3 Classic Books That Inspire Servant Leadership

LEADING AT A HIGHER LEVEL By Ken Blanchard

The book’s back cover says, “The book will guide you, inspire you, provoke you and be your touchtone. Discover how to go beyond the short term and zero in on the right target and vision. Deliver legendary, maniacal customer service, and earn raving fans. Truly empower your people and unleash their incredible potential. Ground your leadership in humility and focus on the greater good.” This book has taught me the power of servant leadership! It has been with me for quite some time, and I always go back to it to refresh and inspire me. It’s a book I highly recommend for leaders, whether you are an experienced, a new or a young one. I like it that Ken Blanchard wrote and dedicated the book to “all leaders in the world who are trying every day to lead at a higher level. May you keep your energy high and know that what you are doing makes a difference.”

THE 8TH HABIT: FROM EFFECTIVENESS TO GREATNESS By Stephen R. Covey

My consulting partner, Paulette Lirio, best described the personal impact of this book after she read it in 2009: “Since the shift happened during the global recession, each citizen has to find a way to move on in quest of new solutions and successes. Success while relative may be defined very differently this time when each individual need to find new sources of energy in themselves to thrive and ride the wave of the still unstable global economy. Tapping deep into inner resources each person has and helping others do the same is something meaningful to me since transformation is a necessity in all social fronts. To be successful though in this transformation work, I have to work primarily in developing my emotional intelligence so I can transcend obstacles that may hinder my personal transformation work and the transformation work I am involved with my family, business community, church community and greater society. Trust and the speed of creating and sustaining trusting relationships are very much in the heart of it and are called for in all my relationships. I just thought this is a very basic core need from the first stage of our human development that if broken becomes a lifetime issue hindering us from our personal and leadership effectiveness.”

THE SERVANT By James C. Hunter

This book took me through the story of a businessman whose outwardly successfully life was out of control – as a boss, husband, father and coach. He reluctantly attended a retreat at a Benedictine monastery and learned from a monk the principles of servant leadership. Leadership is often associated with power. James Hunter associated leadership with authority, which he said was “about who you are as a person, your character, and the influence you’ve built with people.” Yes, power can get the job done but “what about the people’s hearts, minds, commitment, excellence, creativity and ideas? Are these not gifts that must be volunteered? Can you order or demand these?”

The book reviews were written by Elaine Cercado and Paulette Lirio. This article was also posted in LinkedIn.

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