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James C. Hunter’s book “The Servant,” is hardly something new in the business-leadership genre: its theme, that execs should be not taskmasters but facilitators of their employees’ growth as human beings, was first struck by Robert Greenleaf in his 1977 book “Servant Leadership.” Hunter’s small innovation—putting his wisdom in the mouth of a Wall St.-wise Benedictine monk—capitalized on a late ’90s trend of Jesus-based business books. The barely 200-page volume never got out of the quadruple digits on Amazon in the United States.

Imagine Hunter’s surprise when he got a call from Brazil recently informing him that “The Servant” had climbed to #1 on bestseller lists in Brazil. As this Washington Post story about Hunter points out, Brazilians are especially attuned to the role-reversal inherent in the servant leadership concept. The country’s book market is also apparently experiencing its own spiritual moment: #2 on Brazil’s list is another American book, “The Greatest Psychologist Who Ever Lived: Jesus and the Wisdom of the Soul,” by Mark W. Baker.

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