Finding Your Leadership Style, by Keith Lamdin. Reviewed by Elizabeth Welch
Finding Your Leadership Style, by Keith Lamdin.
SPCK, 2012, 160 pages, ISBN 978-0-281-06478-6, £9.99.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Welch
This engaging and helpful book on Leadership draws together the author’s practical experience over many years and his wide reading in the area of leadership and organisational theory and practice. He looks in particular at models of leadership that arise out of scripture and applies these to the contemporary context. His analysis gives an opportunity for each person in a leadership role to look at themselves and their styles of leadership.
He argues that there are three defining characteristics of leadership: discontent, vision and courage. ‘You can sense what is wrong, you can find an inspiring picture of how it could be better, and you can find your voice and speak it out’ (p26). He holds these alongside six biblical models of leadership – the monarch, the warrior, the servant, the elder, the contemplative and the prophet – drawing out some of the challenges of each model, assessing what each has to offer, analysing the strengths and weaknesses. He critiques the helpfulness of each model over time. The contemporary context leans him towards being more positive about the latter models than the former as offering good leadership styles for the 21st century.
This is a useful book for Christian leaders to reflect on the way in which they model their own leadership. It will also help to open up discussion in leadership teams about the different understandings of leadership that there can be in the midst of a diverse group of people. The wide-ranging bibliography gives a good cross-section of books for further reading.
Lamdin concludes by quoting Richard Sennett,suggesting that ‘leadership is a craft rather than a competence’ and goes on to argue that it needs to be honed in prayer. A helpful counter-balance to more impersonal, and over-mechanistic, approaches to leadership.
Revd Elizabeth Welch is Chair of MODEM.
This review first appeared in MODEM Matters Issue 20 in May 2012.