Book Review: The Life Giving Leader

The Life Giving Leader:  Learning To Lead From Your Truest Self, by Tyler Reagin

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Multnomah Waterbrook Publishing.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

I found a great deal to enjoy in this book, but it would be entirely understandable if not all readers were as pleased with this book or with the author’s approach.   In order to test whether or not you would appreciate this book, it is worthwhile to ask yourself a few questions.  Are you okay with an author who cites only a few scriptures (albeit good ones, especially Psalm 139) and most of those from less literal translations like The Message, or not?  Are you okay with an author who spends a lot of time talking about himself and his background and his associates or do you find this bothersome?  Do you like writers who adopt and promote the use of personality theory [1] for people to better understand themselves or do you find personality theory a bad thing for Christians to pay a lot of attention to?  The more favorable your answers to these questions, the more you are likely to enjoy this short book.

After two forewords, because apparently the author felt it necessary to receive more than the usual support from outside writers, the author discusses in two introductory chapters the leadership that results from personality (1) and the divine call to lead that believers have (2).  After that the author spends a bit of time talking about how people lead from their truest self (I) through living with no regrets (3) and embracing their uniqueness to determine their own leadership style (4).  The author then talks about how leaders release the life giver within them (II) through being self-aware (5), self-accepting (6), self-confident (7), humble (8), and healthy (9).  The author talks about some of the notable behaviors of life-giving leaders (III) such as their selfless work (10), their sacrifice for godly causes (11), their surrendering to God’s will (12), and their heeding the call to serve others (13).  After this the author talks about how life-giving leaders change organizations (IV) in creating vibrant organizations in their wake (14), building teams that flourish (15), and leaving a legacy to inspire others even after they are gone (16).  All of this is done in a brisk pace of less than 200 pages, including the acknowledgements and notes, of the sort of book that well befits a disciple of John Maxwell.

Ultimately, there were a couple of reasons that I appreciated this book despite my wariness with the author’s approach and my belief that he could have made his case in a far stronger and far more biblical manner.  While the author talks about the self far too much for my own tastes, and his use of the Bible is pretty weak when compared to his continual pop culture references, the author’s conviction that leaders need to do a better job serving others as well as being authentic and strong in their personal character are definitely points that should be well taken by the readers of this book.  Judging this book charitably, it appears that this book is aimed at those who do not have a strong biblical foundation and so it provides encouragement for leaders to behave in a godly way without using a lot of scriptures that may be off-putting to the people the author is aiming this book at.  Through his wit and discourse, the author is trying to make it look cool and cutting-edge to be a godly leader who serves others, and given that I agree with him as to the ends of leadership, I am willing to tolerate his less than ideal means.  Not all readers will be that charitable, though.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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