I’m a strong proponent of servant leadership. I’ve previously shared four reasons why I aspire to be a servant leader. You can read that article here.
I’ve read many books about leadership over the years, and several about servant leadership in particular. Below are 5 books on servant leadership, plus a bonus chapter, that I recommend you read if you would like to find out more about the topic.
Lead Like Jesus Revisited by Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges and Phyliss Hendry. Thomas Nelson. 272 pages. 2016
In this revised and updated 10th anniversary edition of Lead Like Jesus by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges, Phyliss Hodges, President and CEO of the Lead Like Jesus ministry joins the original book’s authors. They write that “Leading like Jesus is essentially a matter of the heart. It is also the highest thought of the head, it is the principal work of the hands, and it is both expressed through and replenished by the habits.” The authors teach to lead like Jesus whether you are leading at home, at church, or in an organization.
The authors state that self-promotion (pride) and self-protection (fear) dominate today’s leadership style. Many leaders act as if the sheep are there only for the benefit of the shepherd. The Lead Like Jesus alternative approach to leadership is driven by four basic beliefs that have become central to the author’s ministry:
- Leadership happens anytime we influence the thinking, behavior, or development of another person.
- Jesus is the greatest leadership role model of all time.
- Servant leadership is the only approach to leadership that Jesus validates for His followers.
- Effective leadership begins on the inside, with our hearts.
The authors tells us that Leading like Jesus is a transformational journey. They discuss the role of the Heart, Head and Hands in this alternative way of leading. They also discuss Habits, both Being and Doing. They state that the greatest barrier to leading like Jesus is Edging God Out of our lives (EGO).
This new edition features helpful “Pause and Reflect” sections throughout the book, a “Next Steps to Leading Like Jesus Checklist”, resource list and a Discussion Guide, which is useful for individual study, but it is designed primarily for use in a group setting after everyone in the group has read the book.
I’m a strong believer in servant leadership. This would be an excellent book to read and discuss with others to learn how to Lead Like Jesus.
35 Quotes from Lead Like Jesus Revisited by Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges and Phyllis Hendry
- Self-promotion (pride) and self-protection (fear) dominate today’s leadership style. Many leaders act as if the sheep are there only for the benefit of the shepherd.
- This alternative approach to leadership is driven by four basic beliefs that have become central to our ministry: • Leadership happens anytime we influence the thinking, behavior, or development of another person. • Jesus is the greatest leadership role model of all time. • Servant leadership is the only approach to leadership that Jesus validates for His followers. • Effective leadership begins on the inside, with our hearts.
- For followers of Jesus, servant leadership is not an option; servant leadership is a mandate.
- Leading like Jesus is a transformational journey. This transformational journey begins with the willingness to do whatever Jesus commands, with a heart surrendered to doing His will, and with the commitment to lead the way He leads.
- We believe that leaders who desire to lead like Jesus must first examine themselves by answering these two questions: Whose am I? and Who am I?
- Leading like Jesus in an organization creates a new culture that affects all relationships and every result.
- Wherever we live or work, whether we are influencing at home, at church, or in an organization, our paramount task as leaders is to create a culture that reflects Jesus’ core value: love. and Work, Lead Like Jesus Revisited by Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges, Phyllis Hendry
- Leading like Jesus requires leaders to be shepherds and servants, who value each person as an integral part of the organization.
- HEART. Leadership is first a spiritual matter of the heart. Simply put, the heart question is this: Are you a serving leader or a self-serving leader?
- HEAD. The journey to leading like Jesus starts in the heart as you consider your motivation. This intent then travels to the internal domain of the head, where you examine your beliefs and theories about leading and motivating people.
- HANDS. You show what is in your heart and head in what you do with your hands: your motivations and beliefs about leadership affect your actions.
- HABITS. Your habits are those activities you do in order to stay on track with God and others.
- As a leader committed to leading like Jesus, you must make time to replenish your energy and refocus your perspective. Jesus did this through His five Being Habits: solitude, prayer, study of God’s Word, the application of Scripture to real life, and supportive relationships.
- Jesus expressed obedience to His Father and shared the Father’s love for His disciples through His Doing Habits of grace, forgiveness, encouragement, and community. As leaders desiring to lead like Jesus, we are encouraged to engage in both the Being Habits and the Doing Habits.
- To lead like Jesus, we have found that leadership improves when there is first a change on the inside: leadership is primarily a heart issue. We believe that if we don’t get our hearts right, we simply won’t ever lead like Jesus.
- Leading like Jesus—leading with love—is very difficult. It requires that you love those you influence so much that you help them move from who they are to who God wants them to be, and that process can be painful.
- Leading like Jesus means that relationships and results are intertwined. It means being committed to both developing others and achieving results in a way that honors God and reflects your core beliefs about whose you are and who you are.
- We continue to see that the most persistent barrier to leading like Jesus is a heart motivated by self-interest.
- The greatest barrier to leading like Jesus is Edging God Out of our lives (EGO). We believe you can Edge God Out in three ways: you can replace Him as the object of your worship; as the source of your security, self-worth, and wisdom; and as the audience for and authority over your daily work and life story.
- When leaders are filled with pride or fear, they react to things that happen to them. People who want to lead like Jesus, on the other hand, respond to things that happen to them.
- One of the greatest challenges in seeking to lead like Jesus is the intimacy with Him that this approach requires. The biggest barrier to intimacy is a fear of vulnerability—the fear of having to admit you don’t know all the answers, that you may need help, and that your abilities as a leader may be questioned..
- One of the key distortions affecting leader effectiveness is an EGO-driven fixation on short-term results at the expense of long-term integrity.
- Driven people think they own everything. Called people, on the other hand, believe everything they have is on loan to them from the Lord.
- Leading like Jesus means leading with humility. Humility requires knowing whose you are and who you are. Humility is realizing and emphasizing the importance of other people. It is not putting yourself down; it is lifting others up.
- God’s love will change you and, by extension, change your leadership. You will see leadership differently: it becomes less about power and control and more about the stewardship of the people you touch and of the work God has given you to do. You will see people differently, too: rather than seeing them as a means to accomplish the results you want, you realize that God has the same love for them that He has for you. Work becomes an act of worship and your workplace an outpost of God’s kingdom. You are no longer threatened by feedback; you no longer lead out of fear or cause others to be fearful of you.
- When we want to lead like Jesus, prayer becomes our first response, not our last resort.
- The two parts to the great leadership that Jesus exemplified: 1. The visionary role—setting the course and the destination—is the leadership aspect. 2. The implementation role—doing things the right way with a focus on serving—is the servant aspect.
- As a Jesus-like leader or manager, you still maintain your power, but your effectiveness soars because you are responding to the needs of your people.
- An effective Jesus-like leader acts as a performance coach. An essential duty of servant leaders is their ongoing investment in the lives of their followers.
- Servant leaders aren’t threatened by people around them who perform well, because their confidence is secure in the unconditional love of God. Being rooted in God’s love permits servant leaders to see and respond to the success of others in a different way: they celebrate it rather than fear it.
- If you seek to inspire and equip others to attain higher standards of performance and commitment, the best first step is modeling integrity in your own journey.
- Love is a core value of leadership, especially for a Jesus-like leader.
- As leaders, we are dispensers of grace in our families, churches, and organizations. We can extend the grace of believing that people are doing the best they can, given their level of awareness. It is up to us to make sure grace is extended; we lead in the way of grace.
- One test of whether we have the heart attitude required to lead like Jesus is how we respond when those we lead fail to perform according to our expectations.
- As leaders who desire to lead like Jesus, we are to be distributors of encouragement.