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Monday
Jul092012

Leaders Are Readers

As far back as I can remember I have always loved to read.  Growing up in Palm Springs, California. I spent many a hot summer day in the local library.  My mother was an avid reader; my father read almost nothing--not even the newspaper. In my minds eye I can see stacks of books on various tabletops in the homes we lived in as a result of routine trips my mother made to the library. One of my most vivid memories is of her asleep on the sofa with a book in her lap.

I read now, not just because of the legacy of my mother, but because I believe that leaders are readers.  I have had it as a goal for the past 20 years or so to read at least two books a month and, by His grace, I have been enabled to do that.

Currently I read almost no fiction and focus primarily on books dealing with leadership and church issues.  When it comes to the subject of leadership, I read business books, biographies and books from the world of sports in addtion to books dealing with Christian leadership.  In all of them I am on the hunt for leadership ideas and principles that I can apply to my own life and ministry and share with other leaders and church leadership teams.

My current purpose statement reads:

“To help equip and empower the next generation of leaders in local churches by coaching, writing and teaching”

Reading greatly helps me in achieving my God-given purpose.

On my website there is a tab entitled “Book Notes” which currently includes notes on over 100 books.  What you find on each of these books is not an outline or a book review per se, but what I thought were the best ideas in the book…ideas that have resonated with me and, I trust, will resonate with those reading these book notes…golden nuggets as it were.

Recently, I finished the latest book by Patrick Lencioni, “The Advantage.” I started out reading it on my iPad, but was doing so much highlighting that I purchased a paper copy so I could collect ideas under various headings.

 I have read every book that Lencioni has written.  He is an amazing writer and thinker.  Even though his books are written for a business audience, they are rich in application for leadership in the church and for Christian leadership in general.

“The Advantage” is actually a compilation of several of Lencioni’s earlier books. Some of his first books, such as his well-known “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” (2002), were written a number of years ago. In “The Advantage” he has updated, expanded and added new ideas and examples to some of his original work.  It is like buying six books in one. If you have never read any of his earlier work, then “The Advantage” is a must-read, in my humble opinion. Even if you have read some of his books, I still suggest you read this one.

This is an amazing book that I am highly recommending to all of the leaders in my world. When I suggest they read it, I find that many of them are already well into digesting some of his amazing insight and wisdom about leadership and teams.

Two days ago, I posted the best of “The Advantage” on my website. It is the longest Book-Note to date, but well worth the read.

If you go to the “Book Notes” tab at davekraft.org and scroll down to the “T’s”, you will find my take-a-ways from this book.  I believe you will be a better leader and a more effective developer of other leaders as you digest and apply what this book has to offer.  If you like the “Book Note,” why not buy a copy of the book (but maybe not an e-copy because, if you’re like me, you will be doing a lot of underlining.)

Leaders are readers. Read on to the glory of God!



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