Servant Leadership—a Movement Whose Time Has Come

Servant Leadership in Action: How to Achieve Great Relationships and Results, which I coedited with Renee Broadwell, launched this week and is already hitting bestseller lists. The book includes contributions by 44 notable leadership theorists, faith-based leaders, and business authors such as Simon Sinek, Brené Brown, Marshall Goldsmith, Laurie Beth Jones, Dave Ramsey, John Hope Bryant, James Kouzes and Barry Posner, and servant leadership practitioners like Art Barter—CEO of Datron Industries and founder of the Servant Leadership Institute; Cheryl Bachelder—former CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen; Colleen Barrett—former president of Southwest Airlines; and Mark Miller—vice president of high performance leadership at Chick-fil-A.

When we completed the first draft of Servant Leadership in Action we sent it to Steve Piersanti, founder and president of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, and asked for his feedback. I wondered what his reaction would be because most publishers aren’t raving fans of anthologies. Steve called me back within two days and said, “Ken, this isn’t a book, it’s a movement!” That’s exactly what I hope we have started: a servant leadership movement. Our dream is that someday, everyone, everywhere will be impacted by a servant leader—or will be one. It’s simply the best way to lead. As John Maxwell says in the book’s foreword,

“The only way to create great relationships and results is through servant leadership. It’s all about putting other people first.”

We all know the world is in desperate need of a different leadership role model. Self-serving leaders have caused major problems in every sector of society. Our hope is that once people understand the power of servant leadership, we will see more people with titles like Rico Maranto, one of our contributors, who is the “Guardian of the Culture and Servant Leadership Evangelist” for Waste Connections, Inc.—an organization turned around by servant leadership.

We need servant leadership devotees—and we nominate you. After you discover the undeniable benefits of servant leadership to both people and organizations, go forth and spread the word.

Remember: our job is to teach people the power of love rather than the love of power. Because servant leadership is love in action.