The Leadership Ellipse: Shaping How We Lead by Who We Are

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9780830835386: The Leadership Ellipse: Shaping How We Lead by Who We Are
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Everyone in a position of responsibility knows the tension of leadership. It may be between tasks or people, money or mission, the present or the future. One often neglected tension is between our inner spiritual longings and the outward needs of the group we lead. But we need not feel forced to choose between the two. Leadership has more in common with an ellipse with two focal points than a bull's-eye with a single target. The Leadership Ellipse is designed to help Christian leaders embrace both halves of the tension--our internal relationship with God and our external relationship with others--to find a truly authentic, integrated way to lead. If you find yourself in a lonely, isolated place of leadership, this book can be your companion. If you find yourself longing to lead in a way that is truly Christian, this book can be your guide. And if you are simply exhausted, then this book can offer you a new way to find refreshment. There is life beyond the bull's-eye.

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About the Author:

Robert A. (Bob) Fryling is publisher of InterVarsity Press (Westmont, Illinois) and Vice President of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (Madison, Wisconsin). He writes, speaks and teaches in the areas of spiritual formation, leadership, Christian faith and culture. He lives in Illinois with his wife, Alice, an author and spiritual director. Together they have co-authored three books.

Review:

"If you find yourself in a lonely, isolated place of leadership, this book can be your companion. If you find yourself longing to lead in a way that is truly Christian, this book can be your guide. And if you are simply exhausted, then this book can offer you a new way to find refreshment. There is life beyond the bull's-eye." (Youth & Discipleship Leadership, Summer 2011)

"Leadership Ellipse contains both information and applications, this book engages you in an introspective way, usually reserved to the likes of Andrew Murray. . . Fryling writes from the position of a successful executive to other leaders struggling with the paradoxical demands of personal spirituality and organizational leadership." (Jere Phillips, Great Commission Resurgence Journal, Summer 2010)

"There's a great deal of wisdom, truthfulness, and intelligence in the book. Anyone who leads others, whether in a secular organization, church, or Christian organization, will greatly benefit from the author's experiences and observations. Recommended." (Neil Bartlett, CBA Retailers & Resources, March 2010)

"The first section of this book provides perspective on the inner world, while the second section does the same for the outer world. The third section joins the first two together and demonstrates how their relationship can lead toward individual practices that are holistic for the individual and community. Throughout the book, the author includes the narrative of his journey, which functions as a travel companion guiding the reader in the construction of a personal leadership ellipse. The result of reading just might lead to the reconciliation of two worlds and an answered prayer." (Eric Mathis, Worship Leader Magazine,)

"Publisher Fryling bases his teachings on Scripture and gives advice he has found to help him on his journey, such as following Lent and practicing the Sunday Sabbath. With numerous anecdotes, he shares his own successes and failures as a busy leader in the Christian community. I recommend this book for Christian leaders of all ages because it focuses on the necessity of biblical, Christlikeness in effective leadership." (Church Libraries, Spring 2010)

"The book is well written, honest and frank and his personal reflections are real and helpful. Any leader would be a better leader and person by reading and practicing the advice in this book." (Peter Corney, Branch Matters Magazine, July 2010)

"[Bob Fryling's] message is two-pronged: you can't be a Christian activist without being contemplative; you can't be a Christian contemplative without being an activist. With winsome accuracy he has joined two ways of life that are often 'put asunder.' It strikes me as a remarkable achievement. "This is not a book of advice on how to do it; it is more like a personal journal of a Christian leader who has spent his life being a competent leader and a thoughtful Christian." (From the foreword by Eugene H. Peterson, translator of The Message)

"As there are learning disabilities, so there are leadership disabilities, and chief among them is the gap that Bob Fryling highlights: between the leader's outer and inner worlds. I find The Leadership Ellipse to be both challenging (dealing with debilitating but often overlooked issues like self-pity and jealousy) and hopeful (chock full of delightful analogies and wise counsel). Read this book to inspire you to leadership which is neither fat with ideas nor thin in practice, but truly elliptical--shaped like Jesus! (Leighton Ford, author of The Attentive Life)

"What makes this book especially valuable among writings on leadership is its richness of detail concerning the fine texture of the leader's life and personality. The weight the leader must bear, in order to carry through with the calling upon his or her life, simply crushes the person who is not, throughout their being, solidly joined with what is good and with God's grace upon all of it. So joined, in ways the author makes clear, there is joy and love, space and creativity, no matter what." (Dallas Willard, Author of The Divine Conspiracy)

"With intelligence and wit, Bob Fryling wrestles honestly and graciously with some of the great paradoxes and finer nuances of leadership. This book will be a great blessing to those of us who are seeking to remain faithful to God in the trenches of leadership." (Ruth Haley Barton, president, Transforming Center, and author of Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership)

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