The Longview by Roger Parrott

December 30, 2009 | By | Add a Comment

The Longview is written to ministry leaders, but longview principles are for every Christian striving for authentically biblical leadership, whether in ministry or the marketplace. How will you choose to face the challenges of leadership? Will you choose to pursue immediate results – or will you choose to follow Christ and have the fortitude, vision, skill, and strength to understand that genuine transformation is gained through envisioning the longview implications of every leadership action?

The Longview, p. 10-11

Synopsis: As its name implies, The Longview is about defying the trends of short-sighted goal-making for quick returns by learning to lead for long-term significance. It is written by Dr. Roger Parrott, who is the president of Belhaven University, a liberal arts institution in Jackson, Mississippi. The book includes chapters on taking a long-term approach to leadership, keeping egos in check, managing conflicts of interest, humility, mentoring, spontaneity, accountability and vision.

Positives: I have read leadership books in the past and figured that this would rehash older material. My expectations were low. I was pleasantly surprised by this book’s contents and enjoyed the reading. Parrott writes well and is passionate about the topics he has chosen to discuss. It was clear to me that he took pride in this work and truly had something to say. He has the experience to back up his points and openly shares about what he has learned over the years.

I particularly liked how Parrott compared making decisions to playing chess. Each move has ripple effects and should not be considered in isolation. He also has a great deal to say about addressing rumors and conflict, sharing credit, keeping a team on the same page and creating the right culture. Finally, egos are a huge problem for leaders and I loved how he dealt with this early on. Underpinning everything is a desire to follow Christ.

Negatives: At times, I felt that this book was too narrowly focused. Parrott works as the president of a university and some of what he has to say would mainly apply to other university presidents or leaders of larger Christian organizations. Though everyone is in a position of influence, portions of this book don’t reach a broader audience.

Also, this isn’t really a negative, but I have no idea whether Parrott practices what he preaches. I would be curious to know what students and subordinates would have to say. Finally, this is nitpicking, but I scratched my head at his interpretation of 1 Corinthians 13 (p. 13) and wasn’t crazy about the places where he referred to Belhaven as “my institution”. Though the author came across as a person of humility, the statements of possession worked against the chapter on ego and he does not own the school.

Summary: Persons in leadership positions or with an interest in organization behavior will benefit from reading this insightful book. I have not seen many books which so skillfully inform cross-disciplinary leadership with Christian principles.

Rating: 5/5 (Fresh and informative.)

This book was provided for review by David C. Cook. To learn more about this book, or purchase from Amazon, click here. You might also want to check out the book’s website.

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Category: Reviews

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