Saturday, August 6, 2011

Book Review: The Servant by James Hunter

From the Inside Flap

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. 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.
Along with John, you will learn that the principles in this book are neither new nor complex. They don't demand special talents; they are simply based on strengthening the bonds of respect, responsibility, and caring with the people around you. Perhaps this is why The Servant has touched readers from all walks of life?because its message can be applied by anyone, anywhere?at home or at work.
If you are tired of books that lecture instead of teach; if you are searching for ways to improve your leadership skills; if you want to understand the timeless virtues that lead to lasting and meaningful success, then this book is one you cannot afford to miss.

My Thoughts

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 to ponder and think about how I would react to the many topics and questions.

I finished the book with a better understanding of what it takes to be a great person. The ideas are quite simple and by just working on a few easy things, I can be better. Some require change and we all know that change can be difficult. I think the most important aspect I took away from the book is that in the end everything we do is up to us. We cannot point the finger at others. We have to take responsibility for our actions and how we respond.

A short story with a long list of powerful ideas on what it takes to be a great leader and person. This is a must read.
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