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The Servant: A Simple Story about the True Essence of Leadership
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The Servant: A Simple Story about the True Essence of Leadership

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  2,084 ratings  ·  201 reviews
In this absorbing tale, you watch the timeless principles of servant leadership unfold through the story of John Daly, 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 ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Prima Lifestyles
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Good to Great by James C. CollinsThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. CoveyThe Tipping Point by Malcolm GladwellHow to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnegieThe Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
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38th out of 131 books — 161 voters
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. CoveyHow to be Successful in Present Day World by Pradeep ChaswalSecret to Startup Failure by Sonia LinHow to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnegieGetting Things Done by David Allen
Leadership & Business Books
122nd out of 123 books — 122 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Alison Jones
Nov 23, 2008 Alison Jones rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Alison by: My boss
Shelves: leadership
Everyone who needs a kick in the pants to get life/job/relationships back on track needs to read this book. It's not just for those wanting to be good "leaders", it's for those that want to be better people. I loved this book because the author was not pretentious in any way. He had absolute faults - - not slight faults that really don't matter and in no way illustrate the magnitude of the point (cough cough, Stephen M.R. Covey) - - real faults, real moments of shame, insecurity, and need for gr ...more
surfurbian
Overall, I found this book to be scripted and cliche'. The teacher only seems to get asked questions to which he has the answers. The individual characters seem like charicatures. I find the way in which they all become equally enlighted at the of the story to feel really fake.

That said, this book has some really good points. Most of them borrowed from others who have said it better and simply regurgitated here using narrative format with very simple language. Personally, I have found the greate
...more
Sandys Nunes
Este livro é a mais deliciosa receita para liderança. Leitura obrigatória para qualquer um que ocupe o papel de líder, não só numa empresa, mas na família, nos esportes e em qualquer que seja o grupo de pessoas que tenham um objetivo em comum.

***Partes mais importantes do livros e coisas que aprendi***

pag. 32

Características para ter autoridade (não poder):
- Honestidade, confiabilidade
- Bom exemplo
- Cuidado
- Compromisso
- Bom ouvinte
- Conquista a confiança das pessoas
- Trata as pessoas com respei
...more
Shane
Overall a great read - another practical leadership book told in story form. Interesting cast of characters getting leadership coaching from a cloistered Monk who once was a renowned leader in industry. Nothing earth shattering, but again examples that drove home some concepts, and ideas on how to approach something’s.

Key takeaways;
1: Listening - "true" listening is selfless.

2: Leadership is a choice (You chose it).

3: It is huge responsibility to have been entrusted with the well being of so man
...more
Bruno Cunha
O Monge e o Executivo – Uma História Sobre a Essência da Liderança, de James C. Hunter, é um livro pra você ler num final de semana. Gostei do estilo do livro. As lições poderiam ter sido simplesmente listada em umas quatro páginas, mas o autor criou uma história envolvente que prende o leitor e passa, pausadamente, as dicas para se tornar um bom líder. A palavra chave é Líder Servidor. Muito interessante a idéia.

Mas que bom que consegui ler esse livro! Tinha comprado no final de 2005 e empreste
...more
Lucas Leite
Superficiality for the masses

When trying to get the ingredients of what has to be good leadership for a successful business through an Anglican monk (!?), author James Hunter makes a 'novel' superficial with predictable and caricatural characters; ending it with a cliché of redemption.

Analyzing only the quality of the plot comes the question: Why not a book essentially technical, involving the issue of leadership? The answer is simple: Because leadership is so worked as the characters in this "b
...more
Nicholas
I enjoyed reading this book. The author weaves the tail of
an executive who, while visiting a monastery attains lessons
on authority and leadership. The author explains that trust is essentially
built by pushing others to gently achieve their NEEDS (not wants) which in return
builds an eagerness in others to follow you. The author also makes the clear
distinction that POWER = Foreceful cohesion and that the ability to force or coerce someone
to do your will (Do it or I'll fire you, do it or we'll bomb
...more
James Wirshing
An excellent book. This is a story-type tale of John Daily, a businessman whose outwardly successful life is spiraling out of control. He reluctantly attends a weeklong leadership retreat at a remote Benedictine monastery. Along the way, he (and the other attendees) learns that the true foundaton of leadership is not power, but authority, which is built upon relationships, love, service, and sacrifice.

Makes the important distinction between serving the needs of others vs being a slave to their w
...more
Rob
Occasionally you come across a book that hits exactly at what you were thinking. This is such a book. A quick read in the form of a parable, this book possess powerful lessons for all leaders to ponder.
Mariana Machado
"Suas ações sempre falarão mais alto e serão muito mais importantes do que suas palavras". James C. Hunter
Ryan Dreier
I was assigned this book because my job was bringing in the author to speak. I enjoyed the book but I must say by the end I felt like it was simply a regurgitation of all those leadership phrases bundled in one book, with the exception that Hunter pairs each revelation with a character. I'll practice hunters principles however I only take on the responsibility of a leader 4 months of the year, and unfortunately we had one of these motivational speakers come last year, and as hunter states "nothi ...more
Dax
I read this at suggestion of a mentor I met at an executive development training course. The book itself is a very easy read. I do not read quickly. I was able to complete the book in its entirety on my flight from Singapore to Moscow. I don't know what to call the style of writing. It is similar to the Goal by Goldratt in that you are not being taught the material. You are learning as the lead character learns it.

One caution about the 2012 edition I read: Skip the introduction at the beginning
...more
Rafael Aura
Maldita manía que tienen de novelar temas a toda costa. Este libro podría ser un ensayo (incluso bastante brillante...) sobre el liderazgo, pero en el afan de hacer el tema más entretenido, se han empeñado en novelarlo y resulta pesadísima.
Que conste que los conceptos son más que válidos y sus tesis por lo menos interesantes, pero deberían enviar al infierno de los escritores a James C. Hunter por novelar este libro que de otra forma hubiera sido bastante interesante.
Steven Bullmer
Storyline: An out of control, out of sync, out of touch General Manager goes to spend a week at a Benedictine monastery; not because he has any faith or any regard for anything Christian, but because he has heard there is a good leadership course being taught there ... and his wife, who is completely fed up with him, basically says, "It's either the monastery or me." So he goes under duress. However, he discovers that one of the monks is one of his business heroes who had dropped out of sight de ...more
Diane Kavanaugh
I read this book as required reading for a leadership program. The lessons the author included on leadership are always important to hear, read and/or contemplate. If I had not been required to read the book, I probably would not have finished reading it.

There were several aspects that bothered me:

1. The book sounded contrived to me. I understand that the author was trying to convey leadership traits in a different light. I kept thinking that the points made by students in the discussions sounde
...more
Andre Otto
É um livro muito bom que conta a histórias de pessoas que estavam passando por problemas na parte de liderança e encontram em um mosteiro, uma pessoa reconhecido mundialmente sobre seus feitos com relação a liderança que os ensina o que realmente é ser um líder!

Recomendo
Marie desJardins
I thought this book was tedious and had perhaps the lowest signal-to-noise ratio of any leadership book I've read. The gimmick of conveying lessons about leadership through a narrative/allegory/parable of the author's personal journey just didn't work for me. It was cheesy and overwritten. Hunter came across as arrogant and self-absorbed, and the "lessons learned" could have been just as effectively summarized in bullets on a single powerpoint slide:

* Leadership is Love
* Leadership Begins with t
...more
Alan Wightman
Apr 04, 2014 Alan Wightman rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Alan by: Engeo
The key points are, roughly (a) think about leadership, rather than management; (b) try to lead with authority, rather than power. The difference being that with authority employees really want to do as you ask, rather than being afraid not to; (c) true leadership in essence comes from love - the selfless act of serving your employees, and providing their legitimate needs.

To provide us with this message, Mr Hunter has his narrator, a struggling business leader, attend a week-long course at a mon
...more
L
I recently had a discussion with a student, who later referred to me to my Supervisor as a student servant. It reminded me of a book that I was given by my manager liaison at Asurion titled "The Servant", which is about the difference in being a servant rather than a slave, and meeting people's needs rather than their wants. An important quote from the book (p.27): "Employees will spend roughly half of their waking hours in the environment you create as a leader." The ideas in Hunters book are t ...more
Sarah
Paciencia, Bondade, Humildade, Respeito, Generosidade, Perdão, Honestidade, Compromisso.
Esse livro possui muitas informções de como se tornar um líder. Ele traça bons paralelos com a administração moderna não é só um livro de auto-ajuda ele também é educativo.
Mas de toda a minha leitura, a qual apreciei muito, o ensinamento que mais me marcou foram as atitudes de amor para o seu cotidiano para se tornar um profissional melhor e ser humano melhor. e adorei ainda mais por que ele não só te instrui
...more
Aaron Maurer
I read this book as it was recommended by Alan Stein(a living legend in the basketball world). As I continue to read books that teach about character, motivation, what it takes to be strong and dedicated, this book reached everything I needed. I took away many strong ideas that I refer to from time to time to help me keep my focus. The story line is not something that seems that exciting, but reading about their discussions and the perspectives of the various people in the story really helped me ...more
Bryan Robinson
Some of the things I learned from this book. I went through it with a group from Marietta WorkMatters.

1. p41 - The key to leadership is accomplishing the tasks at hand while building relationships.

- Am I being intentional about building relationships with the people I lead? Praying for them, listening to them?

2. p63 - It is a shame that so many leaders spend their time pondering their rights as leaders instead of their awesome responsibilities as leaders.
- Am I open to changing from “my” way?

3.
...more
Omar Halabieh
This is business tale relaying the story of a businessman (John Daily) who is struggling both at work and at home. John is signed up to attend a weeklong leadership retreat at a monastery. Through this retreat, interactions with other participants, and with the guidance of a former executive turned monk John learns the true foundation of leaderships: "Authority, Service and Sacrifice, Love, and Will".

A very quick, entertaining and educative read!

Below are excerpts from the book that I found part
...more
Brian
I read The Servant for a church committee I was on. It was an engaging, quick and easy to read narrative about a businessman who learns about leadership on a retreat at a monastary. I liked the concepts of moral leadership, most of which seemed pretty common sense to me. The book seemed a little contrived though - awkward relationships, lots of cliches and motivational quotes and a maudlin ending.

For more info, check out:
Servant leadership on wikipedia
Review with info

12/3 - the servant - 6
engagi
...more
Greg
The Servant is another in that category of business/leadership books that seeks to teach good principles through the medium of a story. In this case, unlike some others I have read, I thought the story was weak, preachy, and unpersuasive. It's not that the principles in play are unsound...far from it. In fact, the leadership principles Hunter wants to get across are what I think of as enduring principles. That is, they are true and applicable, no matter the time, place, or situation. However, it ...more
Artful Existence
This book has some great tidbits of advice and helpful ways of leading through serving others. You do not have to be Christian to enjoy this book. It explains principles from all religions. Some of my favorite parts include:

When you do not listen actively and/or interupt others, you send the message that:
1. "You obviously have not been listening to me very well if you've already formulated your response in your head."
2. "You do not value me or my opinion because you refuse to take the time to h
...more
Joshua Merrick
Good story, well thought out, though the character development was a little shy (especially on the Monk named "Simeon"). More than anything this was a feel good book, a little kick in the right direction for those who aren't getting the satisfaction they want out of life (and perhaps some who think they are). The life lessons illustrated in this story are simple enough for any to understand, but powerful at the same time, and guaranteed to change the way a person looks at life, business and the ...more
Yadira  Denisse
I really enjoyed this book. I felt it provided a basic introduction to many principles of Servant Leadership and just leadership in general. I recommend this book as one of the first books to read for someone wanting to learn about leadership. I also enjoyed reading his examples of leadership being used in real life. The book was easy to follow and I like that is a story telling format which helped me understand the message better.
Robin
This was a pleasant, easy book to read about how if you are a good leader, you also need to be a good servant. It is a book written in an inspiring, positive manner. The author is a Christian, as is one other of the main characters. Yet, if Christian books turn you off, it is possible to read this book and get much from it by just ignoring the mentions of Christ and Christianity.
Bailey Urban
This book changed the way I view leadership. Leading is loving. By love, he means loving as a behavior, not the feeling of love that we are all so familiar with. One of the last pages I took a picture of because it brings the entire book together: Leadership is, at its roots, simply the Golden rule. Lead like I want to be treated: "Do I want my leader to be patient with me, to give me attention, to give me appreciation, to give me encouragement , to be authentic with me, to treat me with respect ...more
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105977
JAMES C. HUNTER é consultor-chefe da J. D. Associados, uma empresa de consultoria de relações de trabalho e treinamento. Com mais de 20 anos de experiência, Hunter é muito solicitado como instrutor e palestrante, principalmente nas áreas de liderança funcional e organização de grupos comunitários. Atualmente, ele mora em Michigan com a esposa e a filha.

Chefe da J.D. Hunter Associados, uma empresa
...more
More about James C. Hunter...
The World's Most Powerful Leadership Principle: How to Become a Servant Leader The Servant Leadership Training Course: Achieving Success Through Character, Bravery, and Influence De volta ao mosteiro - O monge e o executivo falam de liderança e trabalho em equipe Claves de la Paradoja / The World's Most Powerful Leadership Principle The Servant: Action Guide: Implementing the Principles of Servant Leadership in Your Organization

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“No siempre puedo controlar mis sentimientos hacia los demás, pero lo que sí puedo controlar es mi comportamiento hacia los demás.” 1 likes
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