The Servant is a book about a businessman named John Daily whose life seems to be going well from the surface. He has a great job. He has 2 wonderful children with his wife, "The Shrink", a great house, and all of the material things most people could want and more. But, with all of this, he realizes that his life is not at all that it appears to be. His wife is unhappy with their marriage, the children are out of control, and his plant that he is in charge of is demanded change by asking for a labor union to represent them. John knew that he needed change in his life and quickly, so he decides to go to week-long spiritual retreat at a remote Benedictine monastery. This is where John's life will change forever.
John meets a monk Brother Simeon, a former Wall Street business executive that will lead them though this journey.
Additionally, the name Simeon has been synonymous with John's baptism in the Lutheran church as a child, and a name that has haunted his dreams throughout his life. Simeon teaches them what it means to be a servant leader. The first idea that is brought to the attendees attention is what it the difference between leading with power and what it means in leading with authority. He explains that leading with power is forcing people into doing something because of their position. On the other side, leading with authority is getting people to willingly do things for you because of the leaders influence. Simeon continues to explain to the group that through authority, "leadership is accomplishing the tasks at hand while building relationships."
Simeon talks about the old paradigm of leadership where the employees are at the bottom of the pyramid.