Leadership comes in all shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, leadership is often abused. Power and influence can get to your head. People can be petty and easily carry offense. As a result, leadership can end up being a very dysfunctional experience for both the leader and the people being led. Nearly everyone operates at a certain level of leadership, whether you’re leading a group of kids, an organization or simply your own family. Even though there are endless shelves of books on leadership, being the right kind of leader can be so elusive.
For this topic, I have a book recommendation. It’s a book I’ve read over a dozen times (3-4 times in just the last couple of months). It speaks to a different kind of leadership, communicating a message that is absent in almost every leadership book on the shelf. If every leader read this book and put these principles in practice – our world would look very different. So what’s the book?
A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards. It’s a very short book written nearly 40 years ago exploring the relationship of young David to King Saul as well as the relationship of an older King David to his young son, Absalom. The tagline of the book is “A Study in Brokeness.”
Anytime I’m coaching a young leader or making book recommendations to and aspiring leader, this book is always at the top of the list. Why? It beautifully and profoundly frames a Godly perspective of submission to leadership (everyone submits to someone) and a God-dependent approach to leading under God’s authority. The book can be read in one sitting and you’ll likely read it again and again.
Here are a few specific situations that this book will help you with:
- You have an authority in your life who isn’t leading well. You find yourself questioning his or her decisions. You find yourself saying negative things to others (or wanting to say negative things). This book is exactly the right book for this situation.
- You are a young leader with incredible insight. You have great aspiration for leadership although your experience is somewhat limited. You desire help in becoming the type of leader people love to follow. This book is exactly the right book for this situation.
- You are an experienced leader. Perhaps, you’ve been leading in a position for many years and you have some young leaders who serve under you. You desire to maintain a healthy relationship with the next generation of leadership, knowing when to pass leadership/authority to whoever comes next. This book is exactly the right book for this situation.
- You’re thinking about leaving. Maybe it’s your job, your church or your organization. Knowing when to leave can be tricky. Knowing how to leave his difficult. There is definitely a right way to leave as well as a wrong way to leave. This book is exactly the right book for this situation.
- You want a very simply and clear explanation of authority and submission from a biblical perspective. This book is exactly the right book for this situation.
- You’re going through a very challenging time. It feels like the world is falling apart. You feel alone and question why this is happening. This book is exactly the right book for this situation.
Do yourself a favor and add this book to your reading list. You can thank me later.
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