Short reflection of Leonard Sweet's book "Summoned to Lead"...
Book Reﬂection: Summoned to Lead
I found Leonard Sweet to be of the same caliber as Brennan Manning in terms of his understanding of concepts. But I think Brennan Manning was more of a communicator in that he made sure he articulated his points clearly and eloquently while Leonard Sweet was more of an artist in that he left a lot to the imagination of his readers and didn’t explain many of the context from which he made his observations (primarily, (primarily, music). The book caused a lot of introspection and self-evaluation on my part. Snippets of memories would unexpectedly pop out as I read through various sections of the book, at crawling speed. Some parts of the book afﬁrmed the things I’ve realized about leadership while others made me cringe as they pointed out the error of my ways and taught me how differently I should have behaved in those situations. What was refreshing to me about his approach to the topic of leadership is that he obviously did it from the point of view of a Christ-follower. But having done so doesn’t mean that he had a totally unique view of leadership from what the secular world teaches because I don’t believe that Christians have a monopoly of God’s truth and principles. (In fact, I think the world sometimes sees God’s truth more clearly than us Christians.) I like how he elevated leadership into an art form instead of reducing it to a mere set of principles or formula that leadership gurus claim can be mastered or perfected. I also appreciate how he gave emphasis in Chapter 6 on the invaluable help of the Holy Spirit to those who feel summoned to lead. For Christians, we know that the inner voice is the Holy Spirit while for nonbelievers, they know it as intuition or instinct. The following statements he made in that chapter made me nod my head in agreement: “If you're listening, your inner voice will tell you the next step, not no t some authority. authority. The inner voice is your guide and leader. Instead of depending on power relationships, depend on spirit relationships. After all, who's the best mentor in the world? The Holy Spirit, hands down.” (p. 144) “Leadership listens with all senses peeled to the voice within.” (p.145) “Intuition is both a gift and a skill. Intuition is a ﬁeld skill that brings together many different applications: the rationality of breaking things down do wn and analyzing component parts, the imagination of putting the whole back together again, the semiotics of pattern recognition and assumption making, the discernment of the ‘greater thans’ in the sum of a whole's parts.” (p. 145) If we can just “master” the habit of listening to God and obeying Him in our everyday lives during our preparation stage, the battle will have already been half won by the time God calls us to leadership. And if we can also obey God’s command in Mark 12:29-31 (You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength… You shall love your neighbour as yourself.), He can certainly take care of the rest (i.e. equip us with the rest of the skills we need) as we answer His summon to lead.