The Power of Belonging - Out now!
Vulnerability has become an increasingly popular topic for popular thought recently, with the rise of writers such as Brene Brown meaning that it is fast becoming part of our everyday leadership speak. It is very welcome therefore to pick up this new book (out today, 1st Feb!) by Will and Rob considering the subject of vulnerability in leadership from the context of how our sense of belonging and security can influence how able we are to truly be ourselves -and the impact that can have on ourselves and those we lead.
“Leadership is often exciting and pioneering, but can leave us sick for something more familiar and encouraging”
‘The Power of Belonging’ asks the question - how can we lead with authenticity, out of the reality of who we are in spite of the inevitable awareness we have of our weaknesses, flaws and short comings - in spite of the experiences many of us have had that have impacted our security and confidence - and in environments which sometimes can be challenging or even hostile? How can we overcome challenging emotions like fear and shame, make difficult decisions well and truly flourish ourselves as well as leading effectively and to our full potential?
“Tough decisions have to be made in leadership, but that doesn’t mean that a leader has to be devoid of real friendships, real collaboration or a real sense of belonging”
As anyone who has read Will and Rob’s previous books will expect, ‘The Power of Belonging’ combines a brilliant mix of wisdom from various different perspectives, and biblical thought and application - in this case drawing throughout the book on the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. It is beautifully written, hitting the balance perfectly between encouragement and challenge, opening up the key themes clearly and offering a way to journey into something new and beyond where we currently find ourselves.
“Shame bound leaders are plagued by the fear of being found out - it is one of the greatest inhibitors to their leadership.”
The book challenges common experiences such as imposter syndrome, examining how past experience as well as reactions to the present can influence feelings of shame and insecurity which can become a significant limitation on leadership. It clarifies common misconceptions about topics like vulnerability (good to be reminded that this is not about being ‘a bleeding heart in the public square’!), considers the most difficult environments we might find ourselves leading in and offers a chance to contemplate and explore our feelings as leaders as well as suggesting a path away from them. And ultimately and wonderfully it reminds us of the amazing blessing of the spiritual basis of our leadership, rooted in the ultimate security that the world can sometimes lead us to forget or forsake.
“Powerful leadership is rooted in belonging now, having a kingdom focus of home that is both present and future focused”
Will and Rob write in an accessible style, bringing the wide range of material to you in a way that is always digestible, informative and interesting. Their frequent use of stories from their own experience is incredibly refreshing (as well as being a great example of the vulnerability they describe) and leaves you with a real sense that they have shared not just their ideas and learning but their personal experience as well. This is a great book to dip into, read in one sitting, or study more formally (each chapter ends with some thought provoking questions for this purpose). It is no surprise that I would recommend this, working closely with the authors - but I really DO recommend the book - it is a really inspiring read on a fascinating topic, and one which I am sure will offer all leaders great pause for thought, and inspiration for their next season - wherever that takes them.
Kate Middleton, 01/02/2019