For Father’s Day, my daughter gave me a book recommended by one of the professors in her doctoral program entitled, Leading With a Limp. I have quite a collection of books on leadership, but none in which the author is so transparent about his own weaknesses and flaws. Dan Allender is the president of Mars Hill Graduate School and describes how successful leaders must acknowledge their fears, failures, and inadequacies before they can truly develop the character necessary to lead effectively. Many times circumstances confront leaders in which “flight is the only sane response.” But, as we find in the Bible, God loves to use reluctant leaders because they are not easily seduced by power, pride, or ambition.
I’d recommend this book as worthwhile for individuals entering into a leadership role and encourage them keep it on their shelf for those occasions when they feel overwhelmed and are tempted to question their calling.
Regarding my personal reading habits, I only purchase books that are pertinent to my career or role as president. Currently I’m reading publications that are addressing the changing environment in higher education. A couple times in the past I’ve tried to get interested in a novel or biography, but haven’t had much success finding one that holds my interest.
Dr. John Derry has been the President of Hope International University since 2004. His academic interests include Christian higher education administration and leadership. For fun he likes reading unauthorized biographies and stories with happy endings.
Leading With a Limp: Turning Your Struggles Into Strengths by Dan Allender, Waterbrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO; 2006.
Available from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group, Better World Books, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
This book can also be ordered through the Hope International University Bookstore.