What people are saying about “The Boss is Dead”


I began studying leadership in 1985 due to my ineffectiveness as a general manager. I have been a student of leadership ever since and it is now one of my greatest joys in life. After thirty-five years of reading everything I could get my hands on, Mark’s book ranks at the very top. He does a brilliant job at blending the Bible, honest stories, practical insights, and application. A must-read if you want to see your influence as a leader substantially increase.

John Ettore, Senior Pastor


Over the years, I have read many books on leadership. I can unequivocally attest that none of them compared to the content found in “The Boss is Dead.” Mark bypasses the constant evolution of leadership theory and practice that changes like the wind and focuses on the timeless truth found in God’s Word. I pray that we can all lead through influence and grace, free from the shackles of corporate hierarchal structures, ego result-driven models of success, and insatiable appetites for power and prestige that nauseate the ultimate servant leader, Jesus. May this book become foundational to anyone who desires to lead from a place that will never fade away or perish; love.

Brian Overturf – Senior Pastor of 14 years and current graduate student of Leadership and Spirituality at Vanguard University of Southern California.


Mark Cowper-Smith has created a significant examination of management styles and effectiveness in his book, “The Boss is Dead.” He provides viewpoints from both Christian and secular writings to thoroughly examine the impact of positional authority (ruling by title and process) versus a more influential leadership style which may be called a “servant leader” in many business school curriculums.  The author challenges the reader to perform self-reflection of major leadership traits and gives concrete examples of how such traits can inspire the workplace and individual relationships when implemented by a servant leader. The author warns that these same traits can be seen as manipulative if used through positional authority to “manage” others.  The core lessons hit on the “soft science” of examining how others react to traits such as self-awareness, empathy, and authenticity, and provides a deeper dive into three core areas highlighted through surveys as being most appreciated by people: competence, character, and caring.   The questions at the end of each chapter provide a great opportunity for digging deeper and applying the concepts individually or in group sessions. The summary of the major concepts in the back of the book is helpful to quickly capture the major concepts for practical application to our lives.  This book walks a fine balance between Christian leadership concepts and business leadership concepts taught in major universities, and the lessons will help us become better communicators and influencers in both our business and private relationships.

Les Meredith, Vice President, Ostomy 101 [International Non-profit]


What a refreshing and wonderfully expressed book for leaders. This is a book all leaders should read regardless of their religious beliefs. It will not only help you achieve your leadership visions and goals, it will also create an environment of productivity.

Some of the traditions the military upholds to show respect for positional authority are saluting, calling the entire room to attention when the boss walks in, and standing in parade rest when talking to a senior ranking sergeant. As a US Army leader, my senior rank (displayed boldly in front of my chest for all to see) is enough to get soldiers to give me respect even before I speak. As Mark has written, this is where positional leadership should end.  Up to this point, it has served its purpose.  What to do after you’ve been recognized as the leader is what this book will effectively teach you.

As a US Army First Sergeant of an Engineer Company with over 200 soldiers under my leadership, the principles of this book gave me the tools to help my company achieve missions under hectic and stressful conditions.  Bottom line is, anyone who leads with a genuine heart for those they lead will find themselves being respected and obeyed. This book provides a “battle plan” for becoming a leader of great influence.

Phil Williams 1SG US ARMY (Retired)

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