A Biblical Approach to Developing the Inner Qualities of a Leader

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Xlibris Corporation, Jul 21, 2008 - Education - 159 pages
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There is no greater time than now in our postmodern and turbulent time for a refined understanding of Christian leadership and how a person is formed spiritually in Christ. This understanding is necessary to counteract the impact of postmodern beliefs on ethical leadership. Further, leadership research has evolved to a point where we can no longer understand qualities of leadership character, but must understand also the process of "how" leaders develop into "good" and "godly" leaders. With this in mind, this book focuses on the assertion that leadership, or influence, does not arise from a concerted, directed effort, but occurs through and by way of a leader’s character that is enveloped by God’s moral and virtuous character. This formation process is not simplistic in nature. Surface level reading of Scripture might not reveal the deepest insight possible as to what is required for spiritual transformation. Instead, insight that transcends reading the Scriptures through our own cultural lens that is accomplished by way of a social-historical analysis of the first-century church is deeply needed for understanding the complexity and intricacies associated with defining leadership character and how it is formed. Based on this form of biblical analysis this book seeks to explain how virtue is developed, the tools God uses to develop virtue, cultural barriers that prevent spiritual formation, and what form of leadership is needed in the multi-cultural world global organizations must operate in.


BOOK REVIEW

Impressive, though at times imposing, exploration of incorporating biblical precepts into the study of leadership. Faulhaber explains leadership as “an outcome or manifestation of [a] person’s character.” As such, from the Christian perspective, as a person’s character becomes more Christlike, that person becomes a more effective leader. Faulhaber encourages leadership based upon love of others, rather than love of self. Ultimately, she promotes “virtuous” leadership, which she argues counters modern concepts of leadership. She writes that today’s society focuses upon “values,” which are relativistic, whereas virtue is tied to objective moral truths. Hence a Christlike leadership is more interested in virtue than values. Faulhaber continues to explore examples of Christ’s leadership, and how it ran counter to the idea of leadership-as-power in biblical times and still runs counter to such a view. She also explores the role of grace in developing biblical leadership, arguing that such a role can only be gained through hard work and diligence, supported by God’s grace, for only grace helps leaders grow in the midst of so many obstacles. In the final analysis, Faulhaber hopes that virtuous leadership will be a “transformative leadership” as well, changing the paradigms which leaders are called upon to reform and, basically, turning the structure of power on its head. Faulhaber’s book is extremely well-researched and is brimming with quotations from figures as diverse as C.S. Lewis and Nietzsche. However, the number of outside references becomes slightly intimidating, acting as a barrier to what is otherwise a rather clear message. Likewise, visual diagrams throughout the book fail to simplify the material and are unnecessarily complex. Nevertheless the book provides beneficial advice on how Christian readers can put their beliefs into practice. A worthwhile addition to the existing group of books on Christian leadership.

---Kirkus Discoveries
 

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