To borrow from an ancient preacher, ‘Of the making of [leadership] books, there is no end.’ Not exactly what Quoheleth had in mind, but doubtless he would have agreed.
Statistics from the publishing industry point to a relatively recent surge in interest in the subject. According to Barbara Kellerman, on average three books on leadership were published annually in the early 1980s; by 2012 the numbers were ‘somewhere in the stratosphere’.
No doubt the surge in interest reflects a more conscious awareness of the importance of leaders and leadership, concern, and a degree of handwringing at the apparent lack of good leaders, and all of it spiced up by the emergence of celebrity leaders across several domains.
Including the church.
Perhaps it’s unsurprising that the general interest in the subject is reflected in the culture. Of course, the relationship between ‘biblical’ leadership and more generally applicable principles of leadership can be complex. To what extent are Christians right to mine general leadership material for pearls of wisdom and to what extent is Christian leadership meant to be counter-cultural?
I’m planning to post a series of pieces on leadership over the next few months or so. Actually, I’ve got an idea (two, actually) for a book on leadership and I’d love it if some of you felt free to chip in on the various ‘Leadership 101’ posts as they appear.
Among the subjects I hope to feature are:
- What, exactly, is leadership?
- The making of a leader
- Characteristics of effective leaders
- Temptations of Christian leadership
- The leader’s vision
- The leader and the team
There will be other material on the leadership journey blog, but watch for the ‘Leadership 101’ posts on Thursday evenings – starting this evening.