Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Being a Servant Leader

I met James Hunter back in 2006 and was impressed by his sincerity, candor, and vision. In his book, "The Servant", we read about the life of a business executive John Daily. Hunter does a wonderful job of weaving the timeless principles of servant leadership into the story of John Daily, whose outwardly successful life is spiraling out of control (I been there & felt that)!

If you don't like to read 'teaching' books and looking for a relaxing read, this is great story that incorporates passive learning.

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 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.

The book enumerates the following as the qualities of a servant leader...
1. Patient - showing self-control
2. Kind - giving attention, appreciation, and encouragement
3. Humble - being authentic without pretense or arrogance
4. Respectful - treating others as important people
5. Selfless - meeting the needs of others
6. Forgiving - giving up resentment when wronged
7. Honest - being free from deception
8. Committed - sticking to your choices

All these behaviors will entail you to serve and sacrifice for others. This would mean setting aside your own wants and needs to focus on the legitimate needs of others.


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