“Servant leadership” is a conception that was invented by Robert Greenleaf and since that time it became very popular. It is not surprising, because this model of leadership has a lot of advantages, which help to promote the success of different organizations. “Servant leadership” is considered to be a timeless concept, because it was used back then, is used nowadays, and is a very spread approach for the management in religious, business, and education institutions. In his book, Robert Greenleaf masterfully showed the superiority of servant leadership to other forms of leadership.
The book begins with the foreword by Stephen R. Covey, where he praises the book and says that this book had a great direct and indirect influence on the organizations during the last twenty-five years. The book itself is divided into twelve parts, and the information presented in these parts confirms readers of the effectiveness of the given model of leadership. The first part of the book speaks about the possibility of the usage of two roles at the same time (these are servant and leader). At first sight it may seem that this fusion is impossible, but Greenleaf persuades readers that it is not so, and the great leader was a servant first.
Further Greenleaf speaks about servant leadership in business, education, foundations, and churches. He explores the idea of servant responsibility in a bureaucratic society, and America and world leadership. In the postscript of the book Greenleaf summarizes all the information saying that servant-leader is different from other people. The main point is that the servant-leader does everything according to his or her beliefs. Servant leaders know something experimenting. Every servant can be considered to be a leader, because he or she is influenced by the example. Greenleaf tells readers about the hierarchy of modern institutions, which have three levels. The first level comprises governments, businesses, schools, families, communities, social agencies, etc. The second level includes universities and churches. Theological seminaries and foundations belong to the third level of hierarchy. There is a gap between opportunity and performance in these three levels.
The book Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness by Robert Greenleaf is a very good and useful book. It shows that the hierarchical principle of the organization can not bring success to it. Those people, who are on the top of the pyramid, are not happy people, they do not have colleagues, but subordinates, and as a result, they want to be powerful. This does not lead to the success of the organization, but it may result in its failure. In his book, Greenleaf offered to use a Roman model of organization. There is no longer a team with one main person, all people are equal, and the main person in the team uses a method of persuasion to encourage other members to do their best. This book has gone far ahead of its time and is one of the great examples of the book on a practical philosophy.
Summarizing all which was said above, I would like to say that Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness is a very influential book, which helps leaders around the world to conduct their affairs effectively. A lot of books were written on the basis of this particular book, and this fact proves that the work by Robert Greenleaf is very important and has a great influence on society. The success of a company or an organization is based on trust and caring for each other, and without these factors everything else would have been in vain. The book by Greenleaf gives very valuable lessons on how an organization can become successful.