Title: Effective Leaders and Leadership
Author: Mildred Stallworth
This book provides an overview of what effective leadership looks like in a range of settings, including being an entrepreneur, in the workplace, the home, school, church, and in one’s spiritual life. The author applies common sense and thoughtful rhetoric to explain what a leader is, coupled with quotes from leaders about leadership.
The book explores different types of leaders, from principal persons to authoritative figures, group leaders and mentors, and the author seems to feel there’s a difference between being ready and being prepared. She contrasts being a leader with being a boss and discusses leadership from a Christian point of view, with a look at Jesus as a leader at the end of the book.
The author also discusses how to be a leader when confronting a bully or in politics, without the appearance of any particular political bias or agenda. A discussion of the United States government’s structure might make this portion less applicable to an international audience, and some readers may find it somewhat out of place for a book that’s primarily about leadership, not about civics and how the structure of political systems works.
In moments, it can feel like it expands on the quotes it includes rather than providing its own unique, clear way to look at leadership, but the book could act as a stepping stone into further studies on leadership thanks to the range of people quoted. The portions where a Christian worldview is primarily brought to bear on the topic are labeled accordingly, giving the reader the ability to reach the topics of interest when needed.
Densely packed with information, the book could use further editing polish, as sentences could be hard to follow due to the nonstandard punctuation, grammar, and spelling used frequently. There are moments when the book reads a bit like the author’s notes on leadership rather than a book where help is being provided so readers can improve their attitudes and mindsets when leading.
Greater clarity, easy-to-follow formatting, and more concrete examples would’ve been useful, like when expanding upon the difference between being “ready” and being “prepared,” something that’s mentioned in a number of places but isn’t presented in a way that achieves a lasting, clear effect through case-by-case specifics of the differences between the two concepts.
Similarly, the section on how Jesus can be viewed as the perfect leader can feel a bit like proselytization or added material, as there are few examples provided from the Bible on where Jesus behaved as a conventional leader, specifically, and how this connects with the principles from earlier in the book.
Providing a basic foundation on leadership from which one can expand, this work will be appreciated by those looking for general information on leadership and being a leader. It explores topics rarely discussed in a leadership book, like how to deal with bullies, and it encourages both men and women to equally accept their roles as leaders and to serve their followers to the best of their abilities.
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