I don’t like most books about leadership technique. Never have.
Whether it’s the 21 Laws of This or That, or 5 Steps to a Whatever, I find these kinds of books to be mechanical, corporate, and not much use.
However, knowing that this is a personal blind spot, I still try to read at least one book about leadership each year. Over the years I’ve read – believe it or not – some good ones. So, here’s a list of five good books about leadership for people who don’t like books about leadership (in no particular order)…
The Road to Character – David Brooks
This is a book less about techniques, and more about the values that should drive us as leaders. Packed with examples from history, and some very helpful insights.
The Contemplative Pastor – Eugene Peterson
Peterson is the immunisation shot all pastors should get to stave off the virus of a corporate CEO mentality. This book refocuses us on the basics of ministry, challenges us to not become soothing chaplains of an unbiblical culture, and also reminds us to refrain from trying to do God’s job for Him.
How Your Church Family Works – Peter Steinke
This is a book about emotional systems, and how people (and groups) deal with anxiety. It’s one of those books that clarifies and names reality in a very sharp way. Eye-opening and challenging.
The Work of the Pastor – William Still
A delightfully grumpy book, which as the KJV would put it, has the effect of girding one’s loins. A work of gruff conviction, and a very inspiring to read.
The Undefended Leader – Simon P. Walker
This is the book (or 3 books, depending on the version you buy) on this list which is most clearly focused on the inner life of the leader. It’s liable to touch on some nerves, but it’s hugely worthwhile when it comes to processing the effect leadership has on our inner world, and vice versa.