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's continual refinement of his servant as leader concept focusing on issues such as spirit commitment to vision and seeing things whol. Outstanding core information of the most insightful prescription for leadership with purpose

review The Power of Servant Leadership

The Power of Servant Leadership

Ant Leadership These pieces were designed to stimulate and inspire people in the practice of a caring leadership and reflect Greenleaf. 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 essaysTo be honest I had a hard time getting through 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 leadershipThe book might be a good read for those who have not come into contact with the phrase servant leadership before but it will probably seem redundant to the younger generation

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The Power of Servant Leadership is a collection of Robert Greenleaf's finest and most mature works and an unexpected seuel to his Serv. The title is a sufficient caption for anyone who is charged with the responsibility of leading According to a famous statement of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him Each one of you is a shepherd for his flock continuing to explain in his own wisely succinct manner that leadership comes in varying degrees and forms Greenleaf s message is that society is better because of the service its members render to one another That ethic of service must be emulated in its leaders Truthfully this is not just Greenleaf s hypothesis This is the message of every great faith tradition Greenleaf expounds on it at length in this collection of essays compiled by Larry C Spears of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership Greenleaf wrote these essays in what he calls his most productive years after retiring from his position as director of management research at ATT While Greenleaf died in 1990 the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership continues to propagate the Servant Leader concept through publications conferences and other training opportunitiesThis book does not contain the seminal essay on the subject but there is enough thought provoking material here to inform the initiate Many of the essays included in this volume are available individually while of Greenleaf s writing is accessible in other volumes Though it is not light reading it is valuable for community leaders especially board members and trustees but really anyone who serves in a leadership roleI took my time reading the various essays over a period of about six months reflecting as I did so on my own practices as a Principal at a private Muslim school Practical experience in leadership has been humbling in that it was far easier as a student to expound upon the virtues of epitomizing a servant leader than it is to actually live up to the ideals Yet I still hold the concept in esteem Reading these essays over this length of time offered me the critical reminder especially at frustrating times that indeed true leadership is rendered through serviceFor schools this is also a critical message Each one of you is a shepherd for his flock Board members are the shepherds for our institutions The Imam is shepherd for the community The Principal is the shepherd for the school The teachers are shepherds for their students Parents are the shepherds of their children The analogy of being a shepherd lends itself well to the servant leader concept How effective is a shepherd that orders his flock about or coerces the flock through verbal or physical assault Rather the shepherd takes care of the flock He guides its members to water and green pastures He tends to them and protects them from eminent danger The difference though is that in schools the flocks are not sheep The shepherd in a school knows that his mission is to foster a new generation of shepherds not sheep This next generation will emulate the training and leadership exemplified by the parents teachers and the administrative leadership in the school Much of this is discussed in an address to the faculty of Barnard College in Education and Maturity Interestingly Greenleaf points out that the root of administrator administrare means to serve At times when I am cajoled by those who would have me resort to of a managerial style I recall Greenleaf s emphasis on persuasive versus coercive means of getting things done This too is instructive for board members and trustees According to Greenleaf the chair is expendable the administrator is not Interesting concept though in my own experience both the attitude and the actions are usually the other way around No wonder that there is such a wide call for imams and principals while I have yet to see a community doing a nationwide search for board members The idea is absurd Board members are drawn from the existing populace as trustees over the institutions that the community collectively builds In this sense they can come and go with each new election perhaps they should in order to reflect any changes in demographics However the professionals they hire must offer the long term stability the community reuires This stability comes through the mission of the institution The trustees as a representative council of the community establish the mission and then invest their power in the leaders they ve chosen to carry it out Both become servants to the mission Neither is subservient to the other Greenleaf offers insights for leadership in both categories I also appreciated Greenleaf s discussion of our current lack of leadership nationwide in his essay The Leadership Crisis This is a crisis the American Muslim community faces now too when our national publications are rife with solicitations for imams principals and teachers It is the burden of our schools to provide a generation of American Muslims who will be adeuately trained and socialized to fill this genuine need In another essay entitled Have You a Dream Deferred Greenleaf discusses the vision and other ualities necessary to lead effectively A third essay discusses another pertinent idea to Muslims the importance of religious leadership not just because it offers a bedrock of morality but because it inspires How many Muslims find inspiration at the masjid Building on this theme Greenleaf also discusses an idea that will become relevant to Muslims in the next ten years the role of seminaries in providing the kind of training for the individual religious leaders who must someday provide that sense of inspiration direction and hope New initiatives such as ISNA s Summer Leadership Institute and Imam Yusuf Zia Kavakci s Suffa Islamic Seminary at the Islamic Association of North Texas will usher in a new wave of institution building among the Muslims of North America It will be instructive for community leaders to study the ideas of Greenleaf and others who have written extensively on these issuesThere are other gems here too such as the last two essays of the book one of which My Debt to EB White intrigued me because I knew little about EB White other than that he is the author of Charlotte s Web He actually wrote for The New Yorker for many years and authored several other children s books What I enjoyed about Greenleaf s essay on him is the illustration of the way a person s ualities are taught transmitted through their work According to Greenleaf he is indebted to White for teaching him to see things whole another powerful ualifier for leadership and a central component of what Muslim educators are calling tawhidic education Ironically I recently heard the story of a Muslim teacher who suffered a great deal of hardship from the parents and board members at her school because of her insistence on teaching Charlotte s Web Their problem was that the main character was a pig and because of the cultural repugnance of the pig the lesson of learning to see things whole was lost The final essay Old Age The Ultimate Test of Spirit caused me to reflect on the need for Muslims to exemplify their values toward our elders by finding ways to honor them in our Islamic centers and schools by incorporating service from and service to the senior members Adopting non Muslim seniors who have been abandoned to nursing homes would seem to be another very progressive form of community outreach Not for the purpose of proselytizing but simply to demonstrate a commitment to our values Greenleaf wrote the essay in his eighties and it is instructive to note that what he considered his own most valuable work occurred after he retired from ATT And it is for this work of consulting and promoting the servant leader concept that he is now most rememberedMatthew MoesMay 27 2006


10 thoughts on “The Power of Servant Leadership

  1. says:

    Introductory SummaryThe editor of this book is Larry C Spears who at the time of this writing is the CEO of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership since 1990 The foundation for this book is grounded in the person of Robert K Greenleaf who is the father of Servant Leadership Theory Back in 1970 he wrote a small essay called “The Servant

  2. says:

    A book of immense hope that saves its best essay for the end

  3. says:

    The title is a sufficien

  4. says:

    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 essaysTo be honest I had a hard time getting through 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 thes

  5. says:

    Excellent read for anyone in a leadership position or aspiring to such a position In much of the book he speaks to young people It’s kind of a popular thing right now to have high school classes on leadership;

  6. says:

    Greenleaf had a lot of gems of wisdom in this book but some essays were better than others I really enjoyed the essays on the religious leader as servant the one about EB White and another on Greenleaf's reflections about growing old I found the seminary as servant and the essay about trustees in seminaries less interesting or helpfulAll in all Greenleaf has a lot of really significant ideas and servant leader

  7. says:

    This book challenged my thinking in regard to the role of the seminary and theological education within the church world I appreciate much of what it says I have been exposed to the idea of servant leadership in the past However I was rather surprised to understand the implicit connection that the author appears to make between servant leade

  8. says:

    Outstanding core information of the most insightful prescription for leadership with purpose

  9. says:

    A collection of Greenleaf writings through the years Thought provoking and timeless the concepts he explores will stand the test of time

  10. says:

    Like diving through sludge to find pearls

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