As a leader, servant leadership is one of the most important attributes you can embrace. It’s about developing and implementing a mindset that puts the needs of others first and making sure everyone understands and follows this philosophy in your organization. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of five great books about servant leadership that will teach you everything you need to know about this trait.
Plus, reading increases your emotional intelligence and improves career outlooks. So whether you’re a business owner or a manager, these books will help you develop skills to lead effectively and compassionately. Happy reading!
5 Books About Servant Leadership You Should Add to Your Nightstand
1. Servant Leadership
- Tag Line: A Journey Into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness
- Author: Robert K. Greenleaf
This year, you should start your reading marathon with Robert Greenleaf’s Classic — Servant Leadership. This book is perfect for anyone looking to learn what servant leadership means in today’s modern workplace environment.
Greenleaf was AT&T’s top executive and a visiting lecturer at Harvard Business School and MIT’s School of Management. His ideas in this book empowered many leaders to change their perceptions of running their companies. It offers new insight into growing a company with its people directly growing with it.
We suggest reading this one first. Because after knowing what is expected from today’s servant leader, you can continue with other books and find out how to be one.
- The key classic concepts modern leaders need to adapt today.
- Developing a culture of powering people for organizational success.
2. Leaders Eat Last
- Tag Line: Why Some Teams Pull Together, and Others Don’t
- Author: Simon Sinek
The author of one of the best sellers in recent years — Start With Why? — Simon Sinek offers another masterpiece, Leaders Eat Last. The book encompasses great insights into building a successful and trustful workplace environment to avoid the empty hierarchal structures that ruin workplace cultures.
Also, if you’re wondering why the title is Leaders Eat Last? It’s because Sinek got the inspiration for this when speaking to a Marine Corps General who mentioned that officers eat last. In simple words, leaders put the needs of their team above their own, setting the tone for the whole company.
- Key insights on building a culture that is based on trust.
- How to navigate around the failures that can result in infighting.
3. The Servant Leader
- Tag Line: How to Build a Creative Team, Develop Great Morale, and Improve Bottom-Line Performance
- Author: James A. Autry
Autry is a former Fortune 500 executive who writes about how one can manage his team with honesty, spirituality, love, and respect. Consequently, this book is filled with practical insights into how you should go about evolving into a servant leader, especially in unfavorable situations like crises and conflicts.
Moreover, the book is not just about training yourself to be a great servant leader. As a result, you’ll also learn how to train your managers and team members to be future servant leaders.
- How to leverage respect, love, and spirituality to manage your team.
- Training your successors to be great servant leaders.
4. The Power of Positive Leadership
- Tag Line: How and Why Positive Leaders Transform Teams, Organizations and Change The World
- Author: Jon Gordon
What’s the one thing that helps you get through the most challenging times of your life? Hope, right? And how does that hope grow inside of you? Through positivity! This is what this book is all about. Leaders come across many adversities and challenges, and that’s why they need to adopt a positive mindset.
Don’t get us wrong. This isn’t one of those self-help books that tell you to be positive without telling you how or tell you to just fake it till you make it. Consequently, this one is about building a positive workplace culture, pushing through obstacles, developing committed teams, and achieving maximum results.
Moreover, the book contains a practical framework of Jon’s research that anyone can use to become a positive servant leader.
- Why a positive mindset and leadership style is the best way to lead.
- Practical steps to evolve through and tackle leadership challenges positively.
5. The Serving Leader
- Tag Line: Five Powerful Actions to Transform Your Team, Business, and Community
- Authors: Ken Jennings and John Stahl-Wert
Leaders cannot just demand greatness from their employees, they have to inspire it, and that’s the book’s motto. As a result, the authors use a compelling fictional story to talk about the basics of servant leadership. However, all of it is based on real people and organizations and their results through servant leadership principles.
Moreover, it focuses on the personal growth of a leader, Mike, who embraced servant leadership and what he learned 12 years later.
What puts this book among the best books about servant leadership is that it touches the concept on two different levels. One talks about the practical steps to implementing servant leadership. The deeper level sheds light on the personal growth journey of a leader and what it requires.
- Learn about real people and real organizations and what they did to achieve results.
- Practical actions you need to take to transform yourself and your organization.
Let’s Finish These Books About Servant Leadership This Year
Reading these five books about servant leadership will help you better understand the concept. As a result, they’ll also equip you with the mindset to become a successful leader.
So consider buying them right now and start flipping pages the day they arrive. Let’s make a pact to implement their principles this year.
Whether you’re a senior executive looking to take your career to the next level or just starting out in your professional journey, these books will help you grow in all the right ways.