Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Review: I've Got Your Back by James C. Galvin

I’ve Got Your Back dives deep into a followership and leadership parable in the first part of the book. It is a parable about a group of people that went to the same school but didn’t really know each other until they came together in a group. They are all victims of bad leadership, which has scarred them to some degree. Some of them have no interest in leading; some do not have the skills to lead, etc. A man named Jack trains them to be better followers of the leaders in their lives, and how to lead in spurts. The parable breaks down followership into three different types: Type I= Following God, Type II= Following Inherited Authorities, Type III= Following Human Beings and explains the differences in how we should submit to each one. It also explains the doing and being side to leadership; leaders need both competence and character, should lead skillfully, and need to care about the people they are leading. The second part of the book lays out the theology of leadership and followership.

My first reaction as I started reading this book was “Wow!”. As I read deeper into the parable, I was amazed by how much this book kept speaking to me, probably by God Himself. Jesus’ parables are shorter in the Bible, but this longer one also was very helpful to me. The examples of leadership and followership in the Bible were encouraging to me. My thoughts about submission to people in congregations have been rocky over the last decade. I believe this book corrected most or all of my thinking about that. I need to submit to God in Type I followership. The inherited authorities that are placed in my life from type II followership, like the government, are put there by God. So, I shouldn’t feel bad when I follow my inherited authorities over individual people; in fact, it’s taught in Scripture that way. Type III followership includes the people that are placed in my life at a congregation I attend and in other parts of my life. They are humans that I can say “yes” and “no” to as needed; if my “no” is not accepted when I need to vocalize it and put it into action then I am allowed to move on, although I could lose friends or my job as a result.

I don’t remember ever reading a book like this before. It's currently a one-of-a-kind book in my Biblical/inspirational book collection!

My rating= 5 out of 5 stars

 I received a complimentary copy of this book from Handlebar Marketing for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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