I just finished reading the best book I’ve ever read on leadership. Yeah, it’s that good. It’s wise and deep and profound and healing and tender and disruptive and unsettling and daunting and comforting.
It’s Dan Allender’s book Leading With a Limp.
This won’t be a proper or full review, but just some impressions I was left with as I finished the book this afternoon.
A leader is called to honesty and transparency, to fully acknowledge she is ridiculous and sinful and reluctant. Learning to humble ourselves and embrace our brokenness is the single most important leadership "thing" we do.
In the face of crisis, our cowardice tempts us to control, but we must move to brokenness and humility, which leads us to courage and confidence. In the face of complexity, dogmatism tempts us to rigidity, but we must move to "foolishness", which brings depth and creativity. In the face of betrayal, our narcissism tempts us to self-absorption, but instead we are invited to rest and gratitude (discussed in a chapter brilliantly titled "No More Jackasses: Wrestling With Betrayal Without Becoming a Jerk"). In the face of loneliness, we are tempted to hide as a way of manipulating others, but we are invited to honest hunger, which brings openness and the care of an honest community. In the face of exhaustion, our fatalism tempts us to busyness, but we are actually invited to be disillusioned instead, so we can hope again, and boldly give hope to others.
If this really is an upside-down kingdom (seemingly to our twisted world), then leadership in the kingdom will probably look somewhat foolish and ridiculous according to the world’s standard. This book was a brilliant explanation of the practicalities of what Paul was talking about in saying, "For when I am weak, then I am strong."