cover image Christian Reflections on the Leadership Challenge

Christian Reflections on the Leadership Challenge

John C. Maxwell, James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner. Jossey-Bass, $22.95 (176pp) ISBN 978-0-7879-6785-7

More than two decades ago, authors Kouzes and Posner (The Leadership Challenge; Leadership Practices Inventory) first presented what they call the five""exemplary leadership"" practices:""Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart."" Here they join forces with contributors John Maxwell, Ken Blanchard, Patrick Lencioni (The Five Temptations of a CEO), Wesley Theological Seminary president David McAllister-Wilson and pastor Nancy Ortberg to reveal how Christian leaders in secular and faith-based organizations can learn to apply those five practices and, in the words of Maxwell,""rise to that 'Jesus pattern' of leadership."" Each section opens with Old and New Testament scriptures that capture Christian leadership philosophy in a tidy, biblical sound bite:""Where there is no vision, the people perish,"" warns Proverbs 29:18, while Matthew 23:11 advises,""The greatest among you will be your servant."" As these leaders examine being living models for their employees or congregations by inspiring, challenging, enabling and encouraging their work, they arrive at the""Jesus pattern,"" in which one serves others and guides through parables and model behavior. In the chapter""Enable Others to Act,"" Ortberg reminds readers that,""Jesus did not talk about leadership very often, and every time he did, he talked about serving."" The motivational how-to mantra sometimes sits awkwardly with the spiritual lessons it aspires to engender; however, preaching service and respect as a business tactic is refreshing amid the""how to get ahead"" messages of other business manuals, and Christian leaders may certainly glean wisdom from this approach.