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Change Agents: 25 Hard-Learned Lessons in the Art of Getting Things Done Paperback – Bargain Price, September 25, 2007
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This was a surprisingly introspective book and showed very clearly the difficulties of living a life in the spotlight with the criticism and hurtful comments that seem to go hand-in-hand with sticking one's head above the parapet. I had wondered if this would be another American-style self help book but it wasn't that, it read rather more like reflective memoirs of the challenges in running a ministry in today's world. Many of Steve's insights were very helpful, he quotes other writers and notable people such as Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill and more and the book is easy to read with Steve's engaging and confiding style to the fore. I would have appreciated perhaps some more depth and exploration of the principles he offers but it was a helpful and enjoyable book.
It is particularly frustrating if you are a minister and your `flock' are all voluntary. They don't get paid so they don't have to do what they are told. If they don't like the direction in which a church is moving, they can simply vote with their feet and go to a different church.
How many clergy get bogged down, trying to keep everyone happy and, in the process, lose their cutting edge and settle for mediocrity.
Chalke admits that you can't please all of the people all of the time, that evy `yes' to something requires a `no' to something contradictory. He does, however, say that people and more important than programmes - if you are going around upsetting people then you have to ask whether your vision is genuine or just an ego trip.
A leader needs to remember that you can only take people with you if they can see `your working out.' Someone who is visionary has `mountain peak experiences' but other people only know what they see and hear from him. And they don't know about the sleepless nights when the visionary wrestles with ideas and wonders what practical steps can be taken to put them into practice. Visionary experiences convert the visionary but the visionary then has to convey that experience as a motivator for change. `People follow people, not disembodied principles.
Don't be too impatient for change: the journey with others is slower than the journey alone.Read more ›