My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When I discovered that there was a book out with stories of Canadian women leaders, I knew I had to get it. Faith Life and Leadership: 8 Canadian Women Tell Their Stories didn’t disappoint.
In it eight prominent Canadian women tell, in first person, their stories of coming to leadership—stories as unique and different from each other as the positions they hold or held.
We hear from Lorna Dueck (broadcaster); Georgialee Lang (who served a prison term before she became a family law lawyer); Carolyn Arends (singer-songwriter, author, teacher); Deborah Grey (politician); M. Christine MacMillan (mover and shaker in the area of social justice working from within the Salvation Army); Janet Epp Buckingham (human rights lawyer); Joy Smith (politician, who helped draft legislation against human trafficking); and Margaret Gibb (inspirer and leader of Christian women across denominations in Canada and abroad).
Each account contains, as well principles of leadership that the writer experienced and now shares with us. In some of the stories the writers scatter those principles within the telling, so they’re not as easy to isolate. In others they are listed at the end.
I found the book fascinating. The women were strikingly varied. One was a confessed extrovert while another so shy she had trouble making friends all through school. Some came from good, supportive homes, others were forced to fend for themselves early. In each story, though, the path to leadership was long, beset by failures and crowned with successes, full of life learning, personal challenge, and stretching.
I loved the leadership principles each gave. Her are a few passages I highlighted:
“Character is at the core of how we lead. Character comes from our identity … and our identity shaped by Christ is a spiritual discipline helped much by loving friendships and our personal devotion to the Bible” – Lorna Dueck (Kindle Location 328).
“Faithful leaders are only as effective as they are dependent on God” – Carolyn Arends (KL 1247).
“Every leader I know has been influenced by someone who modeled the core aspects of leadership: character, integrity, and a strong work ethic” – Janet Epp Buckingham (KL 1906).
“Working in your giftings, calling and abilities always gives you energy” – Janet Epp Buckingham (KL 1933).
“God is mighty and God is near, working over and above what we desire for our lives and pulling us, like a magnet, to align with His plan” – Joy Smith (KL 2178).
“There are no shortcuts or 10 easy steps in leadership. All seasons, stages, and tests work together to ultimately achieve God’s plan and purposes” – Margaret Gibb (KL 2827).
I highly recommend Faith, Life, and Leadership to Christian women in Canada, indeed, Christian women anywhere. These inspiring stories show how God is never limited by our lacks, be those a good family, inborn leadership traits, money, talents and natural strengths, doors that seem to be closed, even opposition to the leadership of women from within the church. This book would make a wonderful resource for Christian women preparing for leadership and for women’s Bible study and reading groups.
This book is part of my own Kindle collection.