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This book is a collection of eight essays by Robert Greenleaf, which were all initially published separately after his seminal book, Servant Leadership. As such it is sometimes hard to find the thread of servant leadership in each of these essays, and some of them are very dense. The essay entitled, “The Leadership Crisis,” however, is particularly pertinent to the themes of servant leadership. In it Greenleaf points to the lack of a unifying idea as the basis for the current leadership crisis and outlines three forms of power leaders can exert: coercive, manipulative, and persuasive.
To be honest, I had a hard time getting through this book, possibly for two reasons. First, I was listening to this as an audio download, and I found it hard to follow. The other reason is that I had very different expectations of this book. It seemed to me that these essays really documented Robert Greenleaf's spiritual journey in his later years rather than expanding on his thesis about servant leadership.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
I've been reading leadership books for many years, and really couldn't find one that matched my personal style: leading from behind, mentoring employees, and working towards the good of the organization, without worrying about personal rewards.
This is a series of essays based around the concept of the leader as a servant. The leader serves the employees that work for him/her, the institution, and the community at large. This is a departure from the usual leadership books, which are usually based on the "alpha male" leadership style.
It must be said that this consists of a series of essays that were written for different target groups over a number of years. The specific topics cover corporations, seminaries, colleges, and other non-profits. The material can get a little repetitive, but in a way that helps reinforce the key concepts, as well as to give insight into the needs of these different institutions.
This is a good, though provoking book for those who want to be successful, but at the same time make sure that everyone around you is successful as well.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful