About a decade ago I was moved into a position of leadership that seemed way too big for me. So to prepare myself, I began to read all of the leadership materials I could find: Bible-based leadership, marketplace leadership, anything I could find that would help me grow as a leader. I thought I was progressing as a leader, until I read I Am A Follower by Leonard Sweet.
Just a few pages into I Am A Follower I read this: “Following is the most underrated form of leadership in existence.” And thus I was confronted by a message that seemed 180-degrees out-of-phase with what I’ve been learning for the past decade.
In pointing time and time and time again to the life of Jesus, Len Sweet makes the case that Jesus is the only Leader, and the rest of us are followers. Jesus showed us perfect leadership by being a perfect Follower. In fact, He is the perfect Follower, as no one has ever followed God as He did. Some of us may follow Christ a little sooner, or a little closer, or a little more persuasively. Those, Dr. Sweet would say, are better called “first followers.”
Dr. Sweet uses phrases like the dance of life, and the transformation of viewpoint. These are not phrases that a leader uses, but they are the paradigm of followers. Check out this quote:
The cry for leadership is deafening amid our social disintegration, our moral disorientation. We have come to believe that we have a leadership crisis while all along we have been in a drought of discipleship. The Jesus paradox is that only Christians lead by following. (Leonard Sweet)
This book is a prophetic word: it is calling us back to true biblical-centeredness, true Christ-likeness, true discipleship. This is a book that took me awhile to read, and will take me even longer to process. It’s a paradigm-busting game-changer…
…and it’s right on target.
Go get this book today!
I am a Thomas Nelson book reviewer.