BlaServ 10-11-158

The Servant Leader

Transforming Your Heart, Head, Hands, & Habits


Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges

J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, 2003, 123 pp.   

ISBN 0-8499-9659-7



This beautiful little One-Minute-Manager-style, inspirational, gift book explores what it means to lead like Jesus.  In it, Blanchard gives a very clear Christian testimony, quotes Scripture, and uses case studies from the Bible to illustrate various principles.  The authors' hope for the book is that you will "experience Jesus in a whole different way.  To grow to trust Him as the perfect One to follow as you seek to lead others." (11) 


The section on the heart begins with contrasting self-serving leaders versus servant leaders.  Among other things, those who serve others are much more likely to do succession planning.


Is your leadership EGO Edging God Out or Exalting God Only? (26)  We edge God out when we worship something else, rely on something else for security, make others our major audience for self-worth, and lose intimacy with Him and others. (29)  Keep first things first (Matthew 6:33). 


The head represents the leader's belief system and perspective on leadership. 


"No organization will rise above the passion of the leader." (45)  "Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained…" (Proverbs 29:18)  "Your mission needs to rouse people and get them into the act of forgetfulness about themselves." (46)  "What business are you in that excites people?" (47)  "…too many leaders think their full-time job is making other people feel unimportant." (48)


Your values:  What do you stand for?  How do you want people to behave? (50) 


You know the questions on the final exam.  (What did you do with Jesus?  What did you do with the resources you were given in life?)  (52) 


Self-serving leaders assume the sheep are there for the benefit of the shepherd.  All the organization's energy flows up the hierarchy.  Effective implementation requires turning the hierarchy upside down so the customer service people, closest to the customer, are empowered for decision making. 


Servant Leadership involves setting the vision, defining and modeling operating values, creating the follower environment, and moving to the bottom of the hierarchy with service in mind.  (59)


Consider people's development as an equal goal to their performance.  (68) 


"Before something can become a habit it must first be practiced as a discipline."  "On a daily basis, effective servant leaders recalibrate their commitment to their vision--purpose, picture of the future, and values--through use of five disciplines that were an integral part of what Jesus practiced during His earthly walk:

  • Solitude -- Spending time alone with God
  • Prayer -- Speaking with God
  • Storing Up God's Word -- Preparing for the challenges that were yet to come
  • Faith in God's Unconditional Love -- Proceeding with confidence grounded in trust
  • Involvement in Accountability Relationships -- Sharing His vulnerability"  (86)


"We all need trusted truth-tellers, preferably those not directly impacted by what we do, who can help us keep on course." (103)  "Feedback is a gift."  "Bring truth-tellers into your life, and they'll be there if they know that you'll listen." (105)


This is a beautiful little book, by a highly respected author and business consultant, to give to your friends in leadership.


 * * * * * *

Your comments and book recommendations are welcome.

To discontinue receiving book notes, hit Reply and put Discontinue in the text.