'I was browsing the CPAS website when I saw the Lead On book. I'd recently completed my Diocese's Leadership Programme and was trying to read more Christian leadership books, so I thought I'd give Lead On a read.
'I genuinely found something pertinent to my context in every section of the book. Section five, "The inner life - establishing rhythms" was particularly impactful for me. It talks about the concept of living a blended life instead of a balanced life. It says, "My discipleship is to work out how to live my one life in a way which honours God's call in every area of it. This involves blending and re-blending."
'This was a real game changer for me. I am someone who finds it very difficult to sit quietly without doing something, and pursuing a more reflective way of life is something that I am constantly striving for - usually with limited success. So, the concept of living a blended life has been a huge encouragement that is enabling me to make gradual changes to my leadership practice and style.
'Having been in leadership positions in my secular career and then coming into ordained ministry, I have read a lot of books on leadership, but Lead On really has been a refreshing change from anything else I've read. Each section of the book begins with a prayer, and ends with a space for written reflections and an action review, which I love.
'I set myself the task of reading one subsection per day, which was manageable and gave me time to reflect properly on the presenting issues, rather than just rushing through the book - which is my usual practice.
'Since reading Lead On, I feel I have been much more mindful about the way I plan both operationally and strategically. Much of my ministry is reactive and crisis driven, so I am learning to take more time to think in the longer term. I am really trying to set aside at least a small part of my day to be still, pray and read or journal. I have a lot more work to do on this, and I'm sure I will be revisiting Lead On in the future for encouragement and to remind me of the principles of leading with more spiritual depth.
'This book really does live up to the claims it makes on the front cover, which I think is often rare. I genuinely do feel that Lead On has refreshed my leadership practice and had a considerable impact on my spirituality, enabling me to feel my ministry is taking a much more holistic form, rather than compartmentalising each aspect.
'I've recommended Lead On to a number of colleagues, particularly those who, like me, are in their first incumbency. I would recommend Lead On to people in all leadership contexts, lay and ordained, as it has taught me some incredibly valuable life lessons that would benefit those in a range of contexts.'
The Rev Canon Jane Richards, Vicar of St Andrew's With Holy Cross, Basildon