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The Power of Servant-Leadership Paperback – 1 Sep 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 315 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler; Subsequent edition (1 Sep 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576750353
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576750353
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.4 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 608,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

""Robert K. Greenleaf, author of the classic Servant-Leadership, was director of management research at AT&T. He held a joint appointment as a visiting lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and at the Harvard Business School. He died in 1990. Editor Larry C. Spears has been CEO of The Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership since 1990. He is the editor and co-editor of several books, including Insights on Leadership and Seeker and Servant."" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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I believe that caring for persons, the more able and the less able serving each other, is what makes a good society. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Aug 1999
Format: Paperback
As a Doctoral student writing on servant leadership, I found the newest book put out by The Greenleaf Center to be as interesting and thought-provoking as those published previously. If organizations are to be successful as we enter the 21st century, perhaps this book should become required reading at leadership seminars.
Greenleaf has a style all his own, but the material flows well and is readily understandable by the reader.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who leads in organizations.
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By The Doctor on 17 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good. This excellent book sets out the much-needed quality of servant leadership that is very rarely observed in any of our leaders in government today. I recommend they read it!
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By JEFF BAYLEY on 3 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Recommended by Dr Joe DiStefano, I found this excellent, developing ideas for a leadership style still not fashionable in the western world. Greenleaf takes an idea from Hermann Hesse and develops and adopts it for 21st Century management. It presents the antidote to the John Wayne/ Eiffel Tower way of managing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Highly Recommended! 14 Mar 2001
By Rolf Dobelli - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The late Robert K. Greenleaf was widely revered for his profound impact on leadership theory during the last three decades of the 20th century. Eight of his most compelling essays on servant-leadership (a term he coined) are published here in book form for the first time. These essays testify to Greenleaf's legacy and to his important role in the philosophies of leadership and service. Issues of spirit, vision and wholeness are woven through many of these essays, which address individual and institutional leadership in all areas, including government, business, religion, education and philanthropy. We at getAbstract highly recommend this eloquent book to those contemplating or holding leadership positions.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
It's like sitting down with my grandpa & a cup of coffee and talking about life! 23 Nov 2005
By Roxy Allen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I appreciated Greenleaf's writing style and the inspiration he offers. While reading most of the essays in this collection I felt like I was sitting down with my grandfather and we were having a conversation over coffee in his den about how to make the world a better place. In the essay "Old Age: The Ultimate Test of Spirit" he referred several times to letters he received from friends and readers about advice they would like and how he responded candidly to them. It made him seem approachable and believable; the style fit well with his content on how to be a servant and make society better. Even in his essays he's coaching younger people! Greenleaf does not write about what he thinks should be done or what might work, but he writes from a long life of experience and reminds us what truly has worked in the past for him and others. It's almost as if he is saying, "Come on, I know you can do it!" The essay "Have You a Dream Deferred?" is actually an address he gave to a group of first-year Ohio Fellows in which he calls the students to take the next three years of their lives at their college or university and use them to make their institution the best it can be, and in turn, they will grow in creativity, distinction, and wisdom, among other noble characteristics. As a recent college graduate I was truly inspired and wished I had heard that speech or read this essay my freshman year. His writings invoke you to action and that shows he truly cares about his work and his message.

I also appreciate Greenleaf's humility and humor. I caught myself laughing out loud many times because of stories and anecdotes he uses to illustrate his points. He keeps his writing as simple as possible, using the same phrasing to describe concepts he truly believes in such as servanthood and leadership. He never uses his expertise, or status, to give his points credibility but rather lets his message, what he believes in, and his many years of work, thought, and broad experience speak for itself.

The essays themselves would be stronger if they had more structure and organization around a succinct argument. In his writings, Greenleaf picks some broad topic, such as seminaries, to write whatever comes to mind. The only attempt at an organization of those thoughts is a subtitle with a word or thought below which he will write a few thoughts in paragraph form and then move on to another thought without attempt to really make connections between his ideas. There are many connections to be made, which are left to the reader, but it would be helpful to know the connections Greenleaf has found. This would not detract from his informal style that I appreciate, but only make it easier to understand his thoughts. Perhaps Spears edited the essays in this manner and gave them even more structure than they had before. In his introduction Spears could draw Greenleaf's unorganized points together; as it is now even in the introduction Spears only lists the main points he finds helpful in these essays without offering much connection between them.

Also, the essay "My Debt to E.B. White" did not fit with the other seven essays whatsoever. In this essay are Greenleaf's thoughts on certain writings by E.B. White that Greenleaf admired and includes long quotations from those texts. For those of us who never knew White, and especially those who rarely read The New Yorker, the essay's point is lost to us. It is much to specific and detailed and the wholeness that Greenleaf is indebted to White for helping him see in White's life is not discussed enough to make the essay so broad to relate easily and connect with the other essays in the collection. It is much better left entirely out of this book.

Overall I found my introduction to Robert Greenleaf, his life, his thoughts, and his style to be engaging, unique, wise, and inspiring. The book was enjoyable to read without dull intellectualizing and what quotes he did use were relevant and very personal to Greenleaf. His years of wisdom are captured in these essays and anyone interested in leadership and how we should organize ourselves to build a better society, especially young leaders full of potential and ripe for service, would do themselves a disservice if they overlook Greenleaf's work.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Food for thought for the 21st century leader. 5 Aug 1999
By Michael Moore (mmoore@fciconnect.com) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a Doctoral student writing on servant leadership, I found the newest book put out by The Greenleaf Center to be as interesting and thought-provoking as those published previously. If organizations are to be successful as we enter the 21st century, perhaps this book should become required reading at leadership seminars.
Greenleaf has a style all his own, but the material flows well and is readily understandable by the reader.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who leads in organizations.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not Just the Power of Servant Leadership 25 April 2011
By Marty Jacobs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a collection of eight essays by Robert Greenleaf, which were all initially published separately after his seminal book, Servant Leadership. As such it is sometimes hard to find the thread of servant leadership in each of these essays, and some of them are very dense. The essay entitled, "The Leadership Crisis," however, is particularly pertinent to the themes of servant leadership. In it Greenleaf points to the lack of a unifying idea as the basis for the current leadership crisis and outlines three forms of power leaders can exert: coercive, manipulative, and persuasive.

To be honest, I had a hard time getting through this book, possibly for two reasons. First, I was listening to this as an audio download, and I found it hard to follow. The other reason is that I had very different expectations of this book. It seemed to me that these essays really documented Robert Greenleaf's spiritual journey in his later years rather than expanding on his thesis about servant leadership.
Servant Leadership 8 Jun 2010
By Doctoral Student - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
What can I say, Greenleaf is the father of Servant leadership. His wisdom at identifying this important leadership style was ahead of his time. In the culture where business leadership was cut cost and increase profits he stepped forward and said that more efficient companies can have leadership that is more geared towards helping employees rather than herding them.
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