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The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership Hardcover – September 1, 1998

4.7 out of 5 stars 339 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In this absorbing tale, you watch the timeless principles of servant leadership unfold through the story of John Daily, a businessman whose outwardly successful life is spiraling out of control. He is failing miserably in each of his leadership roles as boss, husband, father, and coach. To get his life back on track, he reluctantly attends a weeklong leadership retreat at a remote Benedictine monastery.
To John's surprise, the monk leading the seminar is a former business executive and Wall Street legend. Taking John under his wing, the monk guides him to a realization that is simple yet profound: The true foundation of leadership is not power, but authority, which is built upon relationships, love, service, and sacrifice.
Along with John, you will learn that the principles in this book are neither new nor complex. They don't demand special talents; they are simply based on strengthening the bonds of respect, responsibility, and caring with the people around you. Perhaps this is why "The Servant has touched readers from all walks of life--because its message can be applied by anyone, anywhere--at home or at work.
If you are tired of books that lecture instead of teach; if you are searching for ways to improve your leadership skills; if you want to understand the timeless virtues that lead to lasting and meaningful success, then this book is one you cannot afford to miss.

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.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 187 pages
  • Publisher: Prima; 1 edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761513698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761513698
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (339 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent, short book on the principles of leadership. I prefer leadership books that use real-life leaders as models rather than the contrived storyline method used here, but that did't detract from its message -- only its delivery.
Hunter espouses a series of easily understood leadership traits.
· Treat others exactly the way you would want them to treat you.
· Listening is the most important skill a leader can develop.
· You manage things, you lead people.
· The key to leadership is accomplishing the tasks at hand while building relationships.
· Trust is the most important ingredient in successful relationships.
· Your feelings of respect must be aligned with your actions of respect.
· A leader is someone who identifies and meets the legitimate needs of their people, removes all the barriers, so they can serve the customer. To lead, you must serve.
· Slaves do what others want, servants do what others need.
· Intentions minus actions equal squat.
· Love is patience, kindness, humility, respectfulness, selflessness, forgiveness, honesty, and commitment. This is also a definition of leadership.
· At the core of human personality is the need to be appreciated.
· Love is the act or acts of extending yourself for others by identifying and meeting their legitimate needs.
· There are only two things in life everyone must do: die and make choices.
· We do not see the world as it is, we see the world is we are.
My experience is that his list is correct, albeit it is somewhat incomplete. For example, it doesn't touch on decisiveness, intuition, and other characteristics that one will find in a good leader. Still, it's well worth the short time it takes to read.
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Format: Hardcover
The Servant -- A Review
Everyone serves. Some more than others. It is impossible to not serve either yourself, someone else or something else. The Servant - written by James C. Hunter, simply illustrates this fundamental of successful living in an easy-to-read, hard-to-put-down allegory about leadership through servanthood. These 187 pages are super-saturated with wisdom that can be absorbed by a grade-schooler. In fact, most of us have already learned the principles contained in this book, from our schoolteachers, our religious faith, our family and our friends. We need not to be taught so much as to be reminded.
Simeon, a monk whose chief role is to teach through servant leadership, achieves this task (as supporting protagonist) by gaining authority through altruism. Although told through the experiences of a fictitious "once-successful" businessman, John Daily, the story is about each one of our own natural inclinations, natures and choices. A cast of other supporting characters designed to symbolize a wide demographic variety proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only villain in this story is self.
If you're interested in reading this book or giving it as a gift to either your staff, peers, family or friend, it will make an impression. If you're interested in improving relationships, this book is a must-read. You could spend a great deal more than $14.95(US) to get this kind of direction from other sources.
Donald Davis Business Development Manager Franklynn Industries, Inc.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Servant" is the story of John Daily, a coach, father, and manager who seemingly has it all together. But beneath the surface, the wheels have begun to fall off his life. Many of us will be able to see ourselves in him: driven, worldly, ambitious, anxious; a wreck waiting to happen.

John goes to a "retreat" at a monastery in a search for answers to those questions of his life, the missing pieces of his heart. At the hands of Brother Simeon and five other attendees, John discovers insights and treasures about life, leadership, and himself.

In the tradition of Og Mandino, John Wooden and John Maxwell, this is a book about leadership and love. Much more than a self-help manual or a touchy-feely-go-nowhere narrative, this work defines and redefines principles of leadership, influence, authority, power, relationship, and, yes, love. Though based on a Christian foundation (Brother Simeon is a believer), it avoids being preachy or overtly religious. It lessons are universal in application and timeless in relevance.

"The Servant" unveils hard truths about ourselves and ourselves in the workplace.

It suggests a new paradigm of leadership: servant leadership; that upside-down paradox which declares that to be a true leader, one must serve. It is this paradox of faith, this foundational truth gives the book its power. Imagine a corporation where its leadership is based on: patience, kindness, humility, respectfulness, selflessness, forgiveness, honesty, and commitment. This definition can't be found in an MBA textbook - it is taken from 1 Corinthians 13. These same characteristics which define good leadership also define love.

Whether you are a senior manager or independent contractor; distinguished leader or stay-at-home mom, there is depth and delight awaiting you in this book. It is all about love.
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Format: Hardcover
James Hunter has given leaders a beautiful story of how to lead in a manner that will be successful no matter what kind of organization you are involved with. Not a gimick, but a way to turn on the creative juices of those the you lead. The leadership styles of spirit respecting behavior work.... I can attest to it! This is a quick read and well worth the time. Read it and then act on it!
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