Friday, August 9, 2013

I’ve Got Your Back, A Leadership Parable: Biblical Principles for Leading and Following Well Book Review

I’ve Got Your Back, A Leadership Parable: Biblical Principles for Leading and Following Well (2012) – a book by author James Galvin.  This book has revolutionized the way I think about leadership.  You can purchase it from Amazon or Tenth Power Publishing.

Book Description:
If Jesus wrote a book about leadership today, he would tell a story.  That’s what the author decided when he tore up his first draft.  Instead, he wrote a parable about four twenty-somethings who are having major problems with bad bosses.  Jack Hendrickson, a retired Army Special Forces Sergeant and former missionary, begins to teach them Biblical principles about leadership and when they put it into practice at work…it makes their lives worse!

Experienced leaders are calling I’ve Got Your Back a landmark book to help next generation leaders with a Biblical foundation for leadership.  Many talented young people have been victims of follower abuse.  They don’t want anything to do with leadership positions.  Some have issues with authority and need guidance to heal.  Galvin writes about a new kind of leader the world is desperate to follow.
At the end of the parable, the author outlines Biblical principles of followership, as well as leadership, because everybody needs to learn how to lead and follow well.

I was lucky enough to receive a review copy from HandleBar Publishing.  Interestingly Galvin has won the C. S. Lewis Gold Medal Award for Literature three times.  This is my first read about leadership.  I really found this book to be enjoyable.  I enjoyed the five principle characters and learned a lot from each of their experiences.  I was impacted the most by Galvin’s thoughts on the three types of leadership and God’s design for the leader-follower dynamic.

Leader-Follower Dynamic
Leadership is God’s idea.  God does not always lead and humans do not always follow.  Instead, leading and following are two sides of a coin. 

The biblical ideal occurs in the relationship between God and Adam, then Adam and Eve, in Eden.  It also occurs in the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Father in the gospels. 
  • Type 1 leadership belongs to God.  Obedience is mandatory, but he never abuses us. 
  • Type 2 leadership belongs to parents and government .  Obedience is mandatory except in matters of faith and conscience. 
  • Type 3 leadership belongs to human beings in non-parental or governmental roles.  This includes businesses, non-profit organizations, and churches.  Obedience is a choice.