The Servant – A Book Summary

In order to lead, you must serve. This is the solid

premise of the book “The Servant” by James C. Hunter.

It is discussed through the tale of John Daily, a

business executive who starts to lose his grip as boss,

husband, father, and coach. He was talked into going

on a week-long retreat at a Benedictine Monastery to re-center and find his balance. During the retreat, a

former Wall Street legend turned monk shows

him a different perspective on leadership – servant leadership.

The Ten Attributes of Love and Leadership

The book enumerated the following as the qualities of

a servant leader. Incidentally, these are also the

attributes of love, which was defined earlier as one’s behavior towards others.

1. Patient – showing self-control.

2. Kind – giving attention, appreciation, and


3. Humble – being authentic without pretense or


4. Respectful – treating others as important people.

5. Selfless – meeting the needs of others.

6. Forgiving – giving up resentment when wronged.

7. Honest – being free from deception.

8. Committed – sticking to your choices.

All these behaviors will entail you to serve and

sacrifice for others. This would mean setting aside

your own wants and needs to focus on the legitimate

needs of others.

You need to realize that success does not only come

from hard work and appropriately playing the part.

To be successful in business and in your career, you

must be able to distinguish yourself from the rest

of the pack – you need to develop, build and defend

your reputation.

The Law of the Harvest

Remember: you reap what you sow. For authority or

influence to flourish, the right environment must be

provided and a nurturing behavior must be present. In

a garden, the soil, the sun, the water, the fertilizer,

and the care given by the gardener all make up the

environment under which the plant will grow and mature.

The one thing that you are not sure of, however, is

when the flowers will actually bloom. Bear in mind

that influence is not a magical beanstalk that will

sprout overnight; rather, it is

something that grows in time.

The Rewards of Leading with Authority

Leading with authority enables you to have a personal

mission statement: to serve the people you lead, to

listen to their needs, to give praise and recognition,

to show kindness, and to be honest, among other things.

When servant leadership becomes your ethos in life,

people would be lining up to join your cause.

By serving others and loving your neighbors, you are

keeping in line with the doctrines of the Church as

well as other religions. You mature psychologically

and spiritually, which is essentially the end goal of

the individual’s journey through life.

While the above payoffs are well and good, the most

important reward of all is the joy you will experience

when you put others first and free yourself from the

chains of self-centeredness. As a certain Dr. Albert

Schweitzer wisely puts it, “I don’t know what your

destiny will be, but one thing I do know. The only ones

among you who will be really happy are those who will

have sought and found how to serve.”

About the Author:

James Hunter is the author of the internationally

best-selling book The Servant, subtitled A Simple Story

About the True Essence of Leadership. Now translated

into nine (9) languages, The Servant teaches the time

less principles of Servant Leadership and is the text

used in many MBA and other higher education curriculum

around the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *