Book Club: How to Lead When You're Not in Charge

Updated: Oct 26, 2021


bookshelf filled with color books

Have you ever disagreed with the direction of your organization? Have you ever blamed your poor performance on your boss’s decisions, organizational structure, or unrealistic expectations? Have you ever said, "If I was in charge, we would do it this other way"?


How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge by Clay Scroggins methodically disproves the myth that you must have authority to lead.


I bought the book based on the title, which was appealing to me when I was going through a period of professional growth and grappling with the paradox of influence versus authority. I had no information about the author and didn’t investigate it before I bought the book. Ultimately, I quickly learned Clay Scroggins is a pastor, and the entire book draws parallels between biblical teachings and leadership principles in everyday life.


The underlying theme is that biblical leaders had no authority over anyone, yet their leadership was profoundly impactful.


Whether you’re Christian or not, the author’s sense of humor makes the leadership lessons very entertaining (As an aside, he personally performs the audio version, so you can hear his sense of humor come to life!), and the use of cases from his own work in organizational leadership demonstrates practical application. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to lead or lead better; and, as someone who doesn’t always feel comfortable in a church pew, I think I’d even enjoy the author’s Sunday sermons.


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