The Most Excellent Way to Lead: Discover the Heart of Great Leadership (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 2016)

Perry Noble, the Lead Pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, South Carolina has written a simple, yet insightful book on leadership that should help leaders across any number of disciplines.

The premise of the book is that the most excellent way to lead is by love. Noble contends that 1 Corinthians 13, known affectionately as the ‘love chapter’ (pun intended), is really all about leadership. He makes the point that the Apostle Paul has been speaking about leadership in the preceding and following chapters, and he gives an example of what this kind of leadership should look like in chapter 13. If you replace the word love with leader, you will find a whole slew of leadership traits such as patience, kindness, not easily angered, and keeps not record of wrongs to describe the traits every good leader should possess.

Noble draws on personal mistakes, failures as well as successes and victories to illustrate each point (i.e. love is kind) in a memorable and disarming way. He doesn’t make himself out as a guru of leadership, but as a learner who has been used by God do some pretty amazing things.

At the end of each chapter are questions to be answered personally as well as questions that could be asked of any leadership team. I have been going through the book with a friend and it has inspired some challenging conversations and growth.

Pick up the book. Then read and apply the lessons to your life and team. It will be a good reminder that leadership is more than a position and power suit and will have you well on your way to becoming an excellent leader.

Leadership is love.

Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness (Nelson Books, 2015)

In Seven Men, author Eric Metaxas gives a brief, yet thorough look into the lives of George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Charles W. Colson. Some of the men are well-known by almost everyone, while others have been forgotten or lived on the fringes of society. The common thread among them all is their devotion to God and a legacy left by their acts of sacrifice.

Each chapter is devoted to one of these men, and they are easily readable in one sitting. This is a fantastic book to study and discuss with a small group (that’s what my book club is doing right now!). This is definitely a winner and provides a wealth of real life illustrations on the importance of character in leadership.

Open: What Happens when you Get Real, Get Honest, and Get Accountable (Thomas Nelson, 2013)

One of the most powerful and effective ways to stay on track personally, professionally and spiritually is to have someone trusted to walk and grow with. The writer of Proverbs tells us that “iron sharpens iron” and I have personally found that the greatest source of growth and strength for me has been a few accountability partners who are willing to ask the tough questions of my ministry, marriage, family and thought life. Craig Gross and Adam Palmer have put together a very practical and easy to read book that gives compelling reasons why accountability is necessary and how to start an accountability group/relationship.

This book is not earth-shattering in it’s information or scope, but it isn’t intended to be. It is written to motivate and compel the reader to seek out accountability for a lifetime in order to be the very best one can be. Craig Gross definitely practises what he preaches as the founder of xxxchurch.com, the accountability software X3 Watch and X3Workshops, the online sessions to overcome porn addiction.

No man is an island, and “Open” is a great reminder of this. Now open yourself up to accountability and take your personal life to new levels of honesty and freedom.