History is strewn with examples of failed leadership. The book ends for these stories, we contend, are abusive power and control (tyranny) on one hand and "me" (narcissism) on the other. Tyranny gives us such notables as Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Nero and Ivan the Terrible. Narcissism gives us Bernard Maddoff, Enron, Jim Bakker, Henry the 8th ,and Louis the 14th.
With so many examples of failed leadership, why have we not learned our lesson? Why do we keep repeating our mistakes? The answer lies in human nature. Some people lust for power and control over others, and if the truth be told, others prefer being "told what to do" because then they don't have to think or take responsibility for their actions: being controlled gives them someone to blame. Others crave attention and seek the adulation of those around them and, like the victims of tyranny, those ruled by narcissists prefer a hero figure to adore in good times, and blame in bad times.
Christianity is both belief and practice. Therefore it is both critical, and the authors argue, necessary, that the leadership practices of Christians be consistent with the faith. What do you do when you've tried the theories and they aren't working? You move beyond tyranny and narcissism. Where do you go? You go to historic Christianity. At the heart of the Christian revelation you will discover a timeless organizational model that is founded upon the Holy Trinity, and a leadership model incarnated in Jesus Christ both of which are relevant for daily living and decision making, no matter what your organization. It's time to stop acquiescing to tyranny and narcissism as if things cannot be better. It's time to claim the higher ground. This takes leadership born of courage, strength, character, discipline and faith. It also takes knowing where you want to go. The authors provide a well-grounded blueprint.
Beginning with a Trinitarian vision of a communion of persons, McKibben and Williams outline in many practical ways how it is possible to make hierarchy and conciliarity complementary aspects of a leadership based on mutual service and accountability. If you are disillusioned with organizational church life, or simply frustrated at the gap between theology and administration, then this book will be a source of hope
If you are disillusioned with organizational church life, or simply frustraed at the gap between theology and administration, then this book will be a source of hope....this is a pioneering work.
Fr. John A. Jillions
Associate Professor, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada; Vice-President of the Canadian Council of Churches
Beyond Tryanny and Narcissism addresses organizational realities that all churches and businesses struggle with, and does so from the perspective of the historic Christian faith by drawing on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and Christ´s leadership style. It is the best single practical treatment on the Holy Trinity I have read.
Dr Richared J. Mouw
President, Fuller Theological Seminary