Leadership Lessons, by Ralph Hawkins and Richard Leslie Parrott is a case study about the failure of King Saul. The authors raise need at the beginning of their book by providing a biblical rationale for studying a failed leader. Colin Powell reveals the test of leadership failure: “The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stop being their leader. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care.” Leadership Lessons helps prevent Secretary Powell against.
The second part of the book introduces readers to ten failures on Saul’s part:
1. Saul failed to handle authority humbly
2. Saul failed to break out os his tendency to isolate himself
3. Saul failed to think before he spoke
4. Saul failed to act when the time was right
5. Saul failed to lead the people, but let them lead him instead
6. Saul failed to promote or make necessary changes
7. Saul failed to love the people
8. Saul failed to be true to his own ethics
9. Saul failed to admit failure or concede to David
10. Saul failed to consult God
These ten leadership failures capture the essence of Saul’s life and his failure as the King of Israel. The authors are to be commended for excavating these failures and warning readers from committing the same sins in their sphere of influence.
The third section discusses ways to avoid the pitfalls of King Saul and his leadership failures. Boiled down, the authors argue that Saul’s failure can motivate and aspire leaders to excel in their respective arenas. In other words, leaders can learn from Saul’s mistakes.
Leadership Lessons is filled with practical tips for serving people with humility. One criticism that must be noted is the propensity to turn Saul’s sin into a personality disorder. Whenever one promotes the notion of “personality disorder” the next step is some form of “therapy” to remedy that personality disorder. But in Saul’s case, his leadership failure was the result of sin. It was sin that led him down a path that ultimately destroyed his rule and reign. It was sin that led to his untimely death. And the cure for sin is not therapy. The cure for is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
My hope is that leaders will benefit from this book. Much can be learned from the sinful example of King Saul. So much more can be gained by grounding our leadership is the saving message of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.