Monday, August 19, 2013

Review for "I've Got Your Back" by James Galvin

"A leadership parable" is the subtitle for this new book by James Galvin, and that's exactly what it is. Galvin presents his leadership principles in story form. It's the story of four young adults who are having difficulty in their work situations. They seek out the advice and counsel of a retired Army Sargeant and former missionary. The leadership ideas he presents are put into play in their specific situations, with varying and sometimes surprising results! The book is in two parts: the first is the parable; followed by a smaller section concisely stating a summary of the leadership principles. Galvin indicates in the introduction that he wanted to create a book on leadership that the younger generation would actually read. I believe his choice of presenting ideas in the form of a story is clever. The book reads more like a novel but is full of leadership nuggets. As a story it is somewhat shallow and unrealistic, but taken for what it is - a fleshed-out leadership model - it rates as one of the more interesting books on leadership I have read. The premise of Galvin's leadership principle is that everyone needs to learn how to follow well before they can lead well. I appreciated this perspective. I have run into many "bosses" who were "toxic" in their leadership, and wish I knew then what Galvin presents here about following well even when the leader does not lead well. It's a humble, servant-minded perspectve. I recommend this book for anyone who is in the early stages of their career, positioned under another's leadership, or already leading. There is wisdom here to keep us all learning and growing. 4 out of 5 stars. For more information on the book, you may visit

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