Help! I’m in Charge; A Book Review

Last year, my pastor published a book on leadership. Before that, I devoured his iLead podcasts from a sermon series. Pastor Rod Loy has been mentioned in John Maxwell’s The 360 Degree Leader as a top-level leader. 

Knowing him and seeing him live it out naturally led me to buy the book with the best title ever.

“Do you ever wonder what you don’t know about leadership? Who might be a challenge to work with? What could cause your ministry to go away? Questions like these can be overwhelming. That’s why Pastor Rod Loy shares both practical answers and personal stories on helpful leadership stuff like—

• The only sure thing is the unexpected

• Why leadership ability alone isn’t enough

• How you won’t get very far if people don’t like you

• Leading secure and insecure people, and

• Coping with the pressure of being in charge

Loy lays out his godly wisdom in 10 easy-to-read chapters. He gives practical, real-life examples, and backs up his advice with applicable examples from the Bible. Here’s a brief look at what you can expect from this helpful volume:

Chapter 1: Are You Willing to Pay the Price? Loy explains that your rewards are in proportion to the price you’re willing to pay, not just according to your ability. And, the price you pay is more important than the talent you possess.

Chapter 2: The One Thing You Can Expect Is the Unexpected Acquire the skills to handle the unexpected. Your response to the unexpected reveals your maturity, your level of trust in God, and your ability to help others when they encounter a storm.

Chapter 3: We All Make Monumental Mistakes Discover how to handle forgetfulness, a bad attitude, violation of core values and Scripture, financial mistakes, and more. Learn to identify ways we mismanage our mistakes and how to correct them.

Chapter 4: Unresolved Conflict Never Solved Anything Gain common sense solutions for managing and resolving conflicts of all kinds.

Chapter 5: Your Ability Won’t Get You Far If People Don’t Like You Find 10 crucial differences between secure and insecure leaders.

Chapter 6: A Leader Leads Everybody, Not Just a Select Group Benefit from the 9 techniques that bring out the best in insecure people, and 10 ways to bring out the best in secure people.

Chapter 7: Don’t Go into the Pool without a Lifeguard Accountability is paramount. Recognize the things we do to avoid accountability and how to remedy these destructive instincts. Put into practice the 7 helpful tips for choosing an accountability partner.

Chapter 8: You Can Respond Stupidly or Wisely to Criticism and Correction. Learn to recognize the difference between criticism and correction. Discover 20 ways to wisely respond to both.

Chapter 9: Everyone Wants to Be Treated with Respect Recognize the difference between “inclusive” and “exclusive” leaders, and why “inclusive” is always more successful. You’ll find 16 tell-tale signs.

Chapter 10: Great Leaders Are Willing to Sacrifice Their Rights Determine to give up: the right to be a jerk, the right to lose control, the right to have things the way you want them, the right to demand attention, and 6 other rights we need to be willing to set aside.

Being a great leader may not be easy, but with the encouragement and advice in Help! I’m in Charge, you can lead—and succeed—with confidence.”

Pastor Rod and Cindy Loy

What can I add to this? How about a quote on critics? I’ve dealt with them…almost every day.

“Take a hard look at the negative, critical people you know. Have you got one in mind? Good. Let me ask you a couple of questions about them. What have they done for God? What have they accomplished? What degree of success have they achieved? I’ve never met a negative person who’s made a significant impact for good. Your critics are exactly that—critics. Instead of making a difference, they look for ways to talk you out of making a difference. Why would you let foolish critics discourage you from making a difference? Do great things for God—in spite of the critics!”

What about mistakes?

“Repeating the same mistake is called a “pattern.” A pattern brings into question one of two things: competency or character. When people question your competency, they wonder if you have what it takes to get the job done. They doubt your intelligence or ability. When people question your character, they don’t think you made a mistake. They see your pattern as an intentional decision-making process. Either one is bad for a leader!”

Or conflict resolution? I highlighted a lot of that chapter, but this is what hangs most people up. 

“When you resolve a conflict with another person, it doesn’t mean you become best friends, still work together, or call each other every week; it does mean the incident no longer boils in your spirit. You can think of that person without bitterness, anger, or hate. You can move beyond the hurt and the angry emotions.”

On the following quote, I commented that it would sure surprise the grumps at work.

“Regardless how the person presents their criticism or correction, thank them for their feedback and concern.”

I’m approaching 1,000 words again, so I’ll finish up with a quote on failure–personal, professional, or moral.

“People fail because they don’t put safeguards in place to prevent failure.”

5 Stars for not being just another leadership book from someone who still leads and not a traveling expert. These are lessons from the trenches that are good for leaders in the secular world and ministry. 

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