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The World's Most Powerful Leadership Principle: How to Become a Servant Leaderby James C. Hunter
Synopses & Reviews
To lead is not to be “the boss,” the “head honcho,” or “the brass.”
To lead is to serve.
Although serving may imply weakness to some, conjuring up a picture of the CEO waiting on the workforce hand and foot, servant leadership is actually a robust, revolutionary idea that can have significant impact on an organizations performance.
Jim Hunter champions this hard/soft approach to leadership, which turns bosses and managers into coaches and mentors. By “hard,” Hunter means that servant leaders can be hard-nosed, even autocratic, when it comes to the basics of running the business: determining the mission (where the company is headed) and values (what the rules are that govern the journey) and setting standards and accountability. Servant leaders dont commission a poll or take a vote when it comes to these critical fundamentals. After all, thats what a leaders job is, and people look to the leader to set the course and establish standards.
But once that direction is provided, servant leaders turn the organizational structure upside down. They focus on giving employees everything they need to win, be it resources, time, guidance, or inspiration. Servant leaders know that providing for people and engaging hearts and minds foster a workforce that understands the benefits of striving for the greater good. The emphasis is on building authority, not power; on exerting influence, not intimidation.
While many believe that servant leadership is a wonderful, inspiring idea, whats been missing is the how-to, the specifics of implementation. Jim Hunter shows how to do the right thing for the people you lead. A servant leader or a self-serving leader: Which one are you? With Jim Hunters guidance, everyone has the potential to develop into a leader with character who leads with authority.
"Hunter, a training consultant and author of The Servant, offers a practical guide for people who want to become a servant leader: 'A person of character who is skilled in influencing and inspiring others to enthusiastically contribute their hearts, minds and other resources toward goals identified as being for the common good.' Citing his own experiences, those of his clients as well as some historical figures, Hunter explains his view of how leaders should behave. The most effective leader is a morally aware individual who focuses on helping others succeed, rather than simply handing down decisions. It's essential, says Hunter, that leaders maintain healthy relationships with their colleagues and be ready to turn corporate hierarchies upside down. With supporting quotes from poets, psychiatrists and Christopher Reeve, Hunter says that helping others enables people to overcome their own weaknesses and become better individuals and leaders. The writing is clear, and Hunter's message may well appeal to many people weary of traditional corporations that have been affected by recent ethical scandals. But in the end, there's not enough substance to distinguish this book from the countless other leadership tomes available. Hunter's inclusion of so many random quotes from Zsa Zsa Gabor to George Washington Carver doesn't enhance this book's value to corporate executives. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Servant leadership is not about meekness and humility, but how to lead people and create a high-trust culture. Hunter shows readers how to put the principles into practice in their own businesses and make it work for them.
About the Author
JAMES C. HUNTER is head of J. D. Hunter Associates, LLC, a leadership training and development firm. His internationally bestselling book, The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership, has been translated into nine languages and has sold more than 250,000 copies to date. Jim is a sought-after public speaker whose clients include some of the worlds most admired organizations, including American Express, Nestlé, ServiceMaster, Procter & Gamble, Southern Company, and the U.S. Air Force. Jim resides in Michigan with his wife and daughter and can be reached online at www.jameshunter.com.
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