Graves, Stephen, R.; Addington, Thomas, G: Life @ Work On Leadership: Enduring Insights for Men and Women of Faith. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA. 2002. pp.273 price 31.95. Authors (editors)- business partners, founded Cornerstone Group Consulting.
This book has been four and a half years in the making. Twenty one other writers are involved in 15 of the 16 chapters. Each chapter deals with a major topic regarding leadership.
Ch.1. PROMISES- A Key Called Promise. Max De Pree.
"The process of leading is the process of fulfilling commitments made to persons and to the organization." 6. Eleven expectations and demands are identified and discussed that are made by institutions of their leaders.
Ch. 2. POLITICS- The Politics of Grace and the Abuse of Power. Calvin Miller.
Politics is used as a positive term. Such politics are a legitimate part of church leadership. It can be used to bring about harmony and unity. Christian servanthood will prevent abusive power. The David and Bathsheba story is presented as an example of abusive power.
Ch.3. ROLES. What Leaders Really Do. John P. Kotter.
Strong leadership and strong management are both important. "Change is the function of leadership."33. Leadership will flourish where there is a culture of leadership. Leaders set direction, align people, and motivate.
Ch.4. FAITH. Leadership and Legacy. John D. Beckett.
There can be achievement without faith but there cannot be a lasting legacy without it. Four keys to a growing faith are presented; "1. Understanding who God is and who we are. 2. The link between faith and God’s word. 3. Faith for our calling. 4. The release of faith in our work." 42.
Ch. 5. SUPERLEADERS. SuperLeadership. Charles C. Manz, Henry P. Sims Jr.
"A SuperLeader is a leader who enables others to lead themselves." 58. Self led people accomplish more as they take ownership of what they do.
Ch. 6. AMBITION. Natural and Spiritual Leadership. J. Oswald Sanders.
The thesis of this essay is "a man or woman of faith should demonstrate spiritual qualities when he or she is in a leadership position". 67. Natural and spiritual leadership are compared.
Ch. 7. FUTURE LEADER. Seven Lessons for Leading the Voyage to the Future. James M. Kouzes, & Barry Z. Posner.
The titles of the lessons give an overview of the chapter. 1. Leaders don’t wait. 2. Character counts. 3. Leaders have their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. 4. Shared values make a difference. 5. You can’t do it alone. 6. The legacy you leave is the life you lead. 7. Leadership is everybody’s business.
Ch.8. CHARISMA. Beyond the Charismatic Leader. David A. Nadler & Michael L. Tushman.
Charismatic leaders are "envisioning, energizing, enabling". 92. Seven limitations of charismatic leaders are discussed.
Ch. 9. FOLLOWERSHIP. In Praise of Followers. Robert E. Kelly.
Five kinds of followers are identified. Of these effective followers are discussed. They are self-managed and work independently, they are commited, competent, and courageous. These are also qualities of effective leaders. Effective followership needs to be cultivated.
Ch. 10. SERVANT LEADERSHIP. Servant: Retrospect and Prospect. Robert K. Greenleaf.
Greenleaf speaks from a 38 year management experience with AT&T and post retirement involvement in several other organizations. The concept of serving is associated with synergy. It is possible that big can be beautiful. Serving can be individual and constitutional. An obstacle to this concept are opposing mind-sets. The ‘rebellion’ of young people in the 60’s is suggested as an example of how people with wrong mind-sets failed to respond correctly to the unrest of the times. "People lack the vision to act on what they know." 122. Illustrations are cited from business, university, health profession and church leader, to demonstrate how this has happened. "Liberating visions" 127 are rare because they are difficult to give. Power is corrupting. "Serving and competing are antithetical." 138. There is a strength in servant-leadership that is recognized by most. The future of servant-leadership is heavily dependent on those (professors etc.) who are in positions where they can model and teach young people. A ‘faithful remnant’ can make a huge difference. (This is a great chapter!)
Ch.11. TASKS. The Tasks of Leadership. John W. Gardner.
Nine tasks are identified as the "most significant functions of leaders". 145. These tasks involve envisioning goals, affirming values, motivating, achieving unity, serving people, etc.
Ch.12. FLEXIBILITY. Leadership Style Flexibility. Ken Blanchard, Patricia and Drea Zigarni.
In his conversational style of writing, Blanchard discusses the four styles of leadership; "directing, coaching, supporting and delegating". 162. Each style is legitimate but there needs to be flexibility in their use.
Ch.13. SELECTION. Selection. Robert E.Coleman.
This chapter comes from a forty year old book, The Masterplan of Evangelism. Jesus chose twelve men before he began his ministry. They were not an impressive group but what qualified them was honesty and an openness to learn. Of these twelve, three occupied a special place of ‘training’. He concentrated on the few without neglecting the masses. There are many transferable concepts of leadership in how Jesus functioned as a leader and how he trained leaders.
Ch. 14. INTEGRITY. The Most Important Ingredient of Leadership: Integrity. John C. Maxwell.
Integrity is defined and explained in terms of what it does. "Everything rises and falls on leadership. The secret of rising and not falling is integrity." 194. The effects of integrity on leadership are discussed. It is absolutely essential for effective leadership.
Ch. 15. SEASONS. Life Cycles of Leaders. Hans Finzel.
Leadership looks different depending on where you are in life. Paul is cited as an example of how he experienced ‘seasons’ of leadership. He was a leader before the dramatic Damascus Road experience but his mission changed drastically. Part of his early ‘season’ involved some (silent) years of maturing. He had his middle years which are compared to the middle of a marathon. Like mid-life these years are years of special challenge. In his final years Paul’s focus was on finishing well. In Phil. 3 he talks about pressing on toward the goal (end). Finishing well for leaders has to do with making a smooth transition of leadership.. A number of obstacles to finishing well are discussed and also characteristics of finishing well are presented.
Ch. 16. CHARACTER. Before and After. Stephen R. Graves & Thomas G. Addington.
This chapter sums up the topic of leadership by looking at how the matter of faith impacts leadership, specifically the leadership of Paul. "His personality and leadership style were unchanged" 237 by his experience on the Damascus Road. He remained passionate. He was mission driven but he had a new mission. When God gets a hold of a leader some things need to go as some new things are added. On the other hand some things remain unchanged.
In Hebrews 13:7 we are exhorted to consider our leaders and the outcome of their faith. They are to be remembered with gratefulness. Where appropriate, we should imitate them.
A list of 114 book titles are given for additional reading on the topic of leadership.
We have a primer on leadership here. With so many well qualified writers contributing on the topic we have a mini library on leadership. The chapter on Followership (9) was of special interest to me. Effective followers make effective leaders look good. The chapter that impressed me the most was the one on servant leadership. (10). A great resource.