The Absence of Affirmation

Finzel, Hans. The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make. Colorado: Nexgen, 2000

Chapter 3: The Absence of Affirmation: What Could be Better than a Pay Raise?


Finzel, attempts to cover discouragement in the workplace. Affirming another individual means that one looks outside his or her self and into others. This chapter covers topics such as a person’s lack of motivation all the way to understanding personality traits and how to help others. The Christian arena is even at question here. The author takes a look at Christians taking advantage of other believers. This happens by implying that we all serve God and therefore need not be encouraged or built up.

Descriptions of personality types make up most of this chapter. It also takes a look at opportunities where people can make a difference in fellow workers. Suggestions are given of ways one can make a difference. For example, writing a “thank-you note” (p. 59) can give a hurting person a whole new perspective of their circumstances. This short chapter is more about creating an atmosphere of affirming others. In leadership, there is a place for pouring life into others. Ultimately, one should look to scripture for a right perspective with influencing other people.


I didn’t take as many notes from this chapter as I did with other ones. It is an important topic, but nothing I don’t already do with people. I think this would be some great help to those who don’t already practice affirmation and encouragement. However, it’s still good to be reminded of such topics that were discussed. I do like how the author has interjected scripture into his writing. It is extremely hard for me to read a feel good book or chapter without any scripture mentioned. I like how he included the Word of God in with his teaching.

Another aspect I appreciated in this chapter is the use of stories. Being a father myself, I can be partial to a writer who tells stories of his or her own family situations. He is a good storyteller. The choice of his stories is beneficial to the topic too. He has captured my attention as a reader by involving his life into the discussion. That is helpful to me. It helps keep my interest. In addition, it helps keep me focused, thus, wanting to learn and apply what he is saying.

What I Have Learned:

I have been reminded to continue doing what I am doing by getting involved in other’s lives for God’s glory.


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