The Servant - Book Review

"The Servant" was recommended to me several years ago during a class I took on Organizational Leadership. I didn't read it then, but got it for Christmas this year and decided it was time to read it.

"The Servant" is a fable about a man named John Daily, a man who seemed to have achieved the American Dream by all outward appearances: high-powered job, beautiful wife, good kids, nice home, expensive cars, and a pleasure boat for his spare time. In reality, John's life was falling apart.

On his pastor's recommendation, and somewhat begrudgingly, John goes to a retreat at a monastery where the focus is on helping leaders lead better. The program is led by a man who was an extremely successful leader prior to choosing the monastic life. "The Servant" chronicles the lessons of that week.

The actual storyline of the book is pretty cheesy, honestly, but the leadership lessons are worth the cheese.

Several years ago I began talking about servant leadership as an inverted pyramid, where leadership happens from the bottom up rather than the top down. I don't know who I stole that concept from, but I think they stole it from this book. No harm, no foul, because the book admits it stole the concept from Jesus.

This isn't a religious book, though it unashamedly points to Jesus as the quintessential leader.

This book is a quick read worth any leader's time. If you can push through some of the cheesy dialogue included just for the sake of the story, you'll uncover some profound leadership insight that every leader needs to uncover.