Sunday, September 29, 2013

Top 10 Leadership Books of all Time


Many an author have written books on leadership, and I would like to offer my own list (in no particular order) of the Top 10 Leadership Books of all Time.

I'd be interested in your opinion. Is this a good list of leadership books? Am I missing some important aspect of leadership that needs to be considered? Am I forgetting a great author of yours?

Top 10 Leadership Books of all Time

1. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team - Patrick Lencioni

Lencioni is challenging and forthright about what is the best way to show leadership within a team environment and tough leadership decisions that need to be made to create a healthy team.

2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen Covey

 Still an absolute leadership book classic. Concepts that are pertinent to all areas of life: family, faith, business, nonforprofits, etc. Seek first to understand, how to manage priorities, and loads more. Click here for a summary of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

3. Axiom - Bill Hybels

This is pretty frank and down the line. Some readers may not like the bluntness of some of what Hybels says in this leadership book, but I found it helpful.

4. Courageous Leadership - Bill Hybels

Another Hybel's leadership book. Courageous leadership was the first time I had heard about 360 degree leadership; you know the concept of leading down, across and up all at the same time?

 5. Developing the Leader Within You - John C. Maxwell

 John Maxwell we know has written many a book on leadership. I find in my circles, that he's either a leadership guru or you can't stand him. I learn much from one of his earlier books, Developing the Leader Within You, as it simply was a book that provided some bite-sized concepts of leadership to help grow me as a leader. Other Maxwell leadership books that have impacted many are:
21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and Developing the Leaders Around You

 6. Emotional Intelligence - Daniel Goleman

 Why is this one of my top 10 leadership books? Emotional Intelligence through the research and work of Daniel Goleman helped me understand much about leadership from not just an IQ perspective, but a EQ perspective. EQ is emotional intelligence, and is imperative that leaders have high emotional intelligence if they want to be able to cope with the demands of conflict resolution, change management and the like. For a detailed rundown of Emotional Intelligence click here.

7. Good to Great - Jim Collins

Jim Collins has a following now, after tireless years of research into books like Good to Great and Built to Last. There are concepts in this book that I can apply to my ministry as a Salvation Army officer, including concepts about level 5 leadership, getting the right people on the bus (first who then what), the hedgehog concept, confronting the brutal facts and having fanactical discipline.
For those in social sectors, there is a little follow up book that is helpful alongside Good to Great, called, Good to Great and the Social Sectors.

8. Leadership Next - Eddie Gibbs

 Eddie Gibbs is well versed in what it means to lead within the context of shifting generations. In the wake of postmodernism and the changes in focus and outlook on new generations, Leadership Next, looks primarily on how to lead effectively within the Christian faith. Much of what we give credence to in leadership, he challenges well!

9. Spiritual Leadership - J. Oswald Sanders

 Sanders is pretty straight down the line with his outlook on leadership. Integrity is absolutely critical, a servant attitude is needed, and the ways of Jesus Christ need to be emulated to lead authentically. Be challenged by Spiritual Leadership!

10. The Truth About Leadership - James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

One of the key leadership teachings that comes out of this book is that credibility in the foundation of leadership. You can read more about this leadership book on a previous post I did.

There is more to be said. Why are there no women in my list? Can anyone recommend a leadership book written by women? If I added a book from the Bible, I would've added the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah challenges us to be tenacious and finish what you started. Some also mention Sun Tzu's Art of War, but from a Christian perspective I really stuggled with it. The other book was How to Win Friends and Influence People from Dale Carnegie, and while I appreciate it has been a successful and popular leadership book over the years, I debate the authenticity of some of the premises within it. If you do this and say that and manipulate the situation correctly, you will win friends and thus have influence. That inauthentic way of leadership does not gel overly well with me.

Please comment below. What do you think are the top 10 leadership books of all time? Do you even care? What do you prefer to read?

God bless.


Also: What are the differences/similarities between leadership and managment?

Submit your Email Address to Get Free latest Articles Directly to your Inbox

What do you get when you combine: The Theory of Constraints, The Salvation Army and my Dad?

