The Servant-Leader as a Trusted Advisor

During last Wednesday’s “Open Mic” session (Noon on 15 April ’20), I recommended a book as well worth reading by people who are keen to grow their skills at helping people to better understand the problems and challenges that they face in business and in life generally.

The book is called “The Trusted Advisor” and its authors are David Maister, Charles Green and Robert Galford.

I first read this book about fifteen years ago. I have read it again and again, loaned it to many friends – so much so that my original copy has long since fallen apart! I have also purchased many copies which I have given away.

Every once in a while, I discover a book, read it and feel so rewarded by its contents. What makes it so special is that its contents keep on offering up fresh insights and wisdom that I haven’t noticed in earlier readings.

Whilst I am only a raw beginner in the study of, and journey into, the world of Robert Greenleaf and his writings, his account of reading Herman Hesse’s book “Journey to the East” and about the servant Leo, convinces me that Robert Greenleaf would say “Amen” to my thought that some books keep on revealing wisdom and truth that is only apprehended by repeated reading of the same book.

Yes, I believe that this book “The Trusted Advisor” is certainly a book that keeps on surprising and thrilling its reader with previously un-noticed precious insights into how to grow into becoming a trusted and valued helper to the people who ask for help.

This book is just over two hundred pages long and obviously written by people who have spent many years learning how to be, not just trusted but, useful advisors.

After a brief introduction that will encourage you to keep reading, the authors use the next twenty-two chapters to share their journeys in the direction of growing, over many years, into becoming more and more valued by their clients and eventually trusted to the point where conversations about issues are without boundaries and very transparent.

Now I repeat, this book won’t be digested and appreciated after only one reading. Once again, I say that this book reflects what I think is one of the fundamental truths taught by Robert Greenleaf, namely, that truth and wisdom is often not only the end-product of intellectual effort but of life-experience, mistakes made, trials, difficulties and intuitive activity. Now I hasten to repeat, I am a raw beginner in my journey into the beliefs of Robert Greenleaf and will welcome any corrections or adjustments to what I have just written.

Now, I wish to briefly offer some personal advice, based upon my fifty-plus years in business – much of that time spent trying to help people in trouble – often serious trouble.

My advice is that everybody who starts out on a journey towards becoming a better helper (servant) to others, needs to learn that the journey is, by necessity, a long, long journey. And that during that journey, there will be some successes, but many mistakes, blunders and errors made!

Further, I am totally convinced that, without mistakes, we do not grow!

Again and again, the Bible encourages us to believe that, though many trials and difficulties, we will become more effective. Further it exhorts us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” (The Book of James chapter 1, verses 1 – 3).

Now to the natural mind, that exhortation sounds like words that must have been spoken by someone who had been out in the sun for far too long!

But my life-journey has taught me that the best lessons that I learned were the outcome of great difficulties and trials.

Written By,

David Eskdal


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