"The Servant," by James C. Hunter is a simple story about the true essence of leadership. Sue heard Mr. Hunter speak at a Christian gathering some time ago. Joe Weller, Chairman and CEO of Nestle USA said "'The Servant' is an intriguing quick read that you will not be able to put down until you have experienced all of its life-changing treasures". As for myself I found it to be very inspiring.
In this absorbing tale, you watch the 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 week-long 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. These principles don't demand special talents; they are simply based on strengthening the bonds of respect, responsibility, and caring with the people around you.
Let me share a few quotes from the book:
1. Kindness is how we act, not how we feel.
2. The greatest opportunity we have to pay attention to people is by actively listening to them.
3. Once you begin to look for people doing things right, you suddenly begin to see things you've never seen before.
4. Humility to me is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking about yourself less.
What kind of leader are you?