We have an epidemic among leaders today. Far too many high-achieving, talented men and women are running on the verge of burnout. They’re creating, organizing, and leading on the fumes of a passion that once burned strong.
Many leaders are physically done. They are about to crash and their bodies are going to pay for it. Other leaders are spiritually and emotionally worn out. They are on the verge of crashing too. Unfortunately, their most important relationships — their relationship with God, family, and close friends — will be the sacrifice.
This epidemic exists in the business sector, non-profit world, and political arena. Sadly, it’s far too common in Christian ministry too. That’s why I’m thankful for Alan Briggs’s new book The Right-Side Up Leader: Choosing Health in the Age of Impact.
Alan shows that ambitious leaders do not have to sacrifice their health to follow their God-given visions, nor do they have to give up their dreams to maintain their health. This central contention of this book is “Pursue impact and you’ll find unhealth. Pursue health you’ll find impact” (10).
The Right-Side Up Leader is filled with wisdom. However, it is also extremely practical. Alan provides the reader with tools to implement this philosophy of leadership into his or her life. I hope that many leaders who are weary will get this book and begin to experience both greater health and greater impact. The length and price-point of the book also make it perfect for the busy or overwhelmed leader. Read my favorite ten quotes below.
My 10 Favorite Quotes
“I’ve never met a leader who set out to burn out. No one dreams of accomplishing a few milestones and flaming out. We don’t get here on purpose” (5).
“As kingdom leaders we must refuse to continue chanting the cultural anthems of stress, striving, fear and white-knuckle leadership. At some point our lives must declare: ministry will not win at the cost of my heart, soul, mind, body and family” (8).
“Pursue impact and you’ll find unhealth. Pursue health you’ll find impact” (10).
“The right-side up leader chooses health over impact. The gospel reminds us we already have identity, and we get to go with our Father and find impact. Ironically, right-side up leaders still find impact on the other side of health” (12).
“You can’t effectively continue creating without ceasing. The irony of production is it requires rest, limits, boundaries and focus” (15).
“Sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is go to bed or take a day off. When we choose sabbath we remind ourselves God is doing just fine spinning the world on his finger. Turns out He doesn’t need us” (16).
“Sabbath is a choice. Every time I choose sabbath I’m professing, ‘God can do this on his own. God can run the world without me. He’s in charge, I’m not. When I rest God is still working’” (16).
“Impact for the sake of impact is hollow. We are built for meaningful work, but we despise toil. The difference between work and toil is meaning. Chasing impact before securing our identity lacks meaning” (19).
“Healthy teams don’t just make your leadership stronger; they can make every teammate stronger” (22).
“Develop processes in your personal life and leadership so you are acting instead of reacting. If you don’t have processes you are making emotional decisions” (29).
The Right-Side Up Leader: Choosing Health in An Age of Impact by Alan Briggs. Stay Forth Designs (2018). 42pp. $5. Purchase at http://stayforth.com/.