Book Reviews, Leadership

Book Review: The Painful Side of Leadership by Jeff Iorg

June 19, 2013

painful

The Painful Side of Leadership has a different tone from most leadership books on the market today.  Most material on leadership details what a leader should do or how a leader should act.  If you pick up any bestselling leadership book you will find that much attention is given to the qualities, attributes, and characteristics of the leader.  Jeff Iorg approaches the subject from another angle.

He deals with the often-neglected aspect of leadership: the pain, the problems, and the perplexities.  In a very practical style, Jeff Iorg steers the reader into the troubled waters of leadership.  He deals with issues such as loneliness, criticism, transitions, failed relationships, and owning up to our own mistakes.

Iorg contends that our pain, hurt, and disappointment enable us to be better leaders to those who follow us.  My favorite quote in the book confirms this notion, “An aura of authenticity, created by the scars of our souls, connects us with the deepest hurts of others.  There is no shortcut to being equipped to offer genuine comfort to hurting people.  Wounded people give the best comfort.”

He unashamedly writes from a Christian and biblical perspective in this honest, frank, and practical guide to problems in leadership.  This book will equip you against those awkward, uncomfortable and downright sickening days of ministry.  Every pastor should keep a copy of this near his desk.

Jeff Iorg is the president of the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in San Francisco, California.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

 

“Anger is a response to threat or perceived threat.  Lowering our threat level through developing security in Jesus Christ is essential for leaders.  The security of the believer must become a personal reality, not simply a doctrine to debate.”

 

“When people let you down, it may reveal how much you are depending on others to meet your deepest needs”

 

“An aura of authenticity, created by the scars of our souls, connects us with the deepest hurts of others.  There is no shortcut to being equipped to offer genuine comfort to hurting people.  Wounded people give the best comfort”

 

“Resist the temptation to develop your security, your inner sense of well-being and acceptance, from the opinion of others.  Look to a far better source of security than the fickle whim of your followers.”

 

“Secure leaders are confident without being arrogant.  They are relaxed without being lackadaisical.  Secure leaders rest in the reality their relationship with God is their defining source of value, worth, and well-being.”

 

“People follow people more than ideas or proposals.  Real change runs successfully on the track of relational trust.”

 

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