The Empowered Leader


Book Review appeared in Strategies for Today's Leaders, 1998

By Joel Comiskey

The Empowered Leader: 10 Keys to Servant Leadership

Author: Calvin Miller

Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995, 227 pp.

Calvin Miller is a great writer—that fact has been proven time and time again. This book won’t disappoint you. The Empowered Leader: 10 Keys to Servant Leadership will motivate you as a Christian leader to expect great things from God and attempt great things for God.

Miller didn’t simply compile Biblical passages about servant leadership.  Rather, he deftly combines bedrock Biblical truth with the best of modern leadership theory. Each chapter starts with time-tested quotes from great leaders and then follows with personal words of advice.  

Writing about the perception of leaders, for example, he first draws principles from Samuel’s encounter with the sons of Jesse. A few paragraphs later he reminds us of Winston Churchill’s greatness under fire, “Did German aggression produce Winston Churchill” No, it but released him. The inhumane and greedy advance of the Third Reich produced an inner fury that unbound Churchill’s virility” (9). Miller’s advice, “Never sidestep challenges. Grab every charging bull by the horns and slap him twice across the face. Remind him that God is in charge of you, . . .” (64).

This book breathes fresh insight into age-old leadership truths. Listen to his words,  “But I am convinced that great leaders are rarely normal, well-adjusted people. Frankly which of us is not a bit tired of normalcy anyway?” (27) This book explores a leader’s  self-perception,  the servant image, networking,  decision-making, structuring your vision, the politics of leadership, coping with difficult people, the art of delegation, and transparency in leadership. As I read this book, I felt empowered to lead more effectively. You will too.