Foreword Reviews

Leadership Beef Jerky

Principles and Practices You Can Chew On

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Enthusiastic and passionate, Leadership Beef Jerky informs and inspires while reinforcing Christian ideals.

Gregory Bourgond’s Christian leadership manual Leadership Beef Jerky forwards sound guiding principles.

Bourgond, a minister with a varied background, offers a faith-based approach to leadership here. The book is intelligently organized around three main areas: Head (“how you think about leadership”), Heart (“calibration of the soul”), and Hand (“practices, processes, procedures” to become a better leader).

The unusual title of the book aims to emphasize that its contents can be “chewed one chunk at a time,” and the book’s format allows for selecting any topic of interest. Chapter titles are helpful in navigating the text; each begins with a key word followed by a parenthetical description, such as “Discerning (Making Good Decisions)” and “Developing (How to Develop and Train Leaders).” The chapters are short, instructive, and often inspirational, followed by questions for self-reflection and recommended resources.

The book is similar to a “smorgasbord,” as Bourgond puts it, touching on a broad range of leadership topics. It is intentionally structured so the material can be read nonsequentially. Even so, the book feels cohesive; its subjects are held together under the three primary sections. The last section, “Hand,” is the most specific, covering important areas in brief, such as recruiting and interviewing talent, motivating and mentoring people, developing a strategic plan, communicating effectively, and problem solving. These topics may seem random, but they complement one another and contribute to the book’s well-defined approach to effective leadership.

The content presented is not unlike what one would find in other leadership books, but the book differentiates itself with its strong Christian orientation; its leadership principles are tightly integrated with religion. Biblical references are frequent, and its recommended resources are predominantly Christian.

Still, many of the book’s principles will be useful regardless of the audience’s faith background. For example, concerning integrity, Bourgond writes, “It is about having a consistency of character that matches your words, actions, choices, values, and behaviors.” The book’s explanation of power lucidly describes, and provides meaningful examples of, seven types of power, such as “coercive power” and “inducement (reward) power.” The text distinguishes between “leadership” and “management” in clearly stated terms, and its “five characteristics of budding leaders” will be valuable to novice and experienced leaders alike.

Writing is clear, concise and engaging, with good descriptions and examples. The author’s expertise in leadership is apparent and contributes to the authoritative nature of the book. Enthusiastic and passionate, Leadership Beef Jerky informs and inspires while reinforcing Christian ideals.

Reviewed by Barry Silverstein

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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