Review of ‘Leadership Pain: The Classroom for Growth’ by Samuel R. Chand

Leadership-Pain Samuel R. Chand, Leadership Pain: The Classroom for Growth (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2015). Hardcover | Kindle

“If you’re leading, you’re bleeding,” writes Samuel R. Chand in his new book, Leadership Pain.

That five-word sentence captures a crucial truth about leadership in general, and pastoral leadership in particular. Leadership is hard work. Rather than avoiding that hard work, Chand urges ministry leaders to embrace it.

Pain comes in many forms. Chand writes: “some of our pain is self-inflicted, the accumulation of unrelieved stress. Some is the result of external challenges, and we suffer heartaches and headaches because we’re trying to grow and fulfill God’s purposes for our churches.”

Consequently, he goes on to say, “The goal, then, is sometimes to avoid pain, sometimes to relieve pain, sometimes to create the pain of growth, but always to learn the lessons God has for us in the midst of our pain.”

Leadership Pain shifts back and forth between these two emphases, between identifying the form of pain and naming the goal in responding to it.

Two lessons in the book stood out in particular to me, or rather, two quotations: The first comes at the beginning of the book, in which Chand offers this hypothetical syllogism:

Growth = Change

Change = Loss

Loss = Pain

Thus, Growth = Pain

 The second comes at the end, when Chand writes: “Don’t run from your pain. Don’t deny that it exists. It’s the most effective leadership development tool the world has ever known. You’ll only grow to the threshold of your pain, so raise it!”

There’s a lot of wisdom in those two observations, as well as in the intervening pages of this book.

P.S. If you found my review helpful, please vote “Yes” on my review page.


Review of ‘The Secret Speech’ by Tom Rob Smith

The-Secret-Speech Tom Rob Smith, The Secret Speech (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2009). Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle

On February 25, 1956, Nikita Khrushchev delivered a speech to a closed session of the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The speech, which was formally titled “On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences,” criticized Josef Stalin, his prosecution of the Great Patriotic War (World War II), his multiple purges of the armed forces and party leadership, and other politically driven crimes against the Soviet people.

Tom Rob Smith uses Khrushchev’s speech as his point of departure in The Secret Speech, the second volume in his Child 44 trilogy. The question it ponders is this: When the State becomes criminal, can criminals exact justice? As always, Leo Demidov is at the center of the action, traveling from Moscow to Kolyma to Budapest to uncover the truth and protect himself and his family in the process. As with Smith’s other volumes in this series, the pacing is swift and the plot twists are sharp.

Highly recommended, but read the books in order of the series!


P.S. If you found my review helpful, please vote “Yes” on my review page.

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