Dear Servant-Leader:

I like books of all kinds—particularly books having to do with servant-leadership.  I like to read them, write them, edit them, and review them.  I like the feel of a good book in my hands.  Why, I even like the smell of a newly-printed book, straight out of the carton! 

I have devoted a good bit of my life to helping to publish servant-leader writers, so that the idea of servant-leadership can grow and influence others.  That is why I am always delighted to be able to share the good news concerning significant new books on servant-leadership.

I have known Jamie Showkeir for many years—first in his capacity as a Greenleaf Center workshop presenter; later, as a friend and colleague.  Our wide-ranging conversations have sometimes focused upon our shared interests in servant-leadership and its potential significance for people with disabilities.  Robert K. Greenleaf’s last sentence of his “best test” of servant-leadership is, I believe, the most important one:  “What is the effect on the least privileged in society?  Will they benefit, or at least not be further deprived?” 

Both Jamie and his wonderful wife, Maren, are caring and authentic servant-leaders who have just published an important new book:   Authentic Conversations: Moving from Manipulation to Truth and Commitment (Berrett-Koehler, 2008, paper, 192 pages, $18.95).  View this link, Authentic Conversations to go to their book page on

Even servant-leaders are not immune to the dangers of manipulating conversations, or to abandoning their commitment to others.  For those who are open to its message, Authentic Conversations is a welcome tonic to the hidden agendas and collusive practices by leaders who are either unable or unwilling to engage in honest dialogue.

I agree with Jeff McCollum, whose review of the Showkeir’s book comes next:  Authentic Conversations is a powerful and important resource on how to create, “clear, clean communication that, in turn, drives business performance to higher and higher levels.”

Warm regards,


Larry C. Spears, President & CEO
The Spears Center for Servant-Leadership