About a year ago I went to a presentation by James Autry about his book, “The Servant Leader: How to Build a Creative Team, Develop Great Morale, and Improve Bottom-Line Performance.” I thought his presentation was moderate, and I was not immediately motivated to read the book. The book sat on the shelf for about a year. I picked it up last week for no apparent reason and I read a chapter or so. I thought … this is a really good book!
The essence of “The Servant Leader” is to help everyone that works for you in an authentic manner. The command and control management style is not effective as it does not create an environment that is creative and has a positive morale. Mr. Autry also stresses the importance of balancing the human factors and the pure business side of things. He really emphasizes the importance of a manager being connected and engaged with their staff. The management method he recommends boarders on being over the top California new age style, and frankly I struggle with this a little personally and philosophically. I did like the book and I agree with most of what he is suggesting. He also drilled down on how to deal with each different scenario, sort of like a how to book. I am not sure this was necessary, but I suppose it helps drive the tactical details of the methodology. I would recommend the book, especially the first 100 pages!