Okay, this a cheat. Robert Greenleaf started writing in the 1970s, but his management theories are finding a renaissance now. The first book I read of his is “The Power of Servant Leadership” from 1998, which has many of his essays included within it. Within all of his works, especially “The Servant as Leader” and “The Teacher as Servant”, he makes a strong case for a collaborative, power-sharing model of leadership, one that is a based on persuasion and consensus-building instead of coercion. That resonates with me, as well as the notions of stewardship, of community-building, and and deep commitment to the growth of each and every person in the organization.
Management gurus like Peter Senge, John Carver, Ken Blanchard and Jim Kouzes all credit him with being one of the most leadership influential thinkers of the past century, and there have been a ton of other spin-off books that have recently been published on the subject, as well as an annual conference. Highly recommended! (James Autry’s “The Servant Leader from 2004 is also very good).