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Serve to Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Boardroom by Matt Tenney

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Chapter 7Making Serving a Habit

John Spence is a bulky, barrel-chested man. He looks like he was born to play rugby, which he did for much of his life, and he has several gnarly fingers that were once badly broken to show for it. He also has an infectious smile and what seems to be a never-ending supply of energy.

In 1992, John was 26 years old and working as a public relations manager for a division of the Rockefeller Foundation called The Billfish Foundation. Although he had graduated from the University of Florida only three years earlier, John quickly made a name for himself there. The ideas he offered up during the board meetings he attended were implemented a disproportionate amount of the time, and at the age of only 26, John was named CEO of the foundation. He began overseeing projects in 20 countries and reporting directly to the Chairman of the Board, Winthrop P. Rockefeller III.

John did very well. Three years later, Inc. magazine's Zinc Online recognized him as one of America's up and coming young business leaders. After leaving the Billfish Foundation, he went on to work as an interim CEO for companies that were failing and he helped turn several of them around. He then began working as a consultant, developing executives into more effective leaders.

John has twice been named one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America by Trust Across America, and he has appeared on their global list of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in the area of “Trustworthy Business ...

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