No comments:

The Theory of Constraints (TOC) was created by Dr. Eli Goldratt. The theory was introduced in his 1984 book called The Goal, that became a very popular business novel that provided insight into managing efficient and effective manufacturing industries. Many managerial leaders know that the theory is that you analyse your processes, find the biggest constraint and deal with it. So for example, you have a manufacturing process of cooking donuts on a large scale. You look at your process and realise that there is always a 20 minute wait on a particular machine, because of a staffing issue. Now, if the 20 minute wait is affecting the number of donuts you could create in a particular time frame and thus lowering your income capacity, you have a constraint. You have identified a 'bottleneck'. The theory of constraints suggests that you should work on this bottleneck at first priority. This is change management 101.

The theory of constraints may sound tedious and irrelevant to you, but let me convince you otherwise. The theory of constraints created by Dr. Goldratt can have a huge impact upon The Salvation Army, let alone any other organisation that has processes in place. Are you ready

Let us consider a few examples. When we consider any proposal that goes to DHQ and then to THQ, we may simply look at the process in a flowchart:

Have an idea -> Write a proposal -> Submit to DHQ -> DHQ board meets -> Salvation Army Officer is asked to rework the proposal -> DHQ board meets -> Sent to THQ -> THQ board meets -> Sent back to DHQ to rework -> Sent back to Salvation Army Officer -> Back to DHQ board -> Sent to THQ -> THQ approves -> Sent back to DHQ -> Approval given to Salvation Army Officer

Whew. That was a lengthy process. Now are there bottlenecks? Using the theory of constraints, can anything be done to improve the process? Of course. What about the time between the DHQ board and the THQ board? What if one board met in the morning prior to the next board in the afternoon? What about the time taken to communicate to an officer of the outcome of a board? Maybe we should just give DHQ authority to make the decision and thus eliminating many levels of bureaucracy? I'm not offering solutions, merely highlighting the theory. The theory of constraints challenges us to look at the process and refine it.

Let us consider another example:

A new mainly music ministry seems to be going strong. The leadership team are supportive, and the mainly music leaders are fired up. I mean, from the outside looking in, many mums and bubs are coming along. The place is buzzing every Wednesday morning. But for what purpose? What is the goal? Is there a goal? Are we achieving anything of worth? Let's have a think. After some discussion, the mainly music team decide that their goal is to be a stepping stone into a faith community. Great goal. Sounds nice. The team sit down and discover they have a process:

Invitations, Word-of mouth, etc -> Attendance at Mainly Music -> Build relationships -> Attend Church -> Become a Disciple of Jesus

The discussion continues on which parts of the process are going well. "Well, you guys know full well, we aren't having any trouble getting mums to come along," says Lucy.

"Absolutely," remarks Barry. "The only problem is, no one is becoming a disciple of Jesus."

So, there are a couple of choices. Redefine your goal, so that it's not about making disciples. Then everyone can rest-assured their program is working. Or, find the bottleneck and deal with it. The theory of constraints would suggest the bottleneck is between building relationships and attending church. The team, once they have discovered this as a bottle neck, must decide how to fix it. There are many different solutions:
  • Instead of attend church, maybe invite people into a small group (redefine the process)
  • Maybe the issue is the perception people have of the church
  • Is the church a welcoming place?
  • Maybe an innovative congregational plant might be the answer, instead of what currently exists.
The theory of constraints (Dr. Eli Goldratt) suggests the following three steps:
1. Identify the constraint
2. Manage the constraint
3. Evaluate performance

Well after that brief change managment class, let me say: The Salvation Army must consider the theory of constraints. We must be a lean, fighting machine that aims to honour Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and that utilises its resources to its highest capacity.

Now, my Dad has a six-sigma blackbelt. That doesn't mean he knows karate, but that he knows much about operations management and helping organisations refine their practices so as to be more effective. So my initial question was, what do you get when you combine, the theory of constraints, The Salvation Army and my dad? You have a well-oiled soldier ready for battle.

Submit your Email Address to Get Free latest Articles Directly to your Inbox

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Book Review - Take Time to Be Holy: 365 Daily Inspirations to Bring You Closer to God

No comments:

A big thanks to Bob Hostetler for putting in many hours of hard work to bring this daily devotional together.

