Effective leaders work very hard to succeed, but often at the cost of their own souls. They are challenged to keep themselves emotionally and spiritually healthy in order to survive success—to keep their humanity intact. This is the work within the work.
Stephen W. Smith helps leaders in the marketplace and in ministry set aside the life-draining values of power, fame, fortune and position and instead explore the life-giving qualities of building character. In this book you will learn to:
There is a better way to live than the craziness we experience in our driven world. Inside Job is your invitation to journey inside and do the work within your work.
"It is a sobering reality that many of us as leaders plunge ahead in the work we do, the relationships that we develop and the lifestyle that we adopt without a realistic perspective of what drives us. This subverts what ought to be joy, and makes us susceptible to failure or burnout. Stephen Smith offers us in Inside Job a path for proper self-examination. . . . Read this book with an open mind and heart and you will know God and yourself much better. The people around you will be glad for it."
"As a physician, I encourage people to examine, evaluate and improve their physical, emotional, relational and spiritual health on a frequent basis. Stephen W. Smith's book is an inspiring and practical manual for those in the marketplace and ministry wanting to evaluate their vitality and resilience and the health of their leadership. I highly recommend this book!"
"Steve is a prophet for our day, calling us from the idolatrous worship of success back to the worship of the true God who designed rhythm and rest. As a fellow traveler who has experienced the roughness of the journey, he invites us to journey within our own hearts—'to work within the work.' I heartily endorse this timely and very important book that calls us back to our hearts' true home."
"Inside Job helps us grow the inner heart of leadership. We cannot be content with how we look to other people or the 'successes' we have in our life, ministry or work. We must give focused attention to our inner life. Inside Job guides us through the urgent journey each leader must take."
"In most of my leadership training, including as a Harvard MBA, the focus was largely outward—on assessments, strategies, results, etc.—with very little focus on me, my character and my spiritual formation. I've learned through the years, however, and often the hard way, that my leadership effectiveness in both Christian ministry and the commercial marketplace has much more to do with my character than my ideas. Inside Job shows us the way to lead more effectively from the inside out."
"We run as hard as we can in the pursuit of success and contentment only to find out that true success, contentment and transformation come from the 'inside job.' I highly recommend this book as a place for you to begin your inside work."
"Inside Job provokes honest reflection and heartfelt response that invites the reader into a deeper walk with Christ—a journey of steadfast resilience toward a life of love. Quite countercultural in his approach, Steve Smith encourages the reader to consider traveling the descent of Christlike humility rather than the ascent of worldly success."
"Stephen Smith understands that there's a big difference between living life in balance, and living in rhythm. The former leaves leaders stuck on a treadmill of stress and disillusionment. But the latter helps them truly discover their purpose and live within life's limits. Inside Job should be essential reading for anyone who is tired of the rat race."
"Like a laser beam, Inside Job penetrates to the heart of what Christian leadership is all about. In a day and age when much of leadership centers around an array of tips and techniques, Steve Smith takes us to the true focus of leadership—character. . . . His wisdom, insights and straightforward approach will lead you to understand that leadership success is truly an inside-out job. . . . This is a must read for those who truly want to lead in the way of Christ!"
"With Inside Job, Steve Smith offers us a thirst-quenching read that gently but unflinchingly awakens us to the hard effort and liberation, the suffering and joy, of what it means to lead as Jesus leads—from the inside out. But more poignantly, my friend and teacher opens to us his own heart in all of its beauty and brokenness, hopes and fears—and ultimately with the necessary confidence in the inside job that God is already doing in each of us to bring this world to glory. The only question that remains is whether or not we will join him in that endeavor. Reading this book will make you want to more than ever. Read it and learn to lead like Jesus leads."
"Steve Smith is a genuine sage of our generation. As I read Inside Job, it was as if Steve were reading my heart—where I've been and where I want to go. Had this book been in my hands thirty years ago, the false god of success would not have seduced me into its clutches. If we want to worship the true and living God, then we need an inside job, and Inside Job is a brilliant guidebook for that journey."
"As a personal trainer for our soul, Steve first helps us confront with brutal honesty the vulnerability of our souls and the wounds of our hearts. . . . Read this slowly and let it begin an 'inside job' in the deep and hidden parts of your life. You will find that you will become who you long to be, to the benefit of your own soul and everyone around you!"
"'Success" is a primary aspiration of people around the globe. . . The significance of Inside Job is to help us think deeply—which means biblically—about what success really means. In the author's words it is not a call to arms, but 'a call to the heart to reflect, to awaken and to practice living the life you want to live.' Inside Job is highly readable and wonderfully informative, focusing on a theme that is vital to every serious believer."
"Leadership is an exceptionally complex role, and the leader's primary responsibility is toward those whom they influence. Steve offers not only helpful leadership guidance but, even more importantly, a crucial call to deeper waters of formation in Christ. Steve's work provides needed direction amidst the demands of today's leadership so that leaders may influence others well. Don't just read this book, pray and live it."
"This book will wake you up to the importance of living a contemplative life. Stephen's willingness to be open, vulnerable, honest and transparent in his own struggle to live the contemplative life provides courage and hope for all of us that crave that deeper intimate relationship with Jesus. The book's wisdom challenges us to listen with the ear of our spiritual heart in silence, solitude and intentional prayer."
"Nothing of eternal significance can flow out of a hollow life. As spiritual leaders, we can only minister out of the abundance of our heart and soul. Thus, each of us must do our own interior work to do God's work in a God-honoring way. Stephen Smith's Inside Job shows us how."
"After years of working in the public eye as an executive, I found life-giving wisdom and much needed solutions among the private pages of Inside Job. With the firmness of a loving father and the frankness of a caring mentor, author Stephen W. Smith writes with deep understanding of a leader's journey, offering practical applications you can apply with the turn of nearly every page."
Part I: The Crisis in the Leader's Soul
1. Life Is More Than Chasing Success
2. Signs of the Times
3. Comparing the Inner and Outer Markers of Success
Part II: Doing the Work Within the Work
4. Mapping the Journey
5. The Great Eight
Section One: Faith, Goodness, Knowledge and Self-Control
Section Two: Perseverance, Godliness, Kindness and Love
6. The Leader's Rhythm: Exposing the Lie of Being Balanced
7. The Leader's Limits: Saying No in Order to Live Yes
8. The Leader's Transitions: Understanding Change
Part III: Leading to Live
9. Living and Leading a Resilient Life
10. Leading with Contentment and Satisfaction