On Becoming a Servant Leader: The Private Writings of Robert K. Greenleaf

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Delve into the personal writings of the grandfather of the modern empowerment movement in business leadership. In this collection of previously unpublished works, imminent writer, consultant and lecturer Robert Greenleaf shares his personal and professional philosophy, which postulates that true leaders are those who lead by serving others. Spanning a time frame of fifty years, these essays and lectures touch on such key issues as power, ethics, management, organizations, and servanthood. And they offer the ...
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Overview

Delve into the personal writings of the grandfather of the modern empowerment movement in business leadership. In this collection of previously unpublished works, imminent writer, consultant and lecturer Robert Greenleaf shares his personal and professional philosophy, which postulates that true leaders are those who lead by serving others. Spanning a time frame of fifty years, these essays and lectures touch on such key issues as power, ethics, management, organizations, and servanthood. And they offer the reader a wealth of practical suggestions and useful information garnered through the course of a remarkable career.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Greenleaf is important reading. He wrote from the heart and envisioned a world we are each required to seek." (Peter Block, author of The Empowered Manager and Stewardship)

"During my years at MIT, Bob Greenleaf and I crossed paths for almost a year or so. I found him and his writings among the most original, useful, accessible, and moral on the topic of leadership." (Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business Adminstration, University of Southern California, and author of On Becoming a Leader and Why Leader's Can't Lead)

"Bob Greenleaf was a prophet before his time. His insightful thinking on servant-leadership is more relevant today than ever before. Reading these wonderful essays will uplift your heart and increase your effectiveness." (Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager)

Library Journal
This is one of two collections of writings (with Seeker and Servant, Jossey-Bass, 1996) by former AT&T chief Greenleaf published posthumously under the auspices of the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership in Indianapolis. Greenleaf has written extensively on "servant leadership" dealing with the uses, legitimacy, and requisite ethical constraints of power in daily life. These writings comprise a significant portion of Greenleaf's nonspiritual work. The first section, intended for young people, examines the "Ethic of Strength," while the essays on aspects of power, management, and organizations in the second section examine the practice of leadership. The book closes with a conversation with Greenleaf on the development of his thought, which has deeply influenced today's management writers. In a work of such scope, there are overlaps of coverage and points where the author's recommendations go beyond logical conclusions, but on the whole this is well worth the effort to explore it. A fine book that needs to be in academic, public, and corporate libraries.Littleton M. Maxwell, Univ. of Richmond, Va.
David Rouse
When he retired in 1964, Greenleaf was director of management research at AT & T, where he spent most of his career working in organizational research and development and in management education. He felt that the role of the organizational leader was fulfilled by serving employees, customers, and community. Similar ideas are popularly expressed today by writers who continue to credit Greenleaf, such as Peter Block, author of "Stewardship" 1993. After he retired, Greenleaf established the Center for Applied Ethics to promote his philosophy. Now called the Robert K. Greenleaf Center, it is headed by Larry Spears, who last year edited "Reflections on Leadership", an homage to Greenleaf consisting of essays by such notables as M. Scott Peck and Peter Senge, and who has also edited the work reviewed below. Spears and Don Frick, an archivist for the center, have pulled together this collection of Greenleaf's writing, which features his seminal "Ethic of Strength." Also included are a number of essays, a series of lectures delivered at Dartmouth, and excerpts from a series of conversations Greenleaf had in 1986 with colleague Dr. Joseph DiStefano.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787902308
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Series: J-B US non-Franchise Leadership Series , #156
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author

DON M. FRICK is an associate editor of the Greenleaf Archives Project.

LARRY C. SPEARS is executive director of the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership and editor of Reflections on Leadership (1995).

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Peter F. Drucker.

THE ETHIC OF STRENGTH: MANUSCRIPT FOR A BOOK.

1. Something to Hope For.

2. A Concept of Strength.

3. The Search.

4. The Requirements of Responsibility.

5. Openness to Knowledge.

6. The Practice of Openness.

7. The Future Is Now.

8. Entheos and Growth.

9. Purpose and Laughter.

10. A Dream.

ESSAYS ON POWER, MANAGEMENT, AND ORGANIZATIONS.

Business, Ethics, and Manipulation.

Coercion, Manipulation, and Persuasion: Reflections on a Strategy for Change.

Power in the Executive Office.

Lessons on Power.

Building the Ethic of Strength in Business.

Industry's Means for Personality Adjustment.

Behavioral Research: A Factor in Tomorrow's Better Management.

The Operator Versus the Conceptualizer: An Issue of Management Talents.

The Managerial Mind.

Growing Greatness in Managers.

My Work at AT&T: An Adventure in Spirit.

Manager, Administrator, Statesman.

The Making of a Distinguished Institution.

Retirement Communities.

LEADERSHIP AND THE INDIVIDUAL: THE DARTMOUTH LECTURES.

The Crisis of Leadership.

The Strategies of a Leader.

Leadership and the Unknown.

Leadership and Foresight.

The Individual as Leader.

IN PERSON WITH ROBERT K. GREENLEAF.

A Conversation with Robert K. Greenleaf.

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