Meditations on Leadership

Christian - Non-Fiction
149 Pages
Reviewed on 10/10/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite

Jesus's 33 years on earth have had so much impact on humanity that he's still remembered and revered two thousand years after his death, making him one of the most impactful leaders in history. Therefore, leaders in today's world have a lot to learn from him. Simon Cockshutt's 40-Days looks into Jesus's time on earth and the valuable lessons about leadership that can be learned from him. The book also employs other biblical scriptures and personal examples to build the 40 topics it contains. The first lesson, which emphasizes the importance of enthusiasm and hope in starting a project, is picked from Jesus's 40 days on the mountain. Additionally, Simon Cockshutt encourages leaders to pray, give, serve, meditate, and ask for God's guidance. His book also warns to watch out for traits like anger, pride, spiritual jealousy, and more.

Like looking at the Bible with a new set of eyes, 40-Days showed me some profound thoughts regarding various scriptures. Simon Cockshutt supplies readers with elaborate and fully loaded content—a combination of lessons from the author's personal experiences, questions to reflect on, instructions to help practice the ideas, and several references from the Bible. One of the many important things I picked up from the book is that great wisdom, patience, and discernment (among other things) are important in resolving conflicts. Simon Cockshutt's direct and concise ideas about leadership are like seeds planted to effect an all-around positive change. I recommend 40-Days to leaders and parents, spouses, dreamers, employees, believers, and readers who seek spiritual growth as the book encourages developing humane values and reminds readers of the need to be close to God in addition to discussing good leadership qualities.

Joe Wisinski

Simon Cockshutt's 40-Days: Meditations on Leadership is written for leaders, future leaders, and/or those who want to be more effective leaders. It’s based on the words and actions of Jesus Christ; the author wants to show his readers “what Jesus intends for us to be like.” It’s written in short sections, one for each leadership principle. Each section begins with a Bible passage and ends with a suggested prayer. Bible verses are also interlaced throughout the text, along with anecdotes to help Cockshutt make his points. Cockshutt’s technique of using the Bible to develop his theme is known as the “topical” method, where the writer or speaker uses various verses to elucidate his ideas. Some of the 40 leadership topics are “Radical Jesus,” “Zeal,” and “The Valley of Vision.”

Readers will enjoy 40-Days: Meditations on Leadership, but more importantly, it will teach, challenge, and comfort them. Even though the book is written from an evangelical Christian perspective, it would be useful for any current or future leader regardless of their religious convictions. The short sections, where author Simon Cockshutt covers just one idea, are a boon because they make it easy to understand and act on the advice. That also makes this book a good morning devotional for Christians or a nightstand book for anyone. Unlike many books on leadership, Cockshutt makes it clear that leaders aren’t perfect, nor should they be expected to be. That’s a valuable lesson, just one of many in this beneficial book.

Edith Wairimu

Simon Cockshutt's 40-Days: Meditations on Leadership is a reflective Christian leadership guide. Organized into a 40-day retreat, the work explores Jesus’s teachings and actions and deduces the meaning of leadership from these. In its introductory part, it explains how to overcome temptation. It also emphasizes the need for Christians to understand their identity and purpose to overcome temptation. The work teaches the significance of humility, contentment, kindness, living a prayerful life, and treating everyone equally. On courage, the guide teaches that the Holy Spirit has the power to guide and refresh a Christian’s spiritual life. It delves into the biblical standards of a leader and how to deal with conflict. The guide also explains that leadership is about taking on smaller assignments and not just major ones.

Simon Cockshutt's 40-Days: Meditations on Leadership utilizes personal anecdotes, illustrations, and biblical accounts that expound on its messages. The personal anecdotes are also entertaining. The inspiring stories and experiences of heroes of faith - such as those of Saint Bede and Smith Wigglesworth - are also included. I loved that the book is organized in the form of a forty-day retreat, and there are multiple lessons to be learned each day. The lessons in the guide are also accessible and helpful to all Christians despite how long their faith journey is. The work supports the content with multiple Bible verses that are inspirational, encouraging, and instill wisdom. This book is an essential Christian guide about leadership and applying biblical wisdom in everyday life.

Lois Henderson

Simon Cockshutt’s 40 Days: Meditations on Leadership is a guide for a 40-day retreat for leaders across the board in the Christian church. After reflecting on the sayings of Jesus for a period of two months, Cockshutt narrowed down an original fifty ideas, for each of which he wrote a meditation, to forty, which he includes in this book. Starting with unpacking the key importance of Jesus’ preparation for His own ministry with the forty days that He spent in the wilderness, during which time He was subjected to temptation by the Devil, Cockshutt continues to reflections on humility, equality, and accessibility, among many other core principles of today’s ministry. His voice rings clear and true throughout, as a man of faith who has worked through his own coming to terms with the importance of both the Old and the New Testament.

As a person who believes in the strength of God’s word, Simon Cockshutt’s 40 Days: Meditations on Leadership spoke to me so directly that I was swept off my feet. Cockshutt is an extremely powerful motivational writer, with both his feet firmly planted in the surety and blessedness of the biblical text while being very much in tune with contemporary Christian thinking. That he can relate the two so well has produced a text that is bound to find resonance with today’s generation of Christian leaders. Integrity is the key to Cockshutt’s writing―he has a profound faith that resounds through each meditation and which makes us sit up and listen. Truly an inspirational journey awaits any person working through this guide daily. Simon Cockshutt’s 40 Days: Meditations on Leadership is a powerful work that should serve as a valuable entry to, or confirmation of, the key essence of what it means to be a leader in the Christian church of today.

Astrid Iustulin

You have to develop many skills to be a good leader and must have a thorough knowledge of several areas, from psychology to organization abilities. To be a good Christian leader, though, you need to consider something more. In 40-Days: Meditations on Leadership, Simon Cockshutt suggests that readers join him in a 40-day retreat to help them find inspiration as leaders in the Christian community. Intended as a resource both for new and seasoned leaders, 40-Days: Meditations on Leadership is a valuable companion for anyone who cares about their leadership skills and wants to hone them. This is possible for all who follow their faith and Jesus's example.

Simon Cockshutt's 40-Days: Meditations on Leadership made a positive impression on me. Although I have read other books on leadership before, I have never found anything like this one. It is precise and clear and contains everything a leader needs to know. As the book is aimed at Christian leaders, it is natural to find many quotes from the Bible, but I was struck by how they are excellent food for thought (Jesus was the greatest leader of all time, after all). I believe that when readers have meditated on the forty themes proposed by Cockshutt, they will benefit not only as leaders but in every aspect of their life. I recommend 40-Days: Meditations on Leadership to all those who want to be good leaders in the Christian community and are looking for a guide to bring out their potential. This book is the perfect one for them.