How to get unstuck | City Bible Forum

How to get unstuck

Wed 9 May 2018
Book review: How to get unstuck by Matt Perman

Matt Perman’s previous book What’s Best Next inspired me to make significant changes in my life, so I have been looking forward to his new book, How to get Unstuck.

I reckon we’ve all been stuck at some point in our lives. When we don’t know how to move forward, when we aren’t making the impact that we should be, or where our work lives take up more of our time than it ought to - these are all examples of being ‘stuck’.

Being stuck - whether in our personal lives, spiritual walk or in our jobs – is a terrible place to be and even harder to get free.

In How to get Unstuck, Matt Perman tackles a range of issues head-on to equip us to embrace the difficult yet critical process of getting ourselves unstuck, sharing some of his own personal struggles along the way. Matt wants us to move toward a position of flourishing, that to which God has called us all to.

Matt says “being unstuck is ultimately a positive concept. It is getting the right things done through obstacles again and again for the good of others and the glory of God” which builds on 1 Corinthians 15:58 as the foundation. The book maintains a strong scriptural scaffolding throughout, and the carefully chosen secular nuggets weaved in just welled within me this feeling of wanting to share this with my friends and colleagues!

Whether you’ve read business books before, or never touched one – the concepts introduced are powerful, proven and simple to grasp. Matt takes us through topics like distinguishing between urgency and importance, the Skill-Will matrix and other well-known models make for a read that builds on the success of the great authors and historical examples of leadership from Peter Drucker, Jonathan Edwards, Steven Covey, David Allen, Seth Godin and more.

This is definitely not just another ‘self-help’ book – but rather one directed at how we flourish when we serve others, in the Lord’s service. This is a great resource to share with a friend or work colleague who might be:

  • Wondering what a vision for their lives might look like,
  • Struggling with setting goals or getting things done well,
  • Wanting to bring their best and make a difference – but not sure where to start.

The book is neatly segmented to help us identify the problem upfront using foundational principals such as our worldview, the importance of character, using influence in advancing others and the operating principle for our productivity - humility.

Only once these are well embedded Matt unpacks the skills we need to truly get things done, make ideas happen and bring vision into reality – Leadership, Management and Personal Effectiveness, (what he calls the ‘Effectiveness Triad’).

Each chapter has related resources under the “Getting Unstuck Clinic”, which are really helpful in digging deeper. I would recommend reading through the core material first and going back to these clinics later.

In many ways in reading this book, I felt like a patient – being carefully guided and cared for, whilst being given a stern dose of direction to help me change unhelpful habits that got me here, but excited about the potential to get back out there and use this to serve others, to help others get unstuck for the glory of God.

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Book review by John Armstrong, ICT consultant working in Brisbane city

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