Samuel Logan Brengle wrote a large handful of books a century back that captured the minds of readers. Bob has brought the teachings of Brengle alive with this devotional.

Without holiness we won't see the Lord and if we don't see the Lord, we won't see the opportunities and the blessings of our everyday life. Holiness is an imperative. The church would do well to uphold the importance of holiness; to teach it, to live it. Without holiness we become self-seeking, self-obsessed and we live for none other than ourselves. The outward thrust that holiness pushes us is absolutely critical so we can be churches that are living in a way that pleases God and is impacting the world around us.

I recommend this daily devotional: Take time to be Holy: 365 Daily Inspirations to Bring You Closer to God.

Well done Bob.

If you are reading this review right now, maybe you could purchase a few copies?

Click this link here!  

Also: Bob Hostetler's Website.

~ Lt. Pete Brookshaw
Corps Officer - The Salvation Army

Submit your Email Address to Get Free latest Articles Directly to your Inbox

South African Sex Show Meets The Salvation Army

No comments:

An unlikely attender at the South African Sex Show was The Salvation Army. Amongst the toys and dancers and all of that, there was The Salvation Army; in amongst the people, aiming to make a difference.

Should we be there? Of course. That's what The Salvation Army have historically done well. We go to the places people least expect and offer hope in Jesus Christ. At the sexpo Salvationists are helping people be aware of the dangers of sex trafficking. It's a modern day epidemic and we must fight against it.

The Australian Federal Police say, "Human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices such as servitude, forced labour and forced marriage are complex crimes and a major violation of human rights.  Around the world men, women and children are trafficked for a wide range of exploitative purposes, such as:
  • Servitude
  • Slavery
  • Forced labour
  • Debt Bondage
  • Forced marriage; or
  • Organ harvesting"
The Salvation Army are at the South African Sexpo to raise awareness of such issues.

People become sex trafficked or rather the victims of sex trafficking in the follow ways (adapted from
  1. Women and children are kidnapped into slavery.
  2. Some children are sold to traders by their parents (primarily because of poverty).
  3. Some children are willingly sent with a trader by their parents, who have been promised that their children will receive a good education, an apprenticeship or a good job and good prospects or even just adequate food. Traders can often be well known locals or relatives, so the parents trust them.
  4. Some women are married-off, to new husbands that sell them off into the sex industry.
  5. Others respond to job advertisements offering good pay for manual labour, only to find that they are imprisoned on arrival, subjected to vastly different employment contracts to what they had been led to believe, with no escape, and may be made to work for many years labouring for no pay at all.
  6. Many women apply to sham foreign job agencies or to study overseas, and go abroad thinking they will receive education or have employment as a waitress or a nanny etc, only to find when they reach their destination that the reality is very different, and that they are imprisoned, raped and forced into the prostitution industry.
The Salvation Army will continue to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Not only will we build awareness, but in conjunction with other agenices and organisations, we will seek to make a difference in the sex-trade industry.

Other posts: Reaching the subcultures: How far is too far?

Submit your Email Address to Get Free latest Articles Directly to your Inbox

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Q&A - When Do You Ask Someone to Leave the Church?

No comments:

Hi Pete! So, when is it ok to ask a member, who causes literal bedlam in a church, to leave? And, yes, all the obvious has been done (counseling, meetings, forgiveness with accountability, etc) - Question from Chris Ross.

What an absolute cracker of a question!

I'll be frank to start with. I would first ask the question, of whether this issue needs a response down the lines of casting out the enemy, rather than just good management and pastoral care initiatives. How often in churches we try and wrestle with principalities and powers of this world with nice HR practices, good pastoral care and the like. I'm not trying to stir the pot, I'm just wondering whether this is a spiritual problem, that needs a spiritual answer.

In Matthew 18:15-17 we read of the passage where Jesus speaks of a brother sinning against you. We know the remedy Jesus offers is to firstly go and speak with the person about the sin. Secondly, if they fail to listen, then take a couple of people with you and speak with the person. If they still fail to listen, then, tell it to the church. If the person fails to listen even though, then treat them like an unbeliever. Jesus offers us some advice on conflict resolution.

We tend to fall short at point three. These are the words of Jesus, yet some many Pastors/Leaders fail to follow through with step three. I remember an example of a church, where the minister (who had been leading the Baptist church for the last 2-3 years), was coping a heap of slander, disobedience, back-biting and dissension from someone on his leadership team. He followed through with step one and two. He took people with him to discuss with the leader the issues at hand. At this meeting, apparently, the angry, divisive person threatened to leave the leadership team and the church. Now, another local Pastor met with the Pastor a few days later and they discussed what was happening. He suggested to follow through with step three, that is, on Sunday morning, stand up and say, 'On behalf of the ________ church, we'd like to announce the resignation of ____________ from the leadership team of our church. We'd like to thank him for his tireless work over the years, and here is a gift to show our appreciation. During the week, _________ offered his resignation from the leadership team, and so we accept that resignation and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.' 

What happened next? Well, the Pastor did not follow through with this, and instead 6 months later, HE was the one who had moved on. Disappointing.

We must balance the need for pastoral ministry, with strong leadership that will not let Satan send our churches away from the mission they are intended to fulfill. A leader must keep the church on course and sometimes this means making the tough call.

I have to say, regrettably, I witness a lot of churches who are content in their dysfunction, because the leader is unwilling to make the tough call. If the person is very clearly damaging the life of the church, what is more important: the mission of the church, or the potential fall-out from a difficult person?

Titus 3:10 captures this, 'Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.'  
I hope you may find these comments helpful. I'm sure you will continue to offer this situation and others up to God in prayer, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

God bless,


See also: Mark 1:21-28 - Jesus drives out an evil spirit
James 1:1-18 - Facing Trials


Receive Pete's Blog Posts via email (below):

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Who Was Abel's Wife? - Q&A


Who was Abel's wife?

At the beginning there was only Adam and Eve. They had two sons and Cain killed Abel. How did Cain find another woman to marry, if there were only Adam and Eve at the beginning? How is this possible? Where did the second woman come from? (Question from Marian Koroschetz)

Thanks to Marian for her challenging question. There are a couple of options that come to mind, when we think about the beginnings of Genesis. So here we go: Who was Abel's wife?

The first idea is that God did not just place Adam and Eve on the earth, that in fact God created numerous humans when the origin of man began. With this view, then Cain had plenty of women to choose from, in order to procreate and to be fruitful and increase (Gen 1:28).

The second theological idea, is that Adam and Eve were perfect (no sickness, disease, etc), and thus Cain and Abel in fact had wives who were technically their own sisters. Now, from our perspective today, we struggle to comprehend that idea, but what if the first humans were God's pristine creation? We know today, that if, for instance two cousins have a child together, there is a chance the offspring will be disabled to some degree. Though, if Adam and Eve were God's first created humans, and sin had not taken root in the world in those early days, then I could imagine that this second theological presupposition could hold true.

Who was Abel's wife, while a complex question, could very well be summed up with the above premise.

Read more: The Tower of Babel and the Quest for Achievement


Receive Pete's Blog Posts via email (below):

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

VIDEO: The Walls of Jericho are COMING DOWN! - Pete Brookshaw Preaching

No comments:

The Walls of Jericho are Coming Down!

Have you ever had barriers in your life?

In a sense the walls of Jericho symbolize for us today, walls and barriers to the promises of God. We read the story of Joshua leading the people of Israel into the Promised Land in the first few chapters of the book of Joshua. Watch below as Pete Brookshaw preaches a timely message to Salvos 3064 (Craigieburn), about the walls of Jericho coming down!

I hope the Lord inspires you and gets you fired up as you watch this message!

Let me highlight some things for you about the walls of Jericho and this story in Joshua.

Before the people of God entered the Promised Land and with a loud shout brought down the walls of Jericho, something significant happened.

Joshua 3:5 says, that the Lord challenged the people to consecrate themselves. What does consecrate mean? Consecrate means, to make holy. To consecrate yourself therefore, is to make yourself holy before God.

God wanted a consecrated people, a people willing to be devoted to him. God even required the Israelites to be circumcised before they were to take Jericho.

What do you need to consecrate in your life? Without holiness, it's impossible to see God.

Now, after the circumcision and the challenge to be holy, the people began to walk around the walls of Jericho. They walked around the walls of Jericