I’ll bet it’s a good book because she’s a talented writer with real experience serving others.
I’ll bet guys like me who run away from the title “World Changer” won’t read it.
In light of that, I asked Sarah some tough questions about her book and invited her to respond. I think you’ll be encouraged by what Sarah has to say:
Ed recently asked me an interesting question about my new book, The Well Balanced World Changer: A Field Guide For Staying Sane While Doing Good.
“I’m the total opposite of a visionary. I’m more of the worker bee who lives in the details.” He said in a very kind, unassuming, Ed-like way. “I hear a lot about books like Radical where ordinary people do these amazing things for God, but I’m not wired like that. I would love your thoughts on what those of us not cut out to be leaders can do about being world changers.”
To this I say, Ed (and dear friends who think like Ed), let me first apologize that we so often talk about leadership as if it is such a narrow pursuit that it does not include people who wear their dreams differently than we do.
So you’re not Type A, you’re introverted, you’re not so head-in-the-clouds, pie-in-the-sky, or not-so-whatever-else.
Not only is there plenty of room for you in this conversation, there is a sincere need for you.
The Unique Gifts You Bring to the Table
I come to this conversation believing A. wisdom improves every facet of life and every kind of personality type and B. that no one person or personality type has the corner on wisdom.
Rather, it is only when diverse groups of people are willing to share their best learnings that we can find a well-balanced approach to living. Collectively, through the beauty of diverse perspectives, people with different types of “wiring” help each other live smarter, love deeper, walk taller, stride more confidently and enjoy more peace than any individual or single group would alone.
The sticky insights in this book came from people with all different kinds of personality types and giftings. As a result, I think they stand a good chance of benefitting a diverse range of people too.
In All of Our Differences, We Are Also Alike
Even though we have different temperaments, there are often still similarities in our journeys. Extroverts and introverts, Type A’s, B’s, or C’s, right-brained or left-brained, we can all benefit from setting a healthy pace, having realistic expectations, and learning how to recognize burnout, for example.
But let me draw some of the principles from this book that better explain why the pursuit of being a “Well Balanced World Changer” belongs equally to those who don’t identify as typical leaders.
One of the best ways to change the world is to take the responsibility to first change ourselves. If everyone owned the details of our personal journeys, we would collectively—via almost a domino effect—send ripples of change through our culture. Expending our energy modeling change is often more authentic and inspiring than demanding change of others.
It’s actually unhealthy to do too many things at once. You know those amazing illusionists who juggle knives, fire, pots and pans, everything? If you watch closely, as they juggle, they usually set some objects down as new objects are added to the cycle. Those who are not trying to change the world may actually be better at managing their time or workloads because they are working on a more focused task rather than trying to take on the needs of the entire galaxy.
A more personal or localized focus may help us avoid Tyranny of the Outward. The more ambitious we become and the more we achieve in the public eye, the more likely we are to let public affirmation rather than conscience direct our efforts. Those who are less drawn to the spotlight to begin with might be more aware of their own motives and therefore more likely to do what seems right to them rather than what they believe might provoke the most applause.
A big part of self-management is refusing to take on the drama of others. If you have less of a super-hero complex, you may be better at drawing boundaries in your own lives. We often get depleted and dried up when we start to go beyond just helping bear others’ burdens to living their emotions as well. If we took on the emotional drama of everyone we know, we would be living our own bad days as well as their own.
Granted, just as those who don’t identify as traditional leaders may have certain advantages, they may also be prone to certain disadvantages and this is where certain portions of the book—about taking risks or releasing control—may encourage new life rhythms that lend health and balance to their natural predispositions as well.
Learn More about Sarah’s Book
The Well Balanced World Changer is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever books are sold. You can also find great shareable content like the graphic below at her book’s Pinterest page. And you can contribute your own life lessons to an online collection of wisdom using the hashtag #worldchangerbook.
Sarah is an author, idea junkie, and Chief Servant to the four year old Emperor and his one year old Chief of Staff. She has written five books and and has helped produce some notable Christian and humanitarian-minded events. You can find her blog at sarahcunningham.org.