To lead is not to be “the boss,” the “head honcho,” or “the brass.”
To lead is to serve.
Although serving may imply weakness to some, conjuring up a picture of the CEO waiting on the workforce hand and foot, servant leadership is actually a robust, revolutionary idea that can have significant impact on an organization’s performance.
Jim Hunter champions this hard/soft approach to leadership, which turns bosses and managers into coaches and mentors. By “hard,” Hunter means that servant leaders can be hard-nosed, even autocratic, when it comes to the basics of running the business: determining the mission (where the company is headed) and values (what the rules are that govern the journey) and setting standards and accountability. Servant leaders don’t commission a poll or take a vote when it comes to these critical fundamentals. After all, that’s what a leader’s job is, and people look to the leader to set the course and establish standards.
But once that direction is provided, servant leaders turn the organizational structure upside down. They focus on giving employees everything they need to win, be it resources, time, guidance, or inspiration. Servant leaders know that providing for people and engaging hearts and minds foster a workforce that understands the benefits of striving for the greater good. The emphasis is on building authority, not power; on exerting influence, not intimidation.
While many believe that servant leadership is a wonderful, inspiring idea, what’s been missing is the how-to, the specifics of implementation. Jim Hunter shows how to do the right thing for the people you lead. A servant leader or a self-serving leader: Which one are you? With Jim Hunter’s guidance, everyone has the potential to develop into a leader with character who leads with authority.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The World's Most Powerful Leadership Principle|
|Release Date: 06-29-2004|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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The World's Most Powerful Leadership Principle
"There are no weak platoons- only weak leaders."
General William Creech
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, I BEGAN MY CAREER WORKING in the field of labor and employee relations. My territory was the same area where I was born and raised: Detroit, also known as the Motor City, the home of the American labor movement and arguably one of the toughest labor areas in the United States.
In my late twenties, I left a private company after serving as personnel director (that's what they called them back then) and became an independent labor-relations consultant working with organizations experiencing labor problems. The typical "employee problems" were union organizing drives, strikes, violence, sabotage, low morale, low commitment, high absenteeism, and excessive turnover.
As a relatively young business consultant, I felt intimidated upon entering potential client organizations. I would often find myself sitting nervously across from powerful CEOs, invariably men, sitting arrogantly behind an expensive mahogany desk, dressed to the max, and sometimes even puffing on the proverbial cigar.
They would usually begin by saying something like, "We've got some pretty serious problems here, son."
Eager to please my potential clients, I would politely nod my head in agreement as I peered out their windows at the violence and the fires burning down below.
"Yes, sir," I would reply, trying to sound confident and self-assured. "We do seem to have some problems here. I think we should begin by..."
As if not hearing a word I said, they would interrupt with "Let me tell you wha