With “I’ve Got Your Back” James Galvin has produced one of the most helpful resources for leadership development that have hit the marketplace in recent years. He very wisely avoided the typical textbook format here.
Galvin begins by challenging some worn leadership principles that have produced what he calls Follower Abuse at the hands of incompetent, disempowering, manipulative, or toxic leaders (p. 49). He suggests that we can respond to follower abuse by avoiding leadership roles, perpetuating the cycle of abuse, hiding behind servant leadership, or developing our unique potential (p. 50.)Do we really need another leadership textbook? And perhaps more important, would we read it? Galvin asked that question early on and determined to publish a work that is both significantly helpful and eminently readable. The story he developed successfully delivers the content he wants to convey without getting buried in the pages of a textbook.
Perhaps the central thesis of Galvin’s leadership manifesto is found in these words spoken by Jack – the main character in this story:
“When you’re a leader, you lead followers. If you know how to follow well, then you know what good followers need. If you don’t know how to follow well yourself, you won’t be able to help others follow well.”
To lead well you must understand how to follow well. There are three types of followership:
Type I – Following God – which is eternal. Galvin says that we are unable to follow God fully.
Type II – Following inherited authorities – which lasts a lifetime. We are required to follow them.
Type III – Follow Human Beings – which is temporary. Following them is a choice.
(for the full chart see page 82.)
The core of his content is summarized in a few simple charts that are woven into the narrative. These charts should become part of your office decor or journal for frequent future reference.
If you have ever struggled to lead well or have experienced follower abuse from those leaders in your life (and who hasn’t?) then this book is just what you need to make sense of the mess and to bring clarity to the confusion you are experiencing. Second chair leaders will find this to be very helpful as they seek to follow their first chair leaders well – even when they don’t lead so well! If you aspire to move up from the second chair you would do well to master the technique of following well before you make such a move. I plan to utilize this material with the men’s groups and ministry teams that I lead.
You might explore tenthpowerpublishing.com/ivegotyourback for more helpful resources.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of posting a review. No expectation for a positive review was communicated or implied.