Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Serving Leader

"The Serving Leader" by Ken Jennings and John Stahl-Wert was my weekend reading. The book talks about five actions that can transform teams, business and community. My key takeaways from the book are

  1. Serving leaders run to great purpose by holding out in front of their team a "reason why" that is so big that it requires and motivates everybody's best efforts
  2. They qualify to be first by putting other people first
  3. They raise the bar of expectation by being highly selective in choice of team leaders and by establishing high standards of performance 
  4. They teach serving leader principles and practices and remove obstacle to performance. These actions multiply the serving leader's impact by educating and activating tier after tier of leadership
  5. They build on strength by arranging each person in the team to contribute what he or she is best at. This improves everyone's performance and solidifies teams by aligning the strengths of many people
Some of the thoughts were counter intuitive such as "focus over strength over addressing weaknesses". Yet the argument that "it is foolish to pour all our energy into turning weaknesses to serviceable mediocrity" - makes profound sense. 

Overall a good read and fodder for introspection.

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