The adage that good things come in small packages is proven yet again by Jim Rafferty’s book Leader by Accident. It is a terrific book about how to be a leader but what makes it so special is that it is also about how to live a life with meaning for oneself and for others. The lessons derive from Rafferty’s leadership of a Boy Scout troop after a shooting tragedy and the most poignant are expressed through his talks with the teen-age boys in the Scout troop. It is a very rare book that packs so much wisdom (and wit) about leadership and life into so few pages. I couldn’t put it down.”—Robert M. Gates, U.S. Secretary of Defense 2006-2011, National President of the Boy Scouts of America 2014-2016
“The unimaginable tragedy that upturned our community inspired Jim Rafferty’s journey through the perils and rewards of leadership. Leader by Accident is a conversation offering invaluable lessons of character, perseverance, and hope. It leaves one transformed and inspired. Timely and timeless, it’s a necessary read.”—Congressman C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger, United States House of Representatives, Maryland, 2nd District and Life Scout
“When an unbelievable tragedy occurred, Jim stepped outside of his comfort zone and discovered leadership qualities he never knew he had. Jim’s book will make you realize we all can be leaders by accident. His personal journey is very relatable, with inspiring anecdotes that helped shape his life. His candid thoughts will make you think about taking that first step and having no regrets. Six words changed Jim’s life: ‘you’re one of their favorite leaders.’”—Neil Hartman, Award-winning television sportscaster and current Director for the Center for Sports Communication and Social Impact at Rowan University
“As I live in the area where Jim Rafferty’s book takes place and vividly remember the tragic event that created Jim’s ‘accidental’ fall into leadership, I read his book with great interest. I was not disappointed.
Jim, with his humor and adept storytelling, has done us all a great service. He has given us a refreshing look at how we can all stand up and be leaders. The message is pretty direct: When the call comes, and you see the opportunity, you can lead. But Jim makes no bones, leadership is not easy, he makes it clear that there are lessons everywhere and you need to be keenly aware in order to take advantage.
All in all, this is a great read that will tug at your heart, make you laugh, and provide you some great leadership wisdom.”—Neal Woodson, Author, The Uncomplicated Coach
" ... with profound leadership lessons and far-reaching ramifications about the value of going beyond one's comfort zone, Leader By Accident is highly recommended."—Midwest Book Review