The Tortoise Usually Wins is a delightful exploration of the theory of quiet leadership. Written for reluctant leaders, it interacts with three key biblical images of leadership - the leader as servant, shepherd and steward - and links them with some of the key virtues of quiet leadership - modesty, restraint, tenacity, interdependence and other-centeredness. Exploding the myth that the good is the enemy of the best, it argues that the reverse is more often true, with images of unattainable perfection crippling competent people from getting on with the task of doing genuinely good things. The book strips leadership of some of its mystique, arguing that the bulk of leadership is about helping groups decide the right things to do and then getting on and doing them in an atmosphere that brings the best out of others. Brian Harris is the principal of a highly regarded theological seminary and also pastors a thriving local church, so the book carries the wisdom of both professor and pastor, satisfying the reader both intellectually and practically. These insights are supplemented by interviews with significant quiet leaders from around the world, ensuring a rich feast for prospective and current reluctant leaders.
'Books on leadership are today two a penny. Just occasionally, however, one of these books might stand head and shoulders above most of the others, and to my delight The Tortoise Usually Wins falls into that category. Furthermore, so many books on leadership are written for natural leaders; whereas, as the author makes clear, most churches are led by "quiet leaders" who know they are not great, but nonetheless, are "tenacious and committed to the task and willing to work co-operatively with others to achieve it". I can see many church leaders benefitting from this book. I warmly commend this unusual book.'
Paul Beasley-Murray, Senior Minister, Central Baptist Church, Chelmsford; Chair of Ministry Today UK
Professor Brian Harris (BSocSc, BTh (Hons), MTh, PhD (Uni of Auckland)) is Principal of Vose Seminary, a Baptist theological college in Perth, WA. Brian has lived in both South Africa and New Zealand and has successfully been the senior pastor of three churches, each of which grew dramatically. His PhD interacts with the thought of Stanley Grenz and explores the nature and future of evangelical theology. In 2009, he commenced as senior pastor of Carey Baptist Church in conjunction with his role at Vose, giving him valuable practical pastoral insight. Brian is married to Rosemary, and has three children - Nick, Amy and Jett.