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Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness 25th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, November, 2002
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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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Nonetheless, as truly groundbreaking as this book and its ideas have been over the past 40 years, it's a chore to read. Greenleaf's writing style is rather cumbersome, and his points are sometimes difficult to understand. He writes primarily from an abstract, theoretical perspective, and I found myself often wishing that he would have integrated more stories, more practical examples into his writing. I often felt like he was possibly offering a reasonable idea, but I'd need to read about its actual implementation in a real-life setting to really understand what he was saying. But those examples were few and far between.
It is clear that Greenleaf was a brilliant man, and his influence in leadership within corporate, educational, and religious institutions continues to resonate into the 21st-century. But rather than reading this book, I'd recommend that those who are interested in servant leadership should read his initial essay ("The Servant as Leader") and then move on to books written by more accessible authors (i.e. Ken Blanchard). I'm glad to have plowed through this book because of its place in the modern leadership canon, but I'm hard-pressed to recommend it to anyone but the most serious of servant leadership scholars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the best books on leadership that I have ever read. No one is on the same level when it comes to the concept of servant leadership. Read morePublished 1 month ago by AlaskaDave
This book did not deliver, it was much too focused on the personal adulation of the author and loss me as the reader in this.Published 2 months ago by Netdaemon
Really excellent book! I bought this for a class that I am in to gain insight on the original notion of servant leadership. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kortney
This has quite a bit to chew on, in a manner of speaking. Quite good.Published 5 months ago by Too Blessed
This book should be the fundamental text in college business schools and all MBA programs. Get these ideas going at the highest levels, and the planet might survive.Published 5 months ago by Doug F