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Longview [Hardcover]

By Parrott Roger (Author)
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Item Number 581883  
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Item Description...
Overview
Too often leaders choose near-sighted solutions over long-term strategies. The results can be devastating, as ignored issues become crises, and small problems grow into lasting challenges. We need leaders who take the long view. Those who value transformation over turn-around, and measure results in terms of eternity, not quarterly-reports. It's a view that looks beyond the horizon, and prepares for uncharted territory. The Long View is a fresh approach to leadership that will transform how you make decisions and address problems. Inside you'll discover proven, practical principles that can help any ministry, organization, or business go the distance.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.3" Width: 5.8" Height: 1"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2009
Publisher   David C. Cook
ISBN  1434767493  
EAN  9781434767493  


Availability  2 units.
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Godly Counsel for Christian Leaders - What to Do and What Not to Do  Apr 6, 2010
How often have we seen Christian ministries and ministry leaders fall in the recent past? Author Roger Parrott, PhD ([..]) attributes part of the reason to the decisions that these ministry leaders make. They choose easy solutions over principled, long-term strategies. The results can be devastating, as ignored issues become full-blown crises, and small problems become large challenges.

Dr. Parrott is currently the president of Bellhaven University ([..]), a Christian liberal arts university in Jackson, Mississippi. He has a PhD in higher education from the University of Maryland. He also serves in leadership roles for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism, Mission America Coalition, and Council for Christian Colleges & Universities. On a personal note, he is the older brother of Dr. Les Parrott ([..]), who ministers with his wife, Dr. Leslie Parrott, on marriage and relationship issues.

Dr. Parrott [..]president explains the difference between longview and short-view ministry:

We live in a quick-fix, immediate-impact, short-view world.
But we serve a longview God.
To bridge this gulf between earthly priorities and a heavenly perspective, Jesus became the ultimate example of longview leadership amid the clamor for expedient results. Of course His sights were always aimed toward eternity (the ultimate longview), and He lived and thought in that realm. But even in the practical of everyday demands of leadership, Jesus showed us the value of investing in longview solutions as we serve those in our care. (p. 9)

Dr. Parrott has this insight about the Me Theology that pervades the church:

Too much ego has wormed its way into the church through a "me-focused" theology that creates sanctified excuses for self-centeredness and ego. Serving God is not about what is in it for me. It is not about asking Jesus for a shopping list of things that will diminish my troubles. And, more importantly, it is not about being lifted up in the eyes of others. Loving and serving God is about glorifying Him. Faithful living is about honoring Christ in what we do. And being a Christian is about living in a way that makes sure our Lord is the center of attention and praise. (p. 34)

Dr. Parrott points out characteristics of the Showman (pp. 35-39):

* Live Flamboyantly
* Inflate Vision
* Act Invincible
* Ignore Critics
* Crave Adrenaline
* Exaggerate Actions
* Become Sensitive
* Attract Groupies
* Demand Appreciation
* Require Empathy
* Listen Poorly
* Enjoy Competition
* Control Obsessively
* Ignore Boundaries

Humility in leaders is invaluable. Dr. Parrott uses Jesus as an example:

Jesus was the most humble person to ever walk this earth. He was God in the body of a human, and He could have done anything He wanted to do - possessing the power to make anything happen. But He limited Himself to only what His Heavenly Father asked Him to do. And so through His humility, Jesus was able to spend ordinary days with His disciples and reveal the natures of God to them through a deep mentoring relationship. (p. 68)

Dr. Parrott makes the interesting assertion that Christian ministries should not plan; Chapter 8 is entitled `Planning Will Drain the Life from Your Ministry.' Here are his thoughts on this:

To start where we are and determine what we can do to move our current situation to a new level is a limiting way to look at God's calling in our lives. Rather, if we will prayerfully, carefully, and regularly seek the Lord's will for our ministry, we can glimpse a picture of His desires, and then work backward from that outcome to determine how to get there. (p. 151)

I think my favorite part of the book is Chapter 13 - `Catching the Wind of God.' He begins the chapter this way:

I am convinced one of the core problems of evangelical leaders is that too often we've stopped trying to catch the wind of God n our sails because we've become fairly effective at creating our own independent power to get God's work done. We can deploy plans, strategies, and best practices, but at the end of the day, we require a determined godly focus to make it far into the future with those we lead. And even though our motors can propel us forward to do many good things in ministry, we will miss catching the wind of God when our motors are revved rather than our sails mended. (p. 237)

I used to attend a large church in which the leader seemed to be running a power boat as opposed to catching the wind of God in a sailboat (he went so far as to ride his Harley out on stage for one weekend service). We left the church because of some of the things we saw behind the scenes, and were alarmed by how the church seemed to be man-made instead of relying - and waiting - on God; we didn't want to sit under that type of leadership. I pray that they are not still on that path. This book is well-suited for leaders like that; they only need to stop and accept that Godly counsel by reading this book.

I thank Dr. Parrott for writing such a practical book, which is useful for both university presidents and lay leaders. I personally learned a lot from his insights. This is a book that will be referenced by me over and over again.

This book was published by David C. Cook and provided by the B&B Media Group for review purposes.
 
Enjoyable, insightful and helpful  Dec 30, 2009
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.

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.

This book was provided for review by the B&B Media Group.
 
None better  Dec 3, 2009
For 30 years I've read at least a couple leadership books every year, and LONGVIEW is among the best.
This thoroughly enjoyable read brought spiritual refreshment and renewal, while challenging some conventional theories -- with convincing logic and helpful specifics.
While many business and leadrship tomes rehash one basic idea, Roger Parrott develops his "Longview" theme in numerous practical areas, with some facsinating, instructive examples from business, politics, college administration, ministry, scripture, and his own experiences.
I heartiy recommend THE LONGVIEW -- truly enjoyable and helpful!
 
Ego-Driven Leaders: Exhausting vs. Equipping  Oct 23, 2009
"Ego is a megaphone that is always obnoxious," warns Roger Parrott. His book is filled with poignant insights like that one. His second chapter, "Deflate Your Ego to Expand Your Influence," is remarkably fresh and convicting.

When is the last time (or the first time), you've voluntarily read a chapter about keeping your ego in check? Parrott, the president of Belhaven College, Jackson, Miss., since 1995, must struggle--like all college presidents, mega-church pastors, CEOs and senior leaders--to downplay his own role and showcase the roles of others.

The author offers "a portrait of the showmen" with the compilation of 14 traits, along with brief commentaries, he's observed in ego-driven leaders. They include:
1. Live Flamboyantly
2. Inflate Vision
3. Act Invincible
4. Ignore Critics
5. Crave Adrenaline
6. Exaggerate Actions
7. Become Sensitive
8. Attract Groupies
9. Demand Appreciation
10. Require Empathy
11. Listen Poorly
12. Enjoy Competition
13. Control Obsessively
14. Ignore Boundaries

Commenting on the trait of leaders who exaggerate actions, he notes: "These leaders move in wide, sweeping motions that take up space wherever they might be. They don't do anything simply, but every action is so exaggerated that the staff around them is exhausted, rather that equipped, by their leadership."

After reading these 14 traits to my wife, Joanne, I gave her my brilliant idea: create an online "Ego Assessment for Leaders" and encourage my clients and other CEOs to do a 360 survey with their board members, their direct reports and their own self-assessments. Joanne's response: "Yeah, John. After you are willing to do that!"

Parrott has 13 more chapters including: "Planning Will Drain the Life From Your Ministry" and "Preempting the Stickiest Challenge of Long-Term Leadership." The latter focuses on conflicts of interest--a rare and practical look at this leadership stumbling block. This college president's style reminds me a bit of USC President Steven Sample's book, The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership (J-B Warren Bennis Series).

You'll get your money's worth from this book in savvy corner office wisdom. Like this from chapter three, "Applause Lasts for a Moment, but Leadership is for a Lifetime." He writes, "...bad news must be announced, or the gossip and speculation will run far ahead of the facts." Instead of letting bad news leak out, Parrott is pro-active. "I don't bring my entire employee base together lightly, because I figure it costs us about $10,000 an hour in wages when we gather, but the cost of not meeting during a time of bad news is much higher. Without the full story, coworkers become fearful, assumptions run rampant, and energy is drained by the uncertainty. Leaders may have learned to live comfortably with a high level of ambiguity, but others have not."
 
Leadership is about people  Oct 21, 2009
An organization tends to be seen as a sophisticated machine designed to do a particular job, and that needs to be run like ... well, a machine. It differs from a strictly inanimate machine like a printing press in that the organization is a hybrid machine that includes human components as well as inanimate parts. So much of leadership thinking seems to be about operating these hybrid machines. In thatrespect, it is not about leading so much as about driving machinery.

Parrott's The Longview builds its whole argument around the fact that organizations are a collaborative effort among human beings, and develops leadership principles within that context.

Surely, organizations are created to accomplish defined objectives, and there is a certain amount of structure and discipline that resemble that of inanimate machinery: specialized departments and functions that must work together in harmonious integration. Yet, the very fact that their active components are persons, rather than metal or plastic parts held together with nuts and bolts, requires a whole different approach to what is expected of leaders leaders.

Parrott builds his case from that perspective from the start, and the result is refreshing, disturbing, scary and full of promise at the same time. For instance, he challenges routinely held assumptions concerning long range planning, and other sacred cows of conventional leadership literature. At the very least he humanizes the way we think about leadership. But more than that, Parrott writes from experience as leader of a complex organization (Belhaven College), where his principles have been tested and applied over several years.

If you are an organizational leader, I believe you will find The Longview a helpful breath of fresh air in leadership literature. In the process of reading it you will find yourself provoked and positively drawn to changing how you lead.

 

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