5 Questions With Jim Galvin

Welcome to 5 Questions With.....

Today's guest is Jim Galvin.

From his website: Jim is an organizational consultant specializing in strategy, effectiveness, and change. He is relentlessly focused on releasing the potential of leaders and organizations.

As an author, Jim has written many best-selling books and instructional resources. He has won the C.S. Lewis Medal Award for Children’s Literature three times and has been honored by the ECPA as a Gold Medallion Award finalist fifteen times. His products have been translated into more than thirty-seven languages around the world. He is most well known as the co-creator and co-senior editor of the best-selling Life Application Study Bible.

His latest book is “I've Got Your Back."  

OK, let's get to it:

1.Why did you write I've Got Your Back?

The editors of Christianity Today asked me to write it. Ten years ago they were noticing that Millennials entering college at that time had little interest in learning about leadership. They foresaw a growing leadership vacuum in the Christian world when Baby Boomers would begin to retire. They could find no textbook that would help college students formulate a solid theology of leadership. Writing a book like that was a big challenge for anybody. I tried to get out of it, but eventually felt that this might be something that God wanted me to attempt. The project ended up taking ten years to complete. I tore up the first manuscript to start over from scratch because I had made the classic error of writing for my peers instead of my target audience, young adults. The book is composed of a leadership parable in the first part and a concise theology of leadership in the second part.

2. One of your characters in the book says, "The more you sweat in peacetime, the less you bleed in war." Can you explain what you mean by that?

That is a military saying that means the more you practice and drill at home and on your base the fewer mistakes and casualties you will experience when you engage in real combat. In the story, Jack, the mentor, was answering the complaint that his application assignments were getting harder and harder each week. For us, we also need focused practice if we expect to lead or follow well in stressful situations.
3. What does it mean to "follow well"?

If you create a five-point scale with following poorly at the bottom and following courageously at the top, we should want to be a good follower in every area of our life. We can’t follow at level 5 all the time, but level 4 also represents a follower who is fully engaged. So following well means following at levels 4 or 5 in every area of your life.

Do you have to be a leader to understand this book? 

The book is primarily about followership. It so happens that leadership and followership are two sides of the same coin. The book is written for anyone who lacks confidence in leadership and also for those who want to develop their leadership abilities by connecting truth from the Scripture on what it means to lead and follow well.

5. What do you hope the readers take away from the book?

If you want to be a good leader, then you first have to learn how to follow well. First, the required character development is identical.  Second, the role of the leader is to help others follow well.  How can you help someone else follow well when you don't know how to do it yourself?  If someone displays leader behaviors and nobody follows, did any real leadership actually occur?  Followers, collectively, have real power.  If you have average followers, you need to have a good leader.  But if everyone is focused on following well, you can easily get by with an average leader. 

Thank You Jim!

If you get the chance, check out Jim's website here and the book website here.  Make sure to pick up a copy of I've Got Your Back.

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