good books on leadership

Leadership as an Identity: The Four Traits of Those Who Wield Lasting Influence

If you are like me, I thoroughly enjoy learning from others about leadership and I have found one of the best ways to learn from them is to read their books.

On the site, I have listed many of my favorites. Check out my Leadership Books.

I would also appreciate your suggestions as to others I need to add!

what lens is your leadership team looking through?

Senior Leadership TeamsGood Friday morning!

Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to work with several senior leadership teams of various types of organizations. All of them were made up of good, intelligent, and professional people.

Yet, some of them were dealing with a common issue found in many senior leadership teams. This issue is is highlighted in the book Senior Leadership Teams, What It Takes To Make Them Great. The issue is that many teams are formed in a de facto sort of fashion whereby the heads of certain functions automatically make up the team. With that foundation, the members of the team act more like members of a legislature or Congress in that they are there to represent the interests of their area or function.

A healthy senior leadership team is comprised of members who realize that they are responsible for the overall success of the organization and not just their function. They have learned to look through the lens of the organization and not the more narrow lens of their line or functional role.

So what lens is your leadership team using? Are they “representatives” of their function or are they there to lead and be responsible for the entire organization?

Hope you have a great and blessed weekend!


quotes from a young man that is changing the world

adam-braun-profile_727_447_c1Good morning,

Sunday, I finished an excellent book by Adam Braun entitled The Promise of a Pencil. Other than a few places where he uses some less than best language, the book is excellent. He has several quotes through the book I want to highlight for you. They are not new – many are rooted in Scripture and you have read other versions of them in other places. But they sound fresh from this young man who is changing the lives of so many.

1. “. . . I would find far more fulfillment if I measured my life in purpose, not profits.”

2. “The biggest difference between the person who lives his or her dreams and the person who aspires is the decision to convert that first spark of motivation into immediate action.”

3. “The purest joys are available to all of us, and they are unrelated to status, recognition, or material desires.”

4. Listening intensely is far more valuable than speaking immensely.”

5. “I could never make assumptions about how others perceive me.”

6. “Most ventures fail in the early stages because people stop trying after they’re told no too many times.”

7. “Our cultures glorifies founders and CEOs far too often, when in fact the early adopters and evangelists are actually the ones who make a company’s success.”

8. “. . .we recreate our reputation every day.”

9. “We exist because of the sacrifices of those who came before us . . . ”

10. “Become your dreams.”

11. “Those I met defined themselves by what was on their mind, not on their business card.”

12. “How many times have I missed an incredible connection that could have been made because I had my face in my phone instead of paying attention to those around me?”

13. “I understood that I might fail, but I wouldn’t let it happen because I changed my compass along the way.”

14. “You need to know the character of the people at your side. Trust is everything.”

15. “Creating something new is easy, creating something that lasts is the challenge.”

One of the things I enjoyed about this book is Adam Braun comes across as a learner. He is constantly talking about how he benefitted from the advice of others. He was candid about his mistakes. Equally impressive is that he is a young man making a huge difference not only because of his passion and hard work, but also because he seeks and listens to good advice. Something some of us older folks have yet to learn.

His story is compelling and the book is worth a read.




“Boards That Lead” by Ram Charan

“Boards That Lead” by Ram Charan

Change is coming. Leadership at the top is being redefined as boards take a more active role in decisions that once belonged solely to the CEO. But for all the advantages of increased board engagement, it can create debilitating questions of authority and dangerous meddling in day-to-day operations. Directors need a new road map—for when to lead, when to partner, and when to stay out of the way.

building a sustainable culture

“A sustainable culture is built from the inside out. It starts with leadership that places the highest level of importance on human beings and a corresponding premium on recruiting, hiring, and training – both academic and experiential – to equip and empower them.”

Dan J. Sanders in Built To Serve 

the heart of a leader

crawford_lorittsGood morning! The following is a quote from Tim Kimmel found in Crawford Loritts‘ book, Leadership as an Identity.

“What are the qualities of an authentic Christian leader?

  • A humble heart – a reverence for God and respect for others.
  • A grateful heart – an appreciation for what he has given and who has given it.
  • A generous heart – a great delight in sharing with others what God has entrusted to him.
  • A servant’s heart – a willingness to take action in order to help bring the best out of everyone around him.”

Have a great day today!

“Leaders who ex…

“Leaders who expect employees to make good decisions and to accept responsibility for them must also provide training and development, education and coaching.”

A Coach’s Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders –


are you present?

Good morning to you! Beautiful fall weather up here in NE Indiana.

Growing up, Louis L’Amour was one of my favorite authors. In his stories ran the consistent themes of honor, courage, hard work, integrity, loyalty, perseverance, and a high view of marriage. In looking through the book A Trail Of Memories, a compilation of some of his quotes by his daughter Angelique L’Amour, I came across the following quote from his book Bendigo Shafter:

Few of us ever live in the present, we are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone . . .

That really struck a chord with me – I am so often contemplating the future or analyzing the past, that I miss out living in the present. I too often am not in the present and miss so many moments with family and friends. I remember when my daughter, Keely, was small, she would tell me she wanted me with her. I would tell her I was sitting right next to her, but she would say “you’re not really with me!”. She was very discerning at a young age. She knew instinctively that while I was physically present, I wasn’t mentally and emotionally present. My attention was somewhere else.

As I have journeyed along, learning bit by bit to actually live, I am noticing more and more people who are not present. They are not really with the people they are talking to, they don’t see the beauty of God’s creation as they move hurriedly from one thing to another, they are not giving full attention to their children, and they are hurrying past others who are hurting.

Yes, it is good to learn from history. Yes, it is good to think about the future and to plan. just don’t stay in either place so long that you miss out on life.

Be present.

Peace and grace to you on this Thursday,

4 traits of a leader

Leadership as an Identity Book COverGood Friday morning to you! I have been having fun facilitating a symposium of some very sharp, Christ-centered entrepreneurs yesterday and today. It has been fun!

Dr. Crawford Lorritts wrote one of my favorite leadership books – Leadership As An Identity. Dr. Lorritts is the Senior Pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, GA.

In his study of leadership he found that four characteristics consistently marked distinctively Christian leaders. They live from and lead with these characteristics. Dr. Lorritts organized his book around these four characteristics.

The four characteristics are:

1. Brokenness – a conscious, core awareness that you need God in all things.

2. Uncommon Communion – a deep heart connection with God.

3. Servanthood as An Identity – when you embrace servant leadership not as a strategy, but as an identity.

4. Radical Immediate Obedience – Obedience acknowledges the supremacy of God over all things including the affairs of your life and the work/mission.

This is a great book, full of godly wisdom that you should seriously consider adding to your library.

One last quote from his chapter on Authentic Humility:

“Humility is the intentional recognition that God is everything to you, and that you are nothing without Him. It is the acknowledgment that life is not about you, and that the needs of others are more important than your own.”

Question – as you lead, is your leadership marked by these four characteristics?

Have a blessed day today,

4 thieves of your productivity

the1thingGood morning – another nice day here in the Midwest!

Many of us have to contend with thieves. Thieves that rob us of time and diminish our effectiveness. In this case there are no police to call – it is up to us to do something about them.

Gary Keller in his book The One Thing, identifies the four thieves as:

1. Inability to say “No” – he repeats the old saying that “every ‘yes” must be defended by 1,000 ‘no’s’.” When yo say yes to the wrong things, you are not just distracted, you are hijacked. Learn to say no to the good things and yes to the best things.

2. Fear of chaos – focusing on one thing can actually be a bit messy. While you are focusing on your one thing, the world is still moving right along. When you focus on one thing, other things don’t get done. So, when you focus, it will get messy. That’s ok.

3.Poor health habits – when you don’t take care of yourself, when you mismanage your energy, you become less effective.To be productive and to be able to truly focus with your greatest creativity, you need to be managing your personal energy well. Get plenty of sleep, eat right, exercise and etc. Take care of yourself.

4 Environment doesn’t support your goals – Are the people around you supportive of your goals? How do they impact your attitude and your health? How about the people you hang out with? Are they good for you or bad for you? Do you need to change? What about your physical environment? Is it conducive to good work or is it a distraction? What distractions do you need to eliminate in your physical environment?

How do you plan on protecting yourself from these four thieves?

Blessings on your day!