Book Review: The Leader’s Palette
Dr. Enlow uses a creative metaphor, the artist’s palette, to share his insights from his varied leadership experiences. He describes the “colors” that go into the creation of God-honoring leadership:
- Incarnational leadership: Leadership is more about who you are, he argues, than what you do. Credibility, integrity, discipline and grace are some of the hues apparent in this color.
- Relational leadership: Here, again, Enlow submits that leadership is more about the who than the what. Cultivating healthy relationships both within the organization and without are essential leadership skills.
- Developmental leadership: Leaders develop other leaders; they identify, develop, and release the giftedness of those they are responsible to lead.
- Directional leadership: Leaders help their team and the organization’s stakeholders understand and carry out the mission and vision of the organization. It’s characteristic of the author to place this role of leadership where he does in the palette. Many leaders and their followers operate under the belief that giving direction to a team or organization is the leader’s first and primary responsibility. Enlow argues that unless the preceding primary colors are laid down, leadership is merely performance.
- Ecological leadership: Wise leaders are aware of their surroundings, i.e. the culture of the organization they are called to lead as well as the prevailing and ever-shifting trends in the broader culture.
- Situational leadership: It is commonly understood in leadership theory that having the right person in leadership at the right time is a key factor in both the organization’s and the leader’s success. Situational leadership calls for the optimum fit between the leader and the organization’s current context and the leader’s ability to adapt.
- Doxological leadership: True biblical leadership moves people toward God and encourages them to walk in step with God. This is really at the heart of the leadership that Enlow espouses. Godly leaders are stewards who answer to their Master, servants who understand their status, and shepherds who understand their task.
Speaking as a current employee of the organization that Dr. Enlow leads, I can attest that he not only espouses these leadership traits. He lives them. I consider it a great privilege to work under his leadership. And I highly recommend this book.