Servant Leadership: Tear Down Pyramids, Empower Followers
by Samuel O. Enyia
Page Publishing, Inc.

"Thus, effective servant leader paradigm can only thrive in the culture where everyone is treated with dignity, respect and leaders are visible and approachable."

From corporate America to local church congregations, even all the way down to the family unit, leadership is typically found represented by a few individuals with power exerting it over a much larger number of individuals. This pyramid hierarchy model is what people are accustomed to thinking of when it comes to the relationship between a boss and the workers, but what happens when this model is literally turned on its head? In order to put people, whether the customer or the frontline employee first, those designated as leaders must work hard to serve their needs and put the power back in the hands of the people who most frequently need to use it.

While this new model of servant leadership may seem quite radical, this book illustrates companies already finding success with it and historical examples of leaders who have done the same. Outlining the qualities that a servant leader must exemplify, the author offers a clear and practical guide for anyone looking to change the culture of their organization no matter how big or small. Comparing servant leadership with other management styles, this book helps readers discover just how fulfilling and empowering it can be to delegate responsibly and meaningfully to others. Packed with plenty of research studies and references from government and business leaders who have already adopted servant leadership, there are a wealth of examples of this style already in place to instill confidence in anyone who thinks this could help their team. Leaders or managers of any kind can use this book to learn a better way to create an environment where everyone does their share and takes pride in the results.

The concept of the leader serving followers may seem foreign at first, but much attention is paid to revered historical figures who have already exemplified the values of this book. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and most accurately and famously, Jesus Christ, play prominent roles in this text as leaders from whom the reader can draw inspiration. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect or role in the servant leadership system, and space is even given to those who criticize the model in order to provide discussion for what pitfalls can befall a team using servant leadership or what behaviors need to be addressed before the model can succeed. Replete with case studies and success stories from the business world, readers should have all the evidence they need to make up their own minds.

This book does a great job of taking big picture ideas and portioning them out into sensible action plans or recipes that those who want to take these concepts and put them into action can follow. From the very cover, it’s easy to see how someone could say “I think that would work,” but putting it in place requires a complete cultural and procedural shift no matter how large or small the organization where it is being implemented. Each step of the process is broken down into crucial behaviors or critical actions that must be followed for the structure to be maintained and power to be distributed but not abused or hoarded. This is the kind of book that inspires and may be best consumed with a highlighter or notebook handy to reference its most key tenets. The transformational potential of these ideas is vast, and Dr. Enyia presents them in a way that communicates their benefits clearly and doesn’t just leave readers wondering “what if” but instead gives them the “how to” knowledge to enable change.

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