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Would you be OK if people 100 years after your death don’t remember your name?

For Joseph Stowell’s “Redefining Leadership,” making Jesus large is the ultimate outcome of leadership.  If one does not point to Jesus through their actions and words, then their leadership is not centered in the Kingdom of God.  Instead, it is rooted in the idolatrous love of ourselves.

Stowell argues forcefully with story and logic for all leaders to take the Kingdom of God seriously and ditch the power leadership styles of this age.  The top down structure of Wall Street has no place in the bottom up structure of the Church.  ‘_140_245_Book.1236.cover

Stowell clearly describes two leadership styles rooted in either the kingdom of this world or God’s Kingdom and then he persuasively argues why you should take the latter approach. “Redefining Leadership” frames the conversation on leadership between character-driven leadership (CDL) and outcome-driven leadership.  While the latter is driven by “getting [stuff] done” even if the means is not honorable, the former is centered on Kingdom centered leadership.

CDL is a much needed yet counterintuitive model because that is the road Jesus took.  Jesus was humble and operated from the identity of suffering servant.  Similarly, the follower of Jesus ought to operate under the same guiding principles that Jesus followed.  As Paul would write in Philippians, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus…”

Even while leading in places that might be difficult or not very glamorous, Jesus calls us to follow him.  Through our “followership,” Jesus is made known.  Stowell’s leadership model can best be summed up as “follow me as I follow Jesus” and “for me, to lead is Christ!”

This is a book worth reading and I heartily recommend it for anyone in leadership (which is everyone!).

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