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

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,279 ratings  ·  149 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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Alison Morford
Nov 23, 2008 Alison Morford 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
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
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
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
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
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
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!

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
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
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?

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
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
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
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
Allie Abney
This book does a great job of identifying the principles of servant leadership, James C. Hunter does so in a way that will keep you engaged until you've found yourself at the end of the book. My favorite quote from the book was, "Anyone wanting to be the leader must first be the servant. If you want to lead you must serve." - Jesus Christ
I learned that there are people of power and there are people of authority. I never realized this before and always strive to be a person of Authority.

The chapter on Love (Verb) was real interesting as I always think of it as a feeling. In the Bible it states that you should love yourelf and your neigbor. It means to treat everyone with Love even if you do not feel love for them. How many people in this world would get along better if we all did this. This is a habit I want to make permanent.

Penny Bar
"The Servant" tells the story of a businessman who participate in a leadership retreat at a monastery in order to find a solution for his professional and family issues. The book was a gift from my father that I got just after he died. Our father-daughter relationship wasn't the easiest and we never talked openly about it. Therefore, the book was received by me as the conversation we never had, a goodbye letter. If I judged by the emotional tie, I would give it five stars. But as a literary work...more

What a fast read and creative way to teach servant leadership. I recommend this book to anyone that wants joy in their life and has the wonderful responsibility of leading people. I enjoyed this book tremendously.
I had to read this book for my freshmen leadership class at my university. There are some good lessons in it, but honestly, they're pretty common sense. You could come upon them through other books if not through life itself. The characters were so one-dimensional. There was one character thrown in to try and point out another view, but he really comes off as ignorant and intolerant, and he comes around to the other side in the end. The narrator and other characters just seem to be the same char...more
It's with pain that I rate it two stars, because I really found it tiring to read it. Had to read the book for a college project, so I had to read it fast, and the book isn't exactly engaging. I can see the fuzz of a year ago about it: it speaks a lot in terms of self-help in management, but in my opinion there's no unleashed secrets, everything is so obvious. Also, the part where it's self-help was supposed to be subtle, making some people believe it can be also about the story, but the charact...more
I read "The Servant" about 8 years ago and decided to take it in again. The things that stood out the first time stood out again. The author advocates leading by serving those under your charge. Be an active listener, be kind, take care of their needs. These are the ways to build authority and folks will gladly follow. I didn't remember the style of the prose being a bother last time, but I definitely was distracted by it this time. The lessons are packaged via story of a failing leader visiting...more
I read this to discuss it in the Pharmaceutical Care Leadership Residency's book club. The main character is your class business over-achiever that has lost much for "success". When he hits bottom, he retreats to a monastery. By the end he makes a 180 degree turn, learning how to focus on the people he's supporting.

I encourage my students to develop a tweet-length (140 characters) summary of the main highlights from their books. Here's mine: Leadership, authority (people willingly act due to you...more
Everyone should read a leadership book once in while. This is a good refresher on the skill.
I appreciated this book for the simple and plain manner in which the author discussed the philosophies of leadership. I aspire to be the kind of leader that is described in this book and will continue to work towards developing the attributes of "the Servant Leader".

This book was easy and quick to read, a little cheesy at times but worth it because the topic was so refreshing. I enjoyed the quotes, references to other great leadership resources, and great definitions on leadership that I resonat...more
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The World's Most Powerful Leadership Principle: How to Become a Servant Leader La Paradoja: Un Relato Sobre la Verdadera Esenciadel Liderazgo The Servant Leadership Training Course: Achieving Success Through Character, Bravery, and Influence The Servant: Action Guide: Implementing the Principles of Servant Leadership in Your Organization Claves de la Paradoja / The World's Most Powerful Leadership Principle

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