Winning Without Greed: A Servant-Led Success Story

Book review by Deane Barker tags: leadership

Let me start with a couple points:

  1. I’m sure the author (who died in 2015) was a wonderful person
  2. I’m sure he had great experience with leadership

But, holy cats, this book needed an editor.

It’s a scattered mess. It’s essentially an end-of-career wrap-up for the author, who worked in the Iowa insurance business for years.

At first I thought it was general leadership lessons, but then he started talking about a merger. Then I thought it was the story of this merger, but then that drifted away, only to resurface again and again.

Mostly, it’s just a bunch of business leadership stories this guy wanted to tell. There’s no thematic logic to it – it’s all over the place. There’s a main narrative, then some confusing sidebars called “From the Corporate Notebook,” and then some end-of-chapter questions to ask yourself.

And, honestly, most of the leadership lessons aren’t Earth-shaking. It’s a nice reinforcement, but there wasn’t anything in here that hasn’t been retold a hundred times or that particularly resonated.

And the title didn’t make sense – “Winning Without Greed”? The book never really delivered on that title at all. They could have titled it anything else and it would have made more sense.

Again, this is a book that needed an editor. It needed someone to make sense of everything in it, and put it in some logical order.

(It reminded me of a book I read in 2014 called Developing Analytic Talent. I said of that book:

The book careens around its scope

Same thing here. I got whiplash from it.)

Book Info

Irv Burling
  • I have read this book. According to my records, I completed it on .
  • A softcover copy of this book is currently in my home library.

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