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

Planning for a New Leadership Endeavor

Written by: on April 20, 2024

What better way to end our time in the DLGP program than with the book Rethinking Leadership by Annabel Beerel.[1] In this expansive text, Beerel offers a comprehensive evaluation of modern leadership theories and ponders where all the leaders are when we have access to such a plethora of information about leadership. I love her intention,

“to show, through my critique, the complexity of the role of leadership and how there can be no one hero to do it all. We need many effective leaders working collaboratively together, complementing one another’s capacities and skills yet keeping one united goal in mind.”[2]

Once again, Dr. Clark has presented the right book at the right time. I am currently pursuing a new endeavor to develop an in-person collective of local, female entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders. In developing the content for this mastermind group, where I’ll be leading weekly meetings on leadership, marketing, and business, I used the content of this book to help me outline topics we could cover over the next year. The following highlights from the book are some of the concepts I included in the outline of the mastermind along with my reasons for selecting them.

The psychology of leadership

Of all the ways we have read around the topic of leadership over the past three years, the texts about psychology have been some of the most helpful to me. Beerel even includes some of the sources we read throughout the DLGP in her book. Concepts like failure of nerve and relational triangles from Friedman[3] have been key in helping me understand the psychological framework needed to stay above the fray and be a leader that is differentiated from the anxiety of our time. I look forward to introducing the collective to some of the psychological leadership concepts that Beerel presents like courage, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and failure of nerve. My favorite quote from this chapter was “Courage is the ability to act despite one’s fears. It does not mean an absence of fear.”[4]

Neuroscience, leadership, and mindfulness

This chapter offered a great deal of consilience with my portfolio project on resilience. It was rewarding to read through Beerel’s explanations of neuroscience, the relaxation response, increasing levels of stress, the various parts of the brain, mirroring, mindfulness and neuroplasticity and recognize that all those topics were covered in my project research and workshop. Connections to Thinking, Fast and Slow[5], The Body Keeps the Score[6], and Spellbound[7] were abundant in this chapter. I look forward to leading discussions in the mastermind about how our brain works and how we can harness the power of our conscious and unconscious mind for leadership purposes.

The shadow side of leadership

Beerel’s chapter on the shadow side of leadership offers an important look into the negative consequences of ego and provided many parallels to my expertise in the Enneagram and the concept of front stage/back stage leadership from Simon Walker.[8] Effective leaders must certainly be aware of the masks they wear and have safe places to expose the darker side of leadership. I hope this collective of female leaders will be once such place.

Gender, diversity, and leadership

Finally of interest to me in terms of information for the leadership collective was the chaper on gender, diversity, and leadership. Because the mastermind will consist of female leaders, it is important for us to acknowledge the pros and cons of being a female leader. I know from Sway[9] that unconscious bias is a real issue and women often have to work twice as hard to prove their worth. However, as Beerel notes, there are also many benefits to being a female leader. I cannot wait to discuss all these perspectives with the women who join the collective.

In conclusion, Beere’s book was a great summary of the leadership concepts we learned in the DGLP and I look forward to sharing the many insights I have gained with other women who God puts in my circle of influence. Here is to building the effective leaders of tomorrow, so we can tackle the wicked problems that come our way!

[1] Annabel Beerel, Rethinking Leadership: A Critique of Contemporary Theories (London: Routledge, 2021), https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003044444.

[2] Beerel, 4.

[3] Edwin H. Friedman and Peter Steinke, A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix (10th Anniversary, Revised Edition) (New York: Church Publishing Incorporated, 2017).

[4] Beerel, Rethinking Leadership, 112.

[5] Daniel Kahneman, “Thinking, Fast and Slow” (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013).

[6] Bessel van der Kolk M.D, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, Reprint edition (New York, NY: Penguin Publishing Group, 2015).

[7] Daniel Z. Lieberman MD, Spellbound: Modern Science, Ancient Magic, and the Hidden Potential of the Unconscious Mind (Dallas, TX: BenBella Books, 2022).

[8] Simon P. Walker, Leading Out of Who You Are: Discovering the Secret of Undefended Leadership (Piquant Editions, 2007).

[9] Pragya Agarwal, Sway: Unravelling Unconscious Bias (London ; New York: Bloomsbury Sigma, 2020).

About the Author


Laura Fleetwood

Laura Fleetwood is a Christian creative, certified Enneagram Coach, doctoral student at Portland Seminary and Creative Director at her home church, Messiah St. Charles. As a published author, national faith speaker, podcaster and self-described anxiety warrior, Laura uses storytelling to teach you how to seek the S T I L L in the midst of your chaotic life. Find Laura at www.seekingthestill.com

20 responses to “Planning for a New Leadership Endeavor”

  1. Laura,
    I loved to hear how impactful Beerel has been to you and your leadership endeavors.
    The mastermind will be amazing though no man is welcome to join, lol!
    Blessings as you continue to change the world.

  2. mm Shonell Dillon says:

    Great post, sounds like you are on your way to greatness. Don’t worry about what the world says, worry about what God says, and let not fear take over. Be blessed.

  3. mm Audrey Robinson says:

    I wholeheartedly agree that this was a good and timely book to end our class on.

    I can envision you leading the group of women and imparting so much wisdom to them.

  4. Caleb Lu says:

    Laura, thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights! It’s also so cool to hear all that you’re doing with your project and beyond.

    Sometimes I can get anxious thinking about raising Noa, and it gives me peace knowing that there are so many great women leaders like you and others in our cohort that I can point her toward and that she can look up to. Thank you for all you do and the ways you lead!

    • Caleb – what a thoughtful and encouraging comment. Noa is in good hands, but God will always bring the people she needs into her life. I would be honored to be mentor to her one day. In the meantime, enjoy the simple life of baby giggles and snuggles:)

  5. mm Daron George says:

    Dr. Fleetwood,

    Your enthusiasm for sharing these insights with other female leaders is palpable and motivating. Your commitment to creating a supportive environment where leaders can discuss both the benefits and challenges of leadership demonstrates your dedication to fostering a community of learning and mutual support. I second Jean’s lament (hahaha)

  6. mm Chad McSwain says:

    Dr. Fleetwood,
    You have some many great ideas…and projects in the works! I am so excited for you and all you are doing to inspire and support other leaders. You are modeling the true principles of stewardship.
    I too am drawn to the psychology of leadership. I feel like that I often struggled to get out of my head and understand how I’ve responded to other people. Thank you for all you are doing!

  7. Kristy Newport says:

    Thank you for this post.
    It read almost like a syntopical blog for the DLGP!
    I am encouraged to go and read more of Bereer after reading your post.
    I am curious about your Master Mind group and how you will structure it. Can you share a few things you are doing in establishing this group?
    Great job!

  8. Laura, I admire you and your journey! Thank you for always sharing your wisdom in very practical ways. I appreciative how you outlined this bok and the impact it has on where you are headed! You are up to amazing things!

  9. Michael O'Neill says:

    I agree this was a fitting book to conclude this journey. Great post. Way to go out strong. May God continue to bless your leadership endeavors.

  10. Alana Hayes says:

    The shadow side and the correlation of Simon Walker was one of my biggest takeaways here!

    Great post, and amazing overview of her book!

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