Top 5 Books on Leadership Development

I am starting a series of posts in which I will bring recommendations from various directors in the EFCA National Office. These are the books, within their related field, which are must reads for those interested in that specific field.
The first director I am featuring is Steve Hudson. In the summer of 2005, a position was created in the National Office for Leadership Development. Mr. Hudson has also been the Director for National Ministries at the EFCA.
According to Mr. Hudson, the top 5 must reads in regards to leadership development are (in no particular order):
1. Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels
2. The Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley
3. The Unity Factor by Larry Osborne
4. Building Leaders by Aubrey Malphurs
5. Elders & Leaders by Gene Getz

I will briefly review both Courageous Leadership & The Next Generation Leader, but first, let me give you a quick overview of the other three.
Building Leaders is the second book in a three part series (Being Leaders, Leading Leaders). As is probably obvious from the title, it is for current leaders who would like to empower others to lead. As in the others in the series there are questionnaires & inventories in the appendices. The book is broken down into four parts: the preparation, the practices; the process, & the product of developing leaders.
The Unity Factor focuses on developing a healthy church leadership team. Having been on a church board myself as associate pastor, I can attest that sometimes board meetings are a struggle. Mr. Osborne helps you move through roadblocks, let go of dead weight, roles the pastors need to assume & how to move through change in your church.
In Elder’s & Leaders, Gene Getz gives a biblical, historical & cultural perspective on God’s plan for leading the church. It shows biblical evidence for the plurality of leaders in the church & gives action plans for you to put this in motion at your church.

I read Mr. Stanley’s Next Generation Leader two years ago when I was a youth pastor. In it, I learned how to lead those under me (the teens & staff) as well as those above me (the sr. pastor). This book takes the reader through 5 essentials for leaders.
First is competence – do less, accomplish more. This is to focus on your strengths, do those primarily & delegate the rest. Other people are gifted in what you are not. Let them use their gifts. Second is courage. It may be overused & old, but this is Rudy Guiliani. Stepping up & showing leadership in times of crisis. “As leaders we are asking men & women not only to follow us to a place they have never been before; we are asking them to follow us to a place we have never been before either.” Third is clarity. We must not just survive uncertainty, we need to thrive in it. “As leaders, we can afford to be uncertain, we cannot afford to be unclear.” Fourth is coaching. In the introduction, Mr. Stanley says “in leadership, success is succession”. We must reproduce ourselves. We must not be the ministry. In developing & coaching we can pass on the mantle of leadership. Last is character – character determines the leader’s legacy. Character makes a leader someone worth following.
I whole-heartedly agree with Mr. Hudson. This is a must read – not only for those in leadership development but for anyone with the slightest gift of leadership. Excellent book, great principles, easy read.

As high as I am on Next Generation Leader, I saved the best for last. Courageous Leadership is one of the top three books I have ever read. The back of the dust jacket reads, “In the most important book he has ever written, Mr. Hybels shares what he has learned about Christian leadership…” Not only may be the most important book he has ever written, it may be the most important book you will ever read. That being said, & this post getting long, I will post a review for Courageous Leadership all on it’s own.

(Click on the links above to purchase that specific book @ 20% off)

1 comment:

Sean Dennis said...

join the discussion at regarding potential changes to the EFCA statement of faith, surely there are some books to be recommended as we think about any new directions in the movement.