Friday, July 23, 2010

Book review: Incarnate Leadership

Incarnate Leadership by Bill Robinson (President of Whitworth University) was a gift given to Covenant Pastors at our last Midwinter Conference. Based on John's description of Jesus in John 1:14, Robinson explains what it looks and feels like to lead in the way of Jesus. Eschewing power and glory and privilege, Incarnate Leadership means stepping off pedestals to live among the people we lead; it means transparency and honesty, it means reflecting glory and praise to those who really deserve it (either the people actually doing the work, or the God who is the source of all we have), it means living in a marriage of grace and truth (showing grace while never compromising the Truth), and it means continuous sacrifice.

As Zondervan's press describes this book, it is "Conversational in tone and seasoned with real-life stories from his own successes and failures as a leader. . ." That describes the book perfectly. It's not so much sitting in a seminar under a professional leadership guru; instead, it's like sitting down with a friend who's picked up some good leadership ideas along the way (often learned the hard way), who wants to share it all with you. To that end, parts of the book were fantastic and instantly applicable (to me), whereas others didn't seem to resonate, nor seem all that useful (at the moment). But it's a quick, easy read, while at the same time being one of the best books on Christ-like leadership that I've read. I would have no problem recommending it to any pastor, college president, or business leader who wants to allow their faith to guide their leadership style.

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