The Tortoise Usually Wins

Paternoster, 2013
ISBN: 9781842277874


The Tortoise Usually Wins is a delightful exploration of the theory of quiet leadership. Written for reluctant leaders, it interacts with three key biblical images of leadership—the leader as servant, shepherd and steward—and links them with some of the key virtues of quiet leadership—modesty, restraint, tenacity, interdependence and other-centeredness. Exploding the myth that the good is the enemy of the best, it argues that the reverse is more often true, with images of unattainable perfection crippling competent people from getting on with the task of doing genuinely good things. The book strips leadership of some of its mystique, arguing that the bulk of leadership is about helping groups decide the right things to do and then getting on and doing them in an atmosphere that brings the best out of others.

Brian Harris is the principal of a highly regarded theological seminary and also pastors a thriving local church, so the book carries the wisdom of both professor and pastor, satisfying the reader both intellectually and practically. These insights are supplemented by interviews with significant quiet leaders from around the world, ensuring a rich feast for prospective and current reluctant leaders.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Provides encouragement for those who do not identify as “natural” leaders
  • Explores the theory of quiet leadership
  • Drills into the core qualities needed in an effective leader
  • Combines the insight of a professor and pastor with other exemplary leaders from around the world
  • Strips leadership of its crippling mystique


  • The Tortoise Usually Wins: The Theory of Quiet Leadership
  • Servant, Shepherd and Steward: A Theology of Quiet Leadership
  • Becoming and Doing: Ethics and Virtues Which Shape Quiet Leaders
  • Discovering Your Voice: The Journey of Quiet Leadership
  • Challenging Our Excuses: Quiet Leadership and Character Development
  • Results Matter: Quiet Leadership and Optimizing Outputs
  • Casting Vision, Reshaping Paradigms: Quiet Leaders as Change Agents
  • What Others Become: Quiet Leadership and Helping Others Shine
  • From Leadership to Leaderships: Getting Teams to Work in the Same Direction
  • Beyond Dreaming: Quiet Leadership and the Management/Leadership Juggle
  • Some Tortoise Triumphs: Quiet Leadership in Practice

Praise for the Print Edition

Books on leadership are today two a penny. Just occasionally, however, one of these books might stand head and shoulders above most of the others, and to my delight The Tortoise Usually Wins falls into that category. Furthermore, so many books on leadership are written for natural leaders; whereas, as the author makes clear, most churches are led by ‘quiet leaders’ who know they are not great, but nonetheless, are ‘tenacious and committed to the task and willing to work co-operatively with others to achieve it.’ I can see many church leaders benefitting from this book. I warmly commend this unusual book.

—Paul Beasley-Murray, senior minister, Central Baptist Church, Chelmsford

Product Details

  • Title: The Tortoise Usually Wins
  • Author: Brian Harris
  • Publisher: Paternoster
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 200
  • Christian Group: Reformed
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Topic: Ministry Resources

About Brian Harris

Brian Harris (BSocSc, BTh, MTh, PhD) is principal of Vose Seminary, a Baptist theological college in Perth, Australia. Brian has lived in both South Africa and New Zealand and has successfully been the senior pastor of three churches, each of which grew dramatically. His PhD interacts with the thought of Stanley Grenz and explores the nature and future of evangelical theology. In 2009, he commenced as senior pastor of Carey Baptist Church in conjunction with his role at Vose, giving him valuable practical pastoral insight.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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