Teacher As Servant: A Parable

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This work is a parable just like James C. Hunter’s The Servant, which both serve as a complement to each of their other books, Servant Leadership, and The World’s Most Powerful Leadership Principle. The lessons from it are not quite as explicit as in The Servant, but I believe the lessons are apparent.
This book is a bit drier and less well written than the Servant, which I imagine is due in part to the time period it was written in, but even so, it is still a fine work. I do not agree with all of Greenleaf’s recommendations, even though he’s one who is often credited as starting this whole servant leadership idea.
A couple of Buddhist thoughts were expressed toward the end, but I could not tell exactly if the comments were supportive of Buddhist ideals or not. Overall, the work uplifted critical inquiry, questioning of authority, and the whole idea of “creating institutions where everyone comes in contact with the institution is better off, to serve and be served by the institution”.
Particularly profound was a very counter-intuitive critique of philanthropy presented in the chapter on foundations. In this chapter, it suggested that if one does not create a scenario where both parties give and receive instead of one party just receiving. I agree with this entirely as I resent situations where the other party acts as if he or she has everything to teach me and I have nothing to offer.


Prologue to the Parable
My First Evening at Jefferson House
Begin My Journal

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About the author (1979)

Robert K. Greenleaf was the creator of the modern trend to empower employees; he also coined the term servant-leadership. He was a top executive in management research, development, and education and AT&T, as well as a visiting lecturer at MIT's Sloan School of Management and Harvard Business School. He also taught at Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia. Upon his retirement from AT&T, he founded the Center for Applied Ethics, which eventually became the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership, located in Indianapolis. Greenleaf died in 1990 at the age of 86.

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