Hybels, Bill. Axiom. Powerful leadership proverbs.
Bill is considered by many as a leader of leaders. This resource contains his own summary of leadership as he has learned and practiced it. His leadership reflects his personality, i.e. aggressive, passionate, and committed, etc. His ‘axioms’ target four areas of leadership: vision and strategy, teamwork and communication, activity and assessment, and personal integrity. Rick Warren commends this book as “The distilled wisdom is pure gold- classic.” If you are a fane you will love it.
“The very best leaders I know wrestle with words until they are able to communicate their ideas in a way that captures the imagination, catalyzes action, and lifts spirits.” BH
There is the right way to “make the big ask”. (21) It is important for church leaders to know what season the church is in. Growth comes with unique challenges that leaders have to deal with. Vision, “a picture of the future that produces passion in people” (30) is at the core of leadership. Value innovation. When a leader casts a vision he/she must own that vision. Hire capable people and pay them what they are worth. (Bill doesn’t seem to address the impact that ‘stealing’ a leader from another organization has on that organization.) Churches should have an adequate contingency fund. To cast a vision involves not just an event but a process. “Values need heat.” (54) Have a six week plan where you focus on six goals. Key values must be institutionalized. “Interdependence, vulnerability, listening, and giving of yourselves- this is church.” (70)
When it comes to building a team (hiring) pay attention to three things; “character, competence, and chemistry” (75), in that order. “Teamwork and communication” (74) are dealt with by 22 axioms including, “First tested. Know who’s driving. Disagree without drawing blood. Etc.”
Actions must be scrutinized by transparent assessment. Don’t ignore the small stuff. Be aware of the results of hard ministry. It stimulates and motivates what is good. If it is destructive it is bad. Have an effective system that gives valid feedback regarding what is going on. Ministry activity must be sustainable. Facts should always be treated as friends not enemies. Look for truths in criticisms. Always pay attention to your “soul line” (167), your relationship with God. Learn the discipline of doing a day’s work within a reasonable time frame (8-10 hours). Have not only daily finish lines but weekly and monthly, etc. finish lines and adhere to them. Debriefing is fundamental to learning from activities.
Wisdom and a good grasp of reality will be required for effective mentoring. There cannot be Godly leadership without diligence. “Core-of-my-being issues” (192) are part of genuine leadership. Leaders must be readers. Even leaders learn to do (lead) by doing (leading). Be punctual. “Excellence honors God and inspires people.” (206) Family is the first test of leadership. There are times when leaving is the right thing to do but it is important to “finish well”. (214)