8 Leadership Books You Can Use

8 Leadership Books You Can Use

Top recommendations to use on your own or with a team
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Five More Leadership Books You Can Use

I asked five advisors and contributors of SmallGroups.com to share their favorite leadership book, and they came up with some great recommendations:

Good to Great

Jim Collins

This is an older book, but continues to be a favorite of mine because its findings were driven by data derived from thorough research. The companies have changed, but the leadership principles described in the book have not. The book is based on what took place in companies that had a history of doing well, but then took off, far outperforming comparable companies in their industries. The book identifies nine common elements that distinguished the 11 “great" companies from the “good” comparison companies. You’ll have to read the book if you want to know the elements but, many if not all, are surprising. If you’ve read this book, I’d also recommend Built to Last, the predecessor to Good to Great, and Great By Choice, the follow up to Good to Great. —Steve Gladen of Saddleback Church

The Making of a Leader

Robert Clinton

I love this book because it explains God’s sovereignty in shaping a leader throughout his or her life. Clinton has studied hundreds of historical, biblical, and contemporary leaders and has noticed certain patterns in their development. He identifies six distinct stages in the formation of leaders. He then invites the readers to go back and examine their own lives to determine how God has been working in each stage. The book has helped me see God’s sovereign hand in my own life and have a better grasp of where God is taking me in the future. But it’s also helped me encourage younger leaders to be faithful right now in whatever stage they are, knowing that future success in leadership is determined by obeying God in the little things and overcoming the tests he brings our way. —Joel Comiskey is author of 2000 Years of Small Groups

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life

Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

As a recovering people-pleaser working in ministry where most presented opportunities are "good," I struggle with setting healthy boundaries that honor and protect all areas and people to whom I'm called. Boundaries helped me prayerfully examine the root cause of why I was saying “yes” to the wrong things and forgoing the margin to say “yes” to the things I really wanted to and needed. With the overarching message that I'm responsible for myself but to others, Boundaries forced me to consider that I was stifling the growth of those I lead when I take on their responsibilities for them, and led me to thoughtfully examine how I spend my time, energy, and emotional resources. I am a better leader when I stop trying to orchestrate everything around me, and instead focus on the people and tasks that are mine, allowing others to grow into their leadership potential by taking on the people and tasks that are theirs. My family and friends are grateful to see me again, too. —Laura Holland of National Community Church

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Chip and Dan Heath

I love this book because it talks about how to effect change when you're not in a position to simply dictate change. Most of us as small-group pastors can't just declare that groups will be a priority at our church. We can't unilaterally decide we need another staff member. And we certainly can't make people join groups. The Heath brothers lay out a three-part strategy for how to effect change in an organization when you don't have the positional authority or the resources to make change happen. —Will Johnston of Eastside Christian Church

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