President Bruce McLarty chose View from the Top: An Inside Look at How People in Power See and Shape the World by Dr. Michael Lindsay as the 2020-21 Harding Read.
Lindsay, an award winning sociologist, educator and president of Gordon College, is an expert on religion, culture and leadership. The book reports on Lindsay’s findings of his 10-year Platinum Study, the largest-ever interview-based study of senior organizational leaders — including Presidents Carter and Bush and hundreds of CEOs at the nation’s largest corporations and nonprofits. View from the Top is the fifth campus-wide read since the program began in Fall 2016. The program encourages the campus community to read a book together and engage both in and out of the classroom.
One reason McLarty wanted students to read this year’s book was because it is written by a person of faith who looks at leadership and expresses values that are held to be most important.
“I think for a lot of people in their college days, leadership roles are still a mystery,” said McLarty. “How did that person get to that level? How do you get from here to there? And this book I think opens doors for people to see how their life could well progress in the direction of leadership.”
McLarty’s favorite chapter in the book, chapter two, is titled “Leadership begins at 20.”
As Lindsay puts it, “Leadership is not handed down. There is no one right path to the top. The key time in a proto leader’s development is in his or her mid-20s.”
As part of the Harding Read program, the American Studies Institute Distinguished Lecture Series will feature Lindsay as a keynote speaker on Feb. 18, 2021.