Robert K Greenleaf published his essays on leadership in 1977. Today, leaders around the world treasure his outlook and ideas about leadership.
AMAZON Description of Servant Leadership:
Twenty-five years ago Robert Greenleaf published these prophetic essays on what he coined servant leadership, a practical philosophy that replaces traditional autocratic leadership with a holistic, ethical approach. This highly influential book has been embraced by cutting edge management everywhere. Yet in these days of Enron and what VISA CEO Dee Hock calls our "era of massive institutional failure," Greenleaf's seminal work must reach the mainstream now more than ever. Servant Leadership helps leaders find their true power and moral authority to lead. It helps those served become healthier, wiser, freer, and more autonomous. This book encourages collaboration, trust, listening, and empowerment. It offers long-lasting change, not a temporary fix and extends beyond business for leaders of all types of groups.
Greenleaf was born in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1904. After graduating from Carleton College in Minnesota, he went to work for AT&T. For the next forty years he researched management, development, and education. All along, he felt a growing suspicion that the power-centered authoritarian leadership style so prominent in U.S. institutions was not working, and in 1964 he took an early retirement to found the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership (first called the "Center for Applied Ethics).
Of his philosophy, Robert Greenleaf wrote in "Essentials",
"The servant-leader is servant first... Becoming a servant-leader begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first... The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant first to make sure that other people's highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and the most difficult to administer, is this: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?"