JBR (Just Been Reading) – ‘Leading from the Second Chair’

(This is the first of (hopefully) an ongoing series to share some helpful ideas from books that I get a chance to look at. Not full blown book reviews, but things I found useful – I hope its a blessing.)

I have just finished Leading from the Second Chair, by Mike Bonem & Roger Patterson. (Find out more about the book at www.secondchairleaders.com).

Reading it, I had one of those ‘a ha’ moments that made sense of my 5 years here at Macquarie Anglican Churches. The authors posit that 2nd chair leading (ie. not being ‘the boss’, but one step down in an organisation) is all about managing 3 paradoxes:

1. The ‘Leader/Subordinate’ paradox.

If you’re a 2nd chair leader, then you’re a leader. You’re expected to shape, influence, make decisions, run teams. But the buck doesn’t ultimately stop with you. The whole organisation ultimately is shaped by the first chair, and you need to be happy with that.

2. The ‘Deep/Wide’ paradox.

2nd chairs are supposed to go ‘deep’ into the portfolios they manage, knowing the details, whose on rosters etc. But they are also meant to be wide, having some sense of how the whole organisation fits together, so that they can assist the first chair and be a part of decisions that affect the whole.

3. The ‘Contentment/Dreaming’ paradox.

God places people in places for a reason and a season. Being content means accepting that, and being the best you can be where you at this time. At the same time, we are call to dream, to have vision, and to work those visions out, whether they be in this place, or in the future at another place.

Good stuff.

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