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.
- Patient – showing self-control.
Kind – giving attention, appreciation, and
Humble – being authentic without pretense or
Respectful – treating others as important people.
Selfless – meeting the needs of others.
Forgiving – giving up resentment when wronged.
Honest – being free from deception.
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
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.