institutions and instead, elevating Trustee's and Board Chairpersons to reject passivity, reject the role of a rubber stamp and exert leadership that embraces values, takes risks and empowers people.
It is a clarion call to activist leadership that feels very much a derivitive of the 60's altruism, yet rejects the across the board discarding of all institutions as irretrievably corrupt and inherently in need of dismantling.
The influence of this concept and the leadership institutions that are adopting the model in their training and operations is remarkably going beyond its author who passed away in 1990.
This book should be a welcome addition to the leadership library of every student and participant in the leadership melieu. Whether you accept and adopt the premises contained, there is wisdom and insight for all who wish to read. Answers in some context are given, but more importantly, tools are provided with which to frame the question for those moving forward.
I highly recommend this book as an indispensible tool for understanding the leadership issues and needs of this generation.