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The Tortoise Usually Wins: Biblical Reflections On Quiet Leadership For Reluctant Leaders Paperback – April 5, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Professor Brian Harris (BSocSc, BTh (Hons), MTh, PhD (Uni of Auckland)) is Principal of Vose Seminary, a Baptist theological college in Perth, WA. Brian has lived in both South Africa and New Zealand and has successfully been the senior pastor of three churches, each of which grew dramatically. His PhD interacts with the thought of Stanley Grenz and explores the nature and future of evangelical theology. In 2009, he commenced as senior pastor of Carey Baptist Church in conjunction with his role at Vose, giving him valuable practical pastoral insight. Brian is married to Rosemary, and has three children - Nick, Amy and Jett.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Paternoster (April 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842277871
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842277874
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,789,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Guthrie on June 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
The book 'The Tortoise Usually Wins' by Brian Harris examines the theory of quiet leadership. As implied by the title, Harris compares quiet leaders to the old Aesop fable of the tortoise and the hare.

Harris acknowledges that most people are not naturally born leaders, however he argues that leadership is in the grasps of most people. He argues that it is perseverance and tenacity that makes quiet leaders successful in their ministry contexts.

Harris does a fantastic job of looking at the many pitfalls associated with this leadership style, but does so in a way that is both insightful and encouraging. An example of this is when he speaks about the issues of complexity, betrayal and crisis, and provides valuable insights on how to prepare oneself for when these issues do arise in the Church setting.

Throughout the book the author interviews other quiet leaders, asking them challenging questions that reflect on particular chapters. This was particularly interesting to read the experiences (and advice) of these people, as in many ways I found myself relating to them.

The book is an easy read, but I would highly recommend that it be read in a way that encourages active self-reflection, rather than rushing through it. I say this because I quickly read through it, but then felt the need to go back to many of the chapters for later review and reflection.

I highly recommend this book, to quiet leaders entering into / currently in ministry. I also feel that there are many valuable gems for CHRISTians who find themselves in secular leadership positions. Similarly, I highly recommend this book to naturally born dynamic leaders as I believe it will provide them with an insight of the importance of the quiet leaders in their Church, as well as an appreciation of this "different breed" of leaders.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Ralphs on November 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an excellent book on leaders and leadership. Many books on leadership assume the leader will share the personality and skill-set of charismatic leaders, or heroic leaders, as Brian Harris calls them. Others present leadership in a mechanical sort of way so that almost anyone who aspires to lead can do so successfully if they adopt the right techniques.
Brian Harris appreciates heroic leaders while acknowledging the pitfalls they face, but recognizes they form only a small percentage of those who are called to undertake leadership. Differently gifted people who try to emulate heroic leaders often fail in their attempt and give up. He argues many people become leaders somewhat reluctantly, and do so because there is a need for leadership in a context where no leadership would be a worse option – and over time learn to lead effectively in a quiet, undramatic way. Brian Harris calls these people: “quiet leaders” - and likens them to the tortoise of the old story, whereby through taking one step after another and persevering the tortoise eventually reaches the goal.
Brian Harris briefly examines some theories of leadership and then expounds a theory of quiet leadership in which the leader is presented as servant, shepherd and steward, based on biblical models. Such leadership is follower focused rather than leader focused.
Brian Harris discusses ethical issues involved in leadership and various approaches to them and sets forth key virtues of quiet leadership: modesty, restraint, tenacity, interdependence and other-centredness. While success is important, significance is an even more important goal. We need to ask what we should do before we ask what we could do (otherwise it can lead to pragmatism).
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By Sheila on April 12, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Turtlr - Slow n Steady
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