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The Serving Leader: Five Powerful Actions to Transform Your Team, Business, and Community

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30 review for The Serving Leader: Five Powerful Actions to Transform Your Team, Business, and Community

  1. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This was a great book about serving leadership - slightly different than servant leadership! Told with a moving story and connects to the heart. I really appreciated the insights regarding person growth and maturity at the end. That maturity piece challenges me daily! Also striking - "humans have irreducible value...Human beings are not valuable because of their doings; they are valuable simply because they are...great leaders understand this, and they devote themselves to valuing their people a This was a great book about serving leadership - slightly different than servant leadership! Told with a moving story and connects to the heart. I really appreciated the insights regarding person growth and maturity at the end. That maturity piece challenges me daily! Also striking - "humans have irreducible value...Human beings are not valuable because of their doings; they are valuable simply because they are...great leaders understand this, and they devote themselves to valuing their people as people. They also exercise great patience in this work because the workers who come to them have not all had the same experiences of being valued in their past." We may judge others for not 'showing up' or following through, but some people are not used to being valued; and therefore, don't have commitment to following through or showing up because their efforts (and simply them as individuals) have not been appreciated or valued in the past. Show them you value them and they will show up! Never stop growing! You're either growing or dying. "To be alive is to learn and to grow."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Templeton

    Reading this book was research for my internship project, and I absolutely loved it. I’m immensely excited to use this framework to create a training workshop in a people helping people environment.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marc

    That this work has so many 5-star reviews is an indictment of business and Christian writing today, given that a poorly-executed cliche-ridden unrealistic overly-emotional data-deprived "story" can be considered "ground-breaking," "life-changing," "insightful," etc. I've read enough business books to know that few of them have enough information to actually warrant a book. They tend to rely too heavily on stories and not enough on demonstrated results, and their grand ideas are typically unprove That this work has so many 5-star reviews is an indictment of business and Christian writing today, given that a poorly-executed cliche-ridden unrealistic overly-emotional data-deprived "story" can be considered "ground-breaking," "life-changing," "insightful," etc. I've read enough business books to know that few of them have enough information to actually warrant a book. They tend to rely too heavily on stories and not enough on demonstrated results, and their grand ideas are typically unproven. However, this one exceeds them all by having the entire thing written allegedly as a person's journal as he follows his dying father's wishes to learn a better way of doing business. Every person the "author" (Mike) meets is attractive, compelling, wise, and flawless; every few pages the father becomes tearful as his son gains some new insight, and the son becomes tearful at his father's tearfulness, and then others around them become tearful at all the emotion, which revolves around statements like "Raise the bar." The son is shepherded around town by a wise sherpa who asks questions that let Mike gain new insights and coalesce all of these teachings into a single diagram with a few pithy sayings. The upshot? This book's take away is a single diagram with a few pithy sayings (more of an HBR article than a book, though HBR would probably want some evidence that any of this makes a difference). There is no research and essentially no support for any of this (the real authors include a reading list that is almost never referenced in the book itself, save for a comment like "Dad and I reviewed this author's work for a while"). The book is filled with stories "based on real-life examples" (that are never named), cloyingly sweet and obvious dialogue, and characters that really like exclamation points! And crying! And asking Socratic questions of Mike!!! The Christian aspect isn't pushed but gradually comes out. While Mike's father assures us that Jews, Muslims, and even those without faith can benefit from their ideas, most of the major characters carry around Bibles, pray frequently, and give spontaneous Bible lessons on Nehemiah. I found it interesting that the authors essentially hide this, as though they're worried readers would be turned off by seeing it's a faith-based book. In short, the book is horribly written, has no evidence or support for its claims, and can be easily summarized in a few pages. Few people will argue with the ideas--run to great purpose; upend the pyramid; raise the bar; blaze the trail; build on strengths--but I can't imagine many "a-ha" moments coming from reading it. For readers of the 2016 edition, they get an update on Mike! He got married! And is still following the principles! And his life and work are far superior all thanks to his deceased father! It's enough to make you want to cry...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bill Pence

    This best-selling leadership classic, which no less of a leadership expert as Ken Blanchard has called “the most practical guide available to implementing servant leadership in your life and work” has been revised and updated with a helpful new chapter in a 10th Anniversary Edition. The authors use a compelling and at times quite touching fictional story based on real characters to outline the basics of what they call “Serving Leadership”. Much as leadership fables by Patrick Lencioni and Mark M This best-selling leadership classic, which no less of a leadership expert as Ken Blanchard has called “the most practical guide available to implementing servant leadership in your life and work” has been revised and updated with a helpful new chapter in a 10th Anniversary Edition. The authors use a compelling and at times quite touching fictional story based on real characters to outline the basics of what they call “Serving Leadership”. Much as leadership fables by Patrick Lencioni and Mark Miller do, this book, though written as fiction, is based on real people, organizations and results achieved. The story revolves around the relationship between Mike Wilson and his successful and respected father Robert Taylor Wilson, the CEO of his organization. Their relationship hasn’t been the best, to say the least. Robert often wasn’t there for Mike growing up. Now he reaches out to Mike, saying that he is ill and needs Mike to step in for him for a while. When Mike gets to Philadelphia, he is introduced to the “No-Name Team”. They introduce him to the concept of “the Serving Leader”. He is told that this approach paradoxically turns almost all previous thinking about leadership and turns it on its head. To demonstrate this they use an upside-down pyramid. The plan was for Mike to spend time with each member of the team focusing on the person’s key projects, learning both by observation and getting to work on some of the projects. After Mike finds out that his father is very ill and doesn’t have much time left, he realizes that he has three objectives: Learn what Serving Leaders do and how their approach works Use the upside-down pyramid to structure what he learns Be with his father while he dies We follow Mike as he spends time with each member of the “No-Name Team”, learning the concepts of a Serving Leader. That leads him to write a job description for the Serving Leader. A summary of that description, using the upside-down pyramid, is that Serving Leaders: Run to Great Purpose Upend the Pyramid Raise the Bar Blaze the Trail Build on Strength A helpful new chapter for the 10th Anniversary Edition is “Mike Wilson’s Updates”. In the years since we last heard from Mike, he shares lessons for personal growth and organizational performance by utilizing the Five Powerful Actions of the Serving Leader, putting each lesson into one or another of the actions. So many themes in the book resonated with me as I too have a passion for serving (servant) leadership, helping people find work that plays to their strengths, learning from failure, etc. I highly recommend this book, which would be a good one to read and discuss with your leadership team or those you are mentoring.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    A for effort. In an attempt to spice up a 'boring business book', this book is a fictional journal about real concepts. Which sounds really cool. The last chapter of the 2016 version is a summary that details the real lessons, and is the only part of the book I wish I read. The other part seems like the author worked very hard on it. There are two things Jennings could really improve on in his writing craft: showing (not telling), and using the word 'said'. Not every sentence, of course, but so A for effort. In an attempt to spice up a 'boring business book', this book is a fictional journal about real concepts. Which sounds really cool. The last chapter of the 2016 version is a summary that details the real lessons, and is the only part of the book I wish I read. The other part seems like the author worked very hard on it. There are two things Jennings could really improve on in his writing craft: showing (not telling), and using the word 'said'. Not every sentence, of course, but some of the action tags get a little silly, and a few make no sense. It really clutters up the 'story'. I would have loved this book to be a series of case studies. The main character is clearly fictional, so I assume the case studies are as well. As such, what is the point? This book is intended to impart real-life advice, but does so by presenting fake stories, some of which feel more fake than others. The whole subplot about his dad is silly. It's stereotypical (oh no, Dad's dying, and I hate him, but maybe, he could love me? Oh, he really did love me? I never want to leave his side! He died. I was sad, but his legacy lives on, and I talk to him in my journal sometimes because he's not really gone). You will like this book if: you don't read the whole thing, you haven't read a fiction book since 1987, or you have to read everything in the house or die of boredom. I had to read this book for school, so I'm just glad it's short. Took me less than an hour.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Simpson

    As a business book, The Serving Leader: Five Powerful Actions to Transform Your Team, Business, and Community surprised me. The narrative of this book was linear, making you want to keep reading (listening for me; the narrator of the audiobook was well articulated and pleasant to listen to) to see how the story progresses. I really enjoyed how this book focused on the relationships and conversations that the narrator had rather than getting into the technical details of the different businesses As a business book, The Serving Leader: Five Powerful Actions to Transform Your Team, Business, and Community surprised me. The narrative of this book was linear, making you want to keep reading (listening for me; the narrator of the audiobook was well articulated and pleasant to listen to) to see how the story progresses. I really enjoyed how this book focused on the relationships and conversations that the narrator had rather than getting into the technical details of the different businesses that were discussed. I think that we tend to learn more from narrative than from looking at a bunch of metrics. Focusing on the qualitative was a fitting theme since this book focuses a lot on companies finding their WHY, giving meaning to their work, and inspiring meaning in the work of their employees. I certainly recommend this book to anyone working in business, especially in an Agile environment.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Timojhen

    Quick read but a lot of quality points. I’m a big fan of the notion of being a servant leader so this resonated easy with me. I do like the storytelling approach taken as it’s more engaging than textbook approach and humanizes the points. Could be an effective conversation starter for a team since it’d not take a huge investment in time to get everyone through it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Karen Hutchinson Hurley

    Great book - quick read

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dano

    May have changed my life. We’ll see

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matt Mccarty

    A modern fable that serves to clarify the concepts of servant leadership. Easy to read and apply.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nathalie Karasek

  12. 5 out of 5

    J

  13. 5 out of 5

    Juan-Ton

  14. 5 out of 5

    jeremy beasley

  15. 5 out of 5

    Frederica O'Donnell

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dominik Dopplinger

  18. 5 out of 5

    Randall Gwin

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kimmie Workentine

  20. 5 out of 5

    DWTPL Kindle Set 18

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mariusz

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jay

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dennis K Knudson

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bradley A Ross

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tim Greydos

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Mcdermott

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mirjana Trobok

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeannette

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michel Van Huisstede

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mihai Ciobanu

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