I recently finished reading The Servant Leadership – A Simple Story about the True Essence of Leadership – by James C. Hunter.
This is business tale relaying the story of a businessman (John Daily) who is struggling both at work and at home. John is signed up to attend a weeklong leadership retreat at a monastery. Through this retreat, interactions with other participants, and with the guidance of a former executive turned monk John learns the true foundation of leaderships: “Authority, Service and Sacrifice, Love, and Will”.
A very quick, entertaining and educative read!
Below are excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:
1) “Leadership: The skill of influencing people to work enthusiastically toward goals identified as being for the common good.”
2) “Simply put, leadership is about getting things done through people. When working with an getting things done through people, there will always be two dynamics involved – the task and the relationship. It is easy for leaders to lose their balance by focusing on only one of these dynamics at the expense of the other…The key then to leadership is accomplishing the tasks at hand while building relationships.”
3) “When you cut people off in midsentence…it sends some bad message…your feelings of respect must aligned with you actions of respect.”
4) “…a leader is someone who identifies and meets the legitimate needs of their people, removes all the barriers, so they can serve the customer. Again, to lead you must serve.”
5) “Leadership Model: Leadership, Authority, Service and Sacrifice, Love, Will”
6) “Love and Leadership: a) Patience: Showing Self-Control b) Kindness: Giving Attention, Appreciation, and Encouragement c) Humility: Being Authentic and Without Pretense or Arrogance d) Respectfulness: Treating Others as Important People e) Selflessness: Meeting the Needs of Others f) Forgiveness: Giving up Resentment when Wronged g) Honesty: Being Free from Deception h) Commitment: Sticking to your Choices i) Results: Service and Sacrifice: Setting Aside your own wants and needs; seeking the greatest good for others.”
7) “My definition of motivation is any communication that influences choice. As leaders, we can provide the necessary friction but people must make their own choice to change.”
8) “Thoughts become actions, actions become habits, habits become our character, and our character becomes our destiny.”
9) “Joy is a much deeper phenomenon (than happiness) that is not based on outward circumstances…Joy is about inner satisfaction and the conviction of knowing that you are truly aligned with the deep and unchanging principles of life. Serving others breaks you free from the shackles of self and self-absorption that choke out the joy of living.”