Reading the Trilogy of the undefended Leader by Simon Walker, was indeed a great opportunity, not only to see where I stand as a leader, taking stock of my strengths and weaknesses but also bring Clarity as to what kind of Leader I need to be. Simon Walker is a researcher and writer in the area of steering cognition, the founder of a pioneering educational research company called STEER in the UK. He has had a great career as a Professor at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University as well as being a leadership consultant to the corporate world. Walker is also an ordained vicar of the Anglican church. It is clear that Walker writes from a biblical world view which is very refreshing and is very balance in clearly showing why the current Western civilization life-cycle is inevitably coming to an end but is also very optimistic in showing how, the current situation also presents the greatest of opportunities to create a new renaissance in the next 50 years. He sees this opportunity in the growth of a new kind of leadership represented in developing a new vision of what it means to be fully human.
Simon Walker builds this clear picture of optimism amidst the gloom of the ‘imminent collapse’ of the current western civilization life-cycle whose beginning, he traces to the cultural renewal 15th century in Europe that evolved through: the industrial expansionism; economic models of capital ownership; organization of political power, and structures of our society. Walker asserts that these cultural pillars has lost their intellectual, practical and moral purchase, not bankrupt in themselves but their application and expression, have become corrupt. In his words, the foundations that informed and underlaid the renaissance have been undermined through poor leadership and choices. Through the trilogy of books, walker, walks us through an analysis of leaders from all walks of life. In the first book, leading from who you are, he examines the formation of the leadership ego and how a leader maintains a front and back stage undermining his/her own leadership, primarily attributed to fear, doubt and dysfunctional relationships. He shows how one can be freed to be available to serve others freely by self-discovery. In the second Book, leading with nothing to lose, he shows us how power is used in leadership and gives guidelines for leaders on use of power to serve others. In the third book, leading with everything to give, he focuses on the leader’s vision, showing us the real cause of the current failure of leadership in the west.
Walker uses the analogy of a building and how a sound foundation guarantees a strong house and clearly shows us how the western society, has undermined its own social, moral and economic foundations over the last century. This undermining of its foundations has resulted in the fracture of its internal fabric and an instability that threatens a catastrophic collapse unless its remedied as a matter of urgency which, will be very costly. Walker is not very optimistic about the possibility of remedying the current situation and is convinced of the imminent collapse of the current western civilization life cycle. He sees the only hope in redefining a new vision for the future in developing a new way of leadership if life is to flourish in the coming decades.
In reading through the books by Walker, its clear to me that I need to discover who I am so that I can free myself and be available to serve others freely, and also understand how to use power to benefit others. Walkers illustrates how the underclass that constitutes the majority in society are victims of the collapse of the social, moral and economic foundations and why this group of people need more attention from leaders who lead with everything to give. It should concern leaders that the gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase, especially in the majority world. I work in the context of the poor in the majority world and can bear witness to the desperate situation and helplessness of the underclass but also the potential and opportunity of empowerment of the underclass if leaders would lead with everything to give. Ultimately, having the right virtues that form good character is key in leading with everything to give where, I am able to set aside my own personal interests for the sake of others. Leaders should ultimately help followers to take their responsibility. We have great examples of leaders who can inspire us today towards that kind of leadership like Mother Teresa of Calcutta who opened her heart to the plight of underclass, Mahatma Gandhi who was willing to embrace sacrifice and suffering with the people of India to empower them. This calls us to become selfless leaders as opposed to self-indulgent leaders, as we seek the welfare of others, especially the underclass who are on the increase and whose conditions continue to deteriorate with ‘civilization’. I believe with walker that the church has a very key role in leading the way to set a good example in this kind of leadership.
 Simon Walker (2010). The Undefended Leader: Leading From Who You are; Leading With Nothing to Loose; Leading with Everything to Give. Piquant Editions Limited. UK.
 Ibid….Loc 73, Kindle.
 Ibid,…..Loc 196, Kindle.
 Ibid,…..Loc 183, Kindle
 Ibid,……Loc 2546, Kindle.