All successful leaders are lion tamers, according to Tom Harper in his book Leading from the Lions’ Den. Leaders have to find ways of calming roaring beasts and surviving attacks when they occur, and the book aims to be a leadership manual on dealing with lions. It contains 66 chapters covering 66 leadership principles, each of which is inspired by a different one of the 66 books of the Bible.
Many of the leadership principles espoused by the author are counter-intuitive and appear contrary to established wisdom, such as: “Admit helplessness”, “Be a drama king or queen”, “Motivate your people less”, “Underrate your plan” and “Don’t listen to your customers”. These somewhat surprising chapter titles help to create a sense of anticipation in each chapter.
Notwithstanding the title and the purpose stated in the introduction, only a few of the chapters are about handling conflict. The majority are about general leadership and management issues encountered in leading a business or other organisation, based on the author’s experience in managing IT companies. Most of the leadership principles are inspired by a single aspect or verse of a book of the Bible rather than by the central theme of the particular book, so the author’s work is not an attempt at a systematic theology of leadership.
As is the case with many leadership books, the work as a whole is a collection of essentially unrelated principles rather than a systematic treatment of leadership theory, but I found each individual three-page chapter to be interesting and well-written.