Saturday, July 6, 2013

Book Review: I've Got Your Back

In I've Got Your Back, author James C. Gavin uses a parable about four twenty-something's who desperately need help in their careers. What they thought would be a way just to better their careers will turn out be an experience that changes their lives. Even their mentor, Jack Hendrickson, realizes that his combat mission days are not over but just on a different battlefield. 

From their Friday night Bible studies to their Monday work days, following along all four characters gave a clear picture of each of their struggles with leadership. Although the characters themselves just wanted mentoring to become leaders at work, they soon find it to be impossible to limit leadership to just one area of life. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the diversity among the group. Instead of lumping everyone together and labeling them, the author presents each character with individual problems and solutions. There is no one solution fixes everyone except for the foundation of all solutions---Jesus. 

The author takes the reader along for the journey the four are undertaking to discover the truth about the following-leading dynamic. Instead of showing the big picture of the following-leading dynamic from the onset, the characters discover the principles themselves through doing their assignments, reporting their experiences, and learning from their mistakes. I appreciated the fact that it was not your common three steps to be a fantastic leader fluff but rather presented the truth of developing one's unique potential through becoming a REAL follower. 

Although the book is divided into two parts (parable first then the outline of the Biblical principles) and can be read in any order, I strongly suggest reading the parable first. By the time I finished reading the parable, I was able to understand clearly the principles outlined in the second part of the book. 

The author’s thorough use of Bible verses throughout demonstrate his conviction that leadership and followership are clearly God designed and should be obeyed as He ordained. When violated, man becomes an abuser of power and/or a victim of follower abuse. 

I would recommend this book to anyone because as the author clearly points out: 

As we grow in our ability to follow well, we also grow in our ability to lead. This is because leadership and followership are two sides of the same coin. To lead well we need to understand the leader-follower dynamic as God created it. To create the conditions for that dynamic to occur, we need to follow well and help others follow well. The best leaders are also the best followers. p. 194

I received complimentary copy of this book from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for an independent and unbiased review.

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May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14