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Inter-Varsity Press The Leadership Ellipse: Shaping How We Lead by Who We Are

It is not uncommon for leader to lament the discordance between their outer image, and their inner realities. Sometimes it is even painful. These worlds collide. They have different priorities, different assumptions, and different expectations. More than this, often recovery from adhering to the demands of the external world begins to feel like spirituality. How can we find congruity when our worlds seem so diametrically opposed?

In The Leadership Ellipse seasoned leader Robert A. Fryling, publisher of IVP, and Senior VP of IVP fellowship, shares his insights on how we can, and must, reconcile our inner and outer worlds and develop and integrated spirituality.

Fryling believes the answer is too develop an understanding of reality that is not pinpointed on specific goals or items, but to embrace the ambiguities and tensions of life similar to the way we embrace the ambiguity and tension of divinity and humanity of Christ as Christians.

In terms of leadership this opens up the question of freedom for others, and therefore both the requirement to trust, and to ease our grip on the desire to control our subordinates. As Fryling states, "My experience in organizational life suggests that most of us want structures for others but freedom for ourselves! But without honoring both needs at the same time, organizations can easily become imbalanced or schizophrenic. They become too dependent on structures and control, or conversely too flexible and chaotic."

What Fryling therefore suggests is that our lives must be held in tension between these two points and that ironically it is in that tension that we find freedom.
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