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They say it’s lonely at the top. And it can be even lonelier when you are almost at the top. Church leaders who hold “second chair” positions are under tremendous pressure. They are expected to do their jobs and provide leadership but defer to the top leader, too. It’s a demanding balancing act. How can they lead effectively while serving under someone else’s leadership?
Leading from the Second Chair offers an invaluable resource to leaders who serve in second (and third and fourth) chair roles, enabling them to become more productive, proactive, and fulfilled. The book reveals the paradoxes of second chair leadership. These leaders must be subordinate to the top leader yet lead in their own right. They should be deep in their expertise but wide in perspective. And they must be content in their jobs yet remain enthusiastic about their dreams for the future.
Mike Bonem and Roger Patterson share their own and others’ experiences of failures and successes in this vital role. They offer support and practical advice for reshaping the way second chair leaders can serve well and improving the overall performance of their church or organization.
Leading from the Second Chair equips readers with the positive attitudes, skills, and strategies needed to become influential leaders who will excel in leading and following in a God-honoring way.
Drawing on their years of second chair experience, as well as the experience of other skilled second chair leaders, Mike and Roger have captured the essence of the second chair role. It is about leading and managing your way through a set of paradoxes. The first time Mike shared the three key paradoxes with me, I immediately knew that they were on to something. It rang so true to my experience…
The insights from Mike and Roger are unique and I believe will benefit anyone in a second chair role, regardless of the size of your church or organization. But beyond offering lots of practical advice, I believe the book offers something else equally valuable. It offers hope.
Because you see, the second chair role can be very lonely and there are many days you wish someone would just tell you that you’re not crazy. After reading Mike and Roger’s story, along with the stories of other second chair leaders, I don’t feel quite so alone. I feel understood and I have more hope.
From the foreword by Greg L. Hawkins, Executive Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church