Book Review

At Your Service

Lessons in Leadership

by Charles E. Wheaton, Dorrance Publishing, Pittsburgh, Pa., 2009, 103 pp., $10 softcover

This short book on leadership presents insights from the best of many books already on the market told through the experiences of a professional educator. Charles E. Wheaton worked as an administrator in several Washington school districts.

At Your Service: Lessons in Leadership gives the reader a good introduction to the most influential thinking on leadership over the past two decades through the filter of Wheaton’s concept of servant leadership. He believes effective contemporary leadership theories share common characteristics that include putting others first, taking time for introspection and meditation, and being connected to ideals and to the group being served.

Wheaton’s concept of servant leadership has deep Christian roots, so words of scripture blend with the thoughts of Lencioni, Senge, Covey, Fullan, Deming, Greenleaf, Glasser, Sergiovanni and Bennis when he presents key concepts.

“One of the biggest challenges of being a school leader today is to balance the tension between standards and soul,” Wheaton says.

His concept of servant leadership doesn’t allow for standing back and waiting for those being served to need you. Wheaton stresses the importance of interactions with people, concluding with a quote from Sarah Womble of the International Reading Association: “Your leadership legacy is the sum total of the difference you make in people’s lives.”

Reviewed by Bob Schultz, adjunct instructor, Brandman University, Roseville, Calif.