Right from the start you know what you’re getting with this book: fifty-two chapters, each roughly two to four pages in length, addressing a different principle Tim Stevens has observed and practiced—for better or worse—in his years in leadership positions. Fairness is Overrated (And 51 Other Leadership Principles to Revolutionize Your Workplace) is offered as a “take it or leave it” book of practical wisdom and experience. Few chapters are written expressly for churches and non-profit organizations, but much of the book can be applied for any leadership situation. Though the author and I likely differ in our ecclesiastical approach (I do not see the church primarily as a non-profit business, nor do I believe it ought to be run as such), I can still appreciate the value of some of these points by way of application in another. Of course, Stevens does not claim anything in the book to be a “fix it all,” of sorts, and encourages discernment in the reading and application of each practice, even to the point of writing back-to-back chapters that disagree with one another (because that’s what wisdom calls for at times!). He concludes that “leadership is not an exact science. If you do the same thing twice, it can be exactly right in one instance and the absolute wrong action in the next situation. Leadership requires prayer, discernment, collaboration, intuition, research, experience, confidence, self-control, and guts to take risks” (223).
Stevens hopes the book will be “a manual you will reach for again and again as you face new challenges” (xiii), and, “[w]hether or not you agree with [him], it’s a win if something [he says] creates room for your team to have productive discussion” (xvii). I foresee it being just that.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”