Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World


Written by: on April 16, 2024

Bold Leadership...Part 1

Before recalling five moments in this book that make it the best read of the semester, let’s deal with the author’s introduction.

I am writing this blog on a long-haul flight and notice that the airline does not boast about its quality, service and experience, it lets the current flight and personnel try to convince it to you with its behaviour. An author (and publisher) can only convince you of a book’s worthiness by price point, cover design, title (and subtitle), foreword by a renowned individual, and the author’s preface. Each of them is a signpost of what is to come. Apart from being a prescribed text for the doctoral program, why should anyone spend their most precious commodity, time [1] in this book?

  • Price point? Good.
  • Cover design? Bright and eye-catching.
  • Title? Intriguing.
  • Foreword? Missing, however, the inside dust jacket and rear cover hold compelling commendations from world-renowned thinkers.
  • Authors preface? Here, it gets interesting.

I may be tired or misread the tone, but it seemed arrogant. While Parrish holds eye-watering credentials, I felt (highly subjective, I know), initially repelled by his audacious statements of greatness, some may say “self-importance.” He makes big statements and assertions. They include, “This is a practical guide to mastering clear thinking.” [2] Not attempting or striving for it but mastering it. Surely one cannot master clear thinking in 248 pages of double-spaced, size 14 font? His persistent use of the first-person pronoun, arriving with the statement, “Mastering the best of what other people have already figured out,” saw me double down on the idea that the author (formerly a CIA operative) ticked the box of the do or die, daredevil, James Bond (ish), bravado type personality. We probably need our Secret Service personnel to exhibit traits of this nature, but does it work in a book? While I knew it would succeed from a storytelling perspective (and it does), how would this “arrogant” author support his statements? And then Parrish pulls the rug out from under my feet. He writes, “It is safe to assume that anything useful in this book is someone else’s idea and that my main contribution is to put the mosaic of what I learned from others who came before me out there for the world.” [3] His humility or self-awareness won me over. Now for the five moments that make this book a joy to read.

Firstly, in dealing with the inertia default, Parrish, in quoting Leonard Mlodinow, helps us to understand why it is so difficult to change our minds but also equips an intelligent leader to understand that, used wisely, “outside forces” [4] can be used to alter follower’s minds. In the book, Parrish is writing about “us the reader,” but it is equally valid as a tool in the leader’s belt for helping to change the minds of the “laggards” [5] that we lead. I had never actively thought of this before, it was a threshold concept.

Next, the author’s brazen attack on the excuse mentality was blunt and refreshing. That could be because it feeds my abhorrence of excuses, both my own and from those I lead. Parrish writes, “No one cares about your excuses as much as you do. In fact, no one cares about your excuses at all except you.” [6] It’s brutal but accurate. That he aligns excuse culture with self-accountability and ego may indicate why we live in an excuse-laden culture with a surprising lack of apology. As a leader, I much prefer an apology without excuse. Excuses from my team put me on the back foot. Apologies open the door to empathy and sympathy.

Thirdly, Parrish’s discourse with the heading “You are not a victim” [7] is some of the best reading this semester. While intersecting beautifully with “The Identity Trap,” [8] the timeliness of his three pages will not get him cancelled but fuels those of us vehemently repelled by the constant claims of victimhood by those who really are not. Listen to these words, “They (the assumed victims) realise the story they’re telling themselves isn’t quite true.” [9] That statement alone (and his subsequent theorising about it) is so refreshing in a world where truth is shunned because of “feeling.” [10]

The fourth aspect of the book that makes it compelling is the author’s thoughts on “Second-level thinking.” [11] It’s not that it is an entirely new idea, rather, it is an articulation of the way many effective leaders think anyway. It was encouraging to read about what is intuitive for so many. That Second level thinking, however, takes the decision-making process one step further as it pursues options as well as explores worst-case scenarios and is a practical, more applicable tool for better thinking and decision-making for leaders. It is an immediate solution for better decision-making in ALL situations. It’s difficult to see a downside.

Fifthly, Parrish’s types of decisions[12], how to prioritise them as ASAP or ALAP, and their consequences are brilliant. Empowering the reader to categorise the decisions and therefore not waste time, energy and emotion on the wrong type of decisions and resulting decision fatigue is a novel, practical way to ensure focus on the right things. In labelling them with “Consequentiality and Reversibility,” [13] the author has given the reader clear language to define a compelling action that is potentially life-changing if understood and embraced.

Parrish’s conclusion holds a drop-the-mic moment. “Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what’s left and live it properly.” [14] Selah.


[1] Parrish, Shane. 2023. Clear Thinking: Turning Ordinary Moments into Extraordinary Results: London: Cornerstone Press. 248.

[2] Ibid, x.

[3] Ibid, xii.

[4] Ibid, 30.

[5] Rogers, Everett. 2005. Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition: 5th ed. New York: Free Press.

[6] Parrish, 47.

[7] Ibid, 52-55.

[8] Mounk, Yascha. 2023. The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power in Our Time. New York: Penguin Press.

[9] Parrish, 53.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid, 141.

[12] Ibid, 185 and 189.

[13] Ibid, 184.

[14] Ibid, 221.


About the Author


Glyn Barrett

I am the founding, Lead Pastor of !Audacious Church in Manchester, England. I was born in Manchester, but moved to Australia at the age of two. My wife and I were married in Australia and began married and ministry life in England 28 years ago. After serving as youth pastors for 12 years, we moved to Manchester to pioneer !Audacious Church. As a church we now have 7 locations. 3 in Manchester, Chester, Cardiff (Wales), Sheffield, and Geneva (Switzerland). In 2019 I became the National Leader of Assemblies of God in Great Britain. We have over 600 churches in our movement and have planted 50 new churches since May 2022 with a goal of planting 400 new churches between May 2022 and May 2028. I am the European Lead for MM33, which is the church planting ministry for Assemblies of God Global and also chair Empowered21 Western Europe. I'm happily married to Sophia, with two children, one dog and two motorbikes. I love Golf, coffee and spending time with friends. Looking forward to meeting you all, and creating new friendships.


  1. Diane Tuttle says:

    Hi Glyn, Might I see a sermon using that last phrase somewhere in your future? I like the way you pulled different pieces that resonated with you. Specifically, the section on you are not a victim. What do you say to people when as an outsider you can see them perpetuating that self story?

    • mm Glyn Barrett says:

      Oh yes Diane – there’s no better way to create legacy than by working backwards. Brilliant!!!!!!
      Thanks for the question. My answer is always to encourage people to find their identity in Christ Alone. As sons and daughters of the King, when our identity is established in who HE IS and not what has happened TO US, then I believe that changes everything.

  2. Elysse Burns says:

    Hi Glyn, It might be fun to count how many times you write, “I was on a long-haul flight,” and see the total at the end of our program. I also appreciated Parrish’s thoughts concerning victimhood. It’s a huge problem. In your pastoral role, how do you shepherd individuals who are clearly stuck as victims? Have you witnessed people be delivered from this type of thinking?

    • mm Glyn Barrett says:

      Ah, I know! I travel overseas ten days a month, sometimes more, and so the chances are I will be doing lots of doctoral work on the plane somewhere.
      I believe our identity in Christ is the answer to the victim discourse that so many Christians seem to convey. The Bible says, “We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus.” We either are or not, but there is no middle ground. That’s not to say bad things won’t happen to good people. But it does confirm that He is greater in you than anything that can happen to you.
      Victim narrative is such a modern idea. The early Fathers of the church considered it a joy to be martyred for Christ. I’m not saying it was easy for any of them, but they were not victims.
      I think when we have our eyes so focused on ourselves and not on Christ, then we can believe the modern narrative of victimhood. That we are “In the world but not of the world” says a lot about how we should live, think, feel, talk and walk.

  3. Adam Cheney says:

    Clear Thinking has a focus on forward thinking. You mentioned it in the mic drop moment. As you think about the future, and plan to live your life properly, what does Dr. Glyn do five years from now? Besides run a British/American podcast with yours truly;)

    • mm Glyn Barrett says:

      Well, five years from now, I will be running a podcast with my American friend!!
      Apart from that, I will be spending more time with my wife and pastoring !Audacious Church, planting more churches around the world, enjoying my friends, playing Golf – in fact, more of what I am doing now.
      I think the will of God is a wide road, not a narrow one that’s difficult to find, so when it’s time to change anything, He will let me know.
      Looking forward to the podcast, brother.

  4. Jeff Styer says:

    I read his preface to my wife saying it was the greatest statement about plagiarism that I have ever read. None of these ideas really came from me. I love it.
    I hate forced apologies that end up being meaningless. I’m sorry, but . . . there should never be a but in your apology. Great reflection on Parrish’s book. You did well to write this during your flight. If you had to pick one concept from this book to teach your staff what would it be?

    • mm Glyn Barrett says:

      Jeff! I loved it too. So brilliant and so disarming.
      I loved all five points I raised in the blog. So hard to choose one. But I definitely think that point three, second-level thinking, working in harmony with Kahneman’s systems 1 and 2, is a game changer for creative, critical, precise thinking. It would be a very helpful series of teaching sessions to embed in the teams that I am involved with.

  5. Debbie Owen says:

    Glyn, I loved your “Top 5” analysis. Thanks! I’m wondering which of the top 5 you think you will apply most quickly and successfully in your life? Is there anything as powerful as the “one thing” you told us about recently?

    • mm Glyn Barrett says:

      Thanks Debbie. The ONE thing was definitely a threshold concept that changed everything in the way we do…..everything!
      In Parrish’s book, the choices ASAP and ALAP fit in really well as a progression with the ONE Thing book. So, while not as mind-blowing, as an addition, it is a helpful way of processing decisions that need to be made.

  6. Chad Warren says:

    Glyn, what in particular made Parrish’s concluding quote a “Drop-the-mic” level impact on you?

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