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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

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,721 Ratings  ·  243 Reviews
With a new introduction on using the principles of The Servant in your life and career.

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.
Hardcover, 187 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Crown Business (first published 1998)
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Aug 02, 2009 surfurbian rated it did not like it
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
Alison Jones
Nov 23, 2008 Alison Jones rated it it was amazing
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
Sandys Nunes
Sep 14, 2014 Sandys Nunes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
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
Lucas Leite
Nov 25, 2011 Lucas Leite rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 01, 2009 Shane rated it really liked it
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
Bruno Cunha
Nov 13, 2011 Bruno Cunha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 23, 2013 Nicholas rated it liked it
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
James Wirshing
Mar 17, 2011 James Wirshing rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 01, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it
While it does occasionally show its age, it's an easy-read of an account of a man learning about modern, others-first leadership. I found its lessons very useful, with plenty of "food for thought" on my own behaviors and leadership skills.
Jul 13, 2014 Rob rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
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
Jun 17, 2015 Mariana Machado rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Suas ações sempre falarão mais alto e serão muito mais importantes do que suas palavras". James C. Hunter
Ryan Dreier
Jan 21, 2013 Ryan Dreier rated it liked it
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
Sep 11, 2014 Dax rated it really liked it
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
Rafael Aura
Jan 03, 2013 Rafael Aura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: practicos
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.
Kathryn Anne
The Servant: A Simple Story about the True Essence of Leadership by James C. Hunter is about the life-changing experience that John Daley, a businessman has while on a leadership retreat led by monks on Lake Michigan. John has been struggling in his relationships with his wife, children, and employees at work. After talking with his pastor, John is encouraged to attend a week-long retreat after learning that one of the monks is a former Wall Street legend. Since birth, the bible story of Simeon ...more
Steven Bullmer
Apr 26, 2015 Steven Bullmer rated it it was ok
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
Oct 27, 2014 Diane Kavanaugh rated it did not like it
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
Austin Carroll Keeley
Jun 22, 2016 Austin Carroll Keeley rated it it was ok
Shelves: business, leadership
"The Servant" carries the subtitle "A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership". This rings true, especially the "simple" bit. No major revelations from this story-- love is a verb, leaders eat last, control your reactions rather than your stimuli, etc.-- true though they might be. The format is the most difficult aspect of the read. It is a dialogue between 4 individuals. They conveniently speak in short paragraphs and magically build on the others' points with examples and weakly cons ...more
Andre Otto
Apr 14, 2013 Andre Otto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!

Marie desJardins
Nov 17, 2014 Marie desJardins rated it did not like it
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
Feb 01, 2016 Erin rated it liked it
Here's a passage that summarizes the message of this book (and which I really like):

"Leadership begins with the will, which is our unique ability as human beings to align our intentions with our actions and choose our behavior. With the proper will, we can choose to love, the verb, which is about identifying and meeting the legitimate needs, not wants, of those we lead. When we meet the needs of others we will, definition, be called upon to serve and even sacrifice. When we serve and sacrifice f
Mar 09, 2016 Robbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
Um livro incrível sobre a Liderança que me ajudou bastante na composição da minha monografia. That book helped me a lot in my final Final Course Assignment. I talked about Leadership.
Alan Wightman
Apr 04, 2014 Alan Wightman rated it it was ok
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
Paulo Jan
Feb 08, 2016 Paulo Jan rated it really liked it
Books have their right moment to be read...In 2004-2005 when this book was included in that so bore list of 10 best-selling, I bought and read, without much enthusiasm, some two thirds of it. It was not a must for me, and the lecture was abandoned. In 2013 I decided attend a lecture by author James Hunter at our books festival , and It caught me. Then I grabbed the book and reread everything.His teaching has been widely touted around, nothing so new .However, how they are counted, with so many v ...more
Jan 30, 2016 Melissa rated it really liked it
Anyone in a leadership role should truly read this book. It is more engaging than most leadership books because it is written as a narrative. The reader can relate to the characters in the story. There is a reason that this book is required reading in many companies throughout the world- it is truly life changing.
If you're struggling with how to reach the employees at your company, if production is down, this book will help you change that. It certainly will take time, this is not a quick fix,
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
Ramon Chrystian
Jul 29, 2014 Ramon Chrystian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lideranca
Feb 17, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aaron Maurer
Jul 23, 2011 Aaron Maurer rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 13, 2012 Bryan Robinson rated it liked it
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?

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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 about James C. Hunter...

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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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