After watching him give a TEDxJohannesburg talk on servant leadership at the Soweto Theatre in 2015, I was an instant fan of Ian.

It is not an accident that when I saw his book at a local bookstore I had to buy it and read it. The Soul of Sorbet is an amazing book about how Ian built Sotbet to be this successful beauty salon brand.

Sorbet is the largest beauty franchise business in Africa. In just twelve years, Sorbet surpassed 200 salons.

In this book, Ian Fuhr takes you through a journey into the heart and soul of Sorbet.

Ian Fuhr started Sorbet in 2005 on the founding principles of servant leadership. With the success of the Sorbet brand, the brand has grown to be a household name in the South African market with the loyalty of their thousands of “citizens” [as Sorbet call their employed beauty therapists and nail technicians and hundreds of thousands of “guests” [Sorbet customers].

In the book, Ian touches on the following issues:

  • Touching people’s lives
  • It’s not a job, it’s a privilege
  • A happy home
  • People before profits
  • Creating wealth – an educational journey
  • Building community
  • The power of a Rainbow Community
  • Servant Leadership
  • Servant Leadership in practice



This has to be one of my favourite books for the year [2019].

It is a book with a soul.

The Soul of Sorbet is a guide for leaders and stakeholders in any business and industry who aim to build a lasting brand that is founded on a people-focused culture.

I highly recommend this book to entrepreneurs. If you are in the process of building a caring brand, this book goes a long way in sharing strategies and approaches to take into account.

Favourite Quotes:

  • “We are not in the business to make money. We are in business to serve people and if we do that well, we will make lots of money.”
  • “We are not a team. We are a family. Sorbet is not just a brand. It’s an attitude.”
  • “We serve differently. We serve with heart. And it’s the heart of our business that sets us apart.”
  • “So, when you are passionate about service, you know it. You breathe it. You live it, because you live to improve the lives of others. “Service”, is the spine of our business.”
  • “It is only when you give more than you take that success becomes possible.”
  • “Our Higher Purpose was to touch people’s lives.”
  • “Through consistently touching lives in a positive way, our citizens are building our brand one guest at a time.”
  • “There is no better competitive advantage than a strong business culture.”
  • “If you do not treat people with the respect they deserve, do not expect any kind of commitment to your productivity goals and target.”
  • “People have needs and wants. We call that DEMAND. There are also people who service these needs and wants. That is called SUPPLY. If there were no people to serve, there would be no business. So the true definition of business is nothing more than: PEOPLE SERVING PEOPLE.”
  • “The essence of his concept was that the purpose of work is to serve, not to make money, and that service should always come before reward. As long as people put self-interest before service, success will be elusive. He also believed that people are creators of wealth, not units of expense, and they should be treated as assets, not cost burdens.”

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