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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
208 pages
Jan 2009
Tyndale House Publishers

Leadership RE:Vision

by Jim Seybert

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Review:

Leadership RE:vision by Jim Seybert is iconoclastic, radical, revolutionary, and, in more than one instance, illogical and dangerous. Seybert's advice purposely flies in the face of traditional training in the areas of leadership, management, organization, and planning. On the one hand, he presents some suggestions and concepts that are designed to shake today's churches out of their complacency, and that's not all bad. For example, in chapter six, "Tell Them What You Like," he adamantly insists that leaders should tell their followers (church boards, deacons, elders) what the leader expects from them and how to provide it. Too many pastors or lay leaders just tell followers what to avoid, but never present the destination of where the organization is supposed to be heading. That's good advice. Similarly, in chapter eight, "Give Them Bullets," Seybert points out that too many leaders demand great accomplishments from their followers, but they never give them the ammunition to fight the good fight. Followers need tools, equipment, training, leadership, guidance, plans, financial support, and incentives. Andy Taylor only gave his deputy Barney Fife one bullet for his sidearm. Too many leaders today are the same way. They expect their employees and followers to do battle, but they don't provide the bullets. I agree with Seybert on this.

Unfortunately, other chapters in the book are nothing short of shallow and outright nonsensical. In chapter four, "Time Management...a Con Game," Seybert takes a stand against teaching workers and members techniques and systems that will reduce work hours, increase production output, and better organize employees. He claims that churches and companies have cut out too many positions and have asked remaining workers to pick up the slack, without getting raises. Instead, management should just reduce workloads. That's a pretty thought, but welcome to the 21st century, pal. Companies are going bankrupt or are hanging on by a thread in this disastrous economy. They are reducing workforces by necessity, and those employees who remain need all the time management training and help they can get.

Likewise, chapter 11, "Quit Playing It Safe," is about taking risks and exercising options that will push workers to the limit in trying to reach phenomenal achievements. Doesn't Seybert read the newspapers? That is what got this country in the mess it's currently in. People who could not afford to buy homes risked their jobs and futures and savings in order to jump out and buy a huge home anyway. When the banks called the loans, the home owners lost their equity, savings, and homes. They had no back-up plan. They were reckless and foolish, and it cost them everything. A far better idea would be to be like Jesus, who said that before a man builds a tower, he needs to sit down and carefully consider all the costs involved. Challenges are worthy, but over-the-top gambles are outright stupid.

This book will cause readers to think in new ways. However, not all the new ways will be wise ways. This text must be read with caution, careful analysis, clear perspective, and balance. Those suggestions that are sound, creative, and functional should be adopted. Those that are irritating, outlandish, and irrational should be ignored. Proceed with caution. – Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Book Jacket:

A go-to book for any leader, whether in the church or business world, Leadership RE:Vision provides daily meditations written to help leaders think through their problems and challenges from a fresh perspective. Successful business consultant Jim Seybert inspires readers to examine their own beliefs about leadership in light of what the Bible says, rather than in terms of conventional wisdom. Leadership RE:Vision explores relevant topics such as time management, staff relations, truth telling, image management, corporate growth, and excellence. Contains chapters such as: “Don't Waste God's Time,” “Customers Don't Always Come First,” “Good Stewardship Doesn't Mean Stinginess,” “Time-Management Training can be a Con Game,” and “Be Alert for Huge Mistakes.”