Book Review: 'Serve to Lead: Your Transformational 21st Century Leadership System' by James M. Strock
Serve to Lead: Your Transformational 21st Century Leadership System James M. Strock Serve to Lead Press (2010)
What we have in this substantial volume is a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effect system that will enable aspiring leaders to understand what Martin Luther King, Jr., meant when asserting that ”everyone can be great, because everyone can serve…You don’t have to have a college degree to serve, You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve…You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.” You also need what Strock offers in this book: an abundance of practical advice that will provide invaluable assistance as the reader proceeds through the four-week process which is central to Strock’s “Serve to Lead” system. Throughout his lively and thought-provoking narrative, he anchors his insights in real-world situations and rigorously examines the major leadership styles and those who best exemplify them.
He poses identifies and then explains “Ten Principles of Twenty-First Century Leadership” (Pages 26-64) that serve collectively as the ideological foundation of the “Serve to Lead” system. Strock also realizes the truth of what Thomas Edison once observed, “Vision without execution is hallucination.” Therefore, most of his attention throughout the book is focused on explaining HOW to apply those principles in effective service to others.
With regard to the four-week self-directed program that Strock recommends, one that will help aspiring servant leaders to get their values in alignment with their life experiences, here is what it involves:
Weeks One and Two: Audit allocation of resources (especially hours and dollars) to serving others
Week Three: Conduct a rigorous evaluation of most important relationships in all domains (i.e. home, at work, in the community) to determine how each can be strengthened
Week Four: Move to the next level by reviewing and evaluating core values, ongoing thought patterns, routines, and “habitual ways in which you process and respond to your life as you experience it.”
The details of HOW to accomplish these worthy objectives are best revealed in context but I do not hesitate to suggest that James Strock is both an idealist and a pragmatist, one who is determined to do all he can to help each reader to become an increasingly more effective leader through high-impact service to others.
Editor's note: This review was written by Robert Morris and has been published with his permission.Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.