The Leader’s Journey (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003)

Most of us think that to lead well we need to manage those we lead first.  This book moves the focus to learning to manage self first before we will be able to lead others well.

Written by my friend Jim Herrington with Trisha Taylor and Robert Creech, this book and the personal coaching I’ve had along the way has transformed the way I view leadership.  It has also helped transform me.  (To any who say, “That’s the extent of the effect on you?” I say, “You should have seen me before!”)

One of the great concepts in the book comes from a quote from Ronald Richardson’s Creating a Healthier Church:

The leader’s main job, through his or her way of being in the congregation, is to create an emotional atmosphere in which greater calmness exists–to be a less anxious presence.

As the writers say,

The life of Jesus is examined to illustrate his ability to know and do the right thing despite incredible pressure to do otherwise. A model of Radical Obedience, Personal Reflection, and participating in a Community of Grace and Truth are three key ingredients in the personal transformation needed to lead calmly.

Whether you are a leader in your business, at church, at home or in your neighborhood, the principles in this book can give you a blueprint towards more effective leadership.  But be forewarned.  If you don’t want to work first toward personal transformation you will continue seeing the same results you’ve always been getting.

But, if you want see different and better results, this book needs to be a part of your library. Read it and practice it until it becomes you.


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