Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power And Greatness

by Robert K. Greenleaf. Paulist Press, 2002.

Calling for institutions to continually develop people’s servant leadership capacity, author Robert Greenleaf explores the “servant leadership” concept in three institutional settings: the church, the academy, and the corporation. Greenleaf wants institutions to be “people-builders” more than “people-users,” but sees this happening only when leaders (as executives or as trustees) move their institutions toward “people building.” Ultimately, an institution’s leaders must ask whether those served—inside and outside the institution—are growing as persons. Are they becoming healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servant leaders? The author, founder of the Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership, calls for vision, for constant touch with undergirding values, and for staying power when things aren't working out well. Presenting a paradigm of leadership roles and tasks, 'Servant Leadership' urges congregational leaders toward those better practices that enable both institutions and persons to survive and grow. But the book may be most useful as an annual re-acquaintance with the meaning and urgency of one's own life at home and in the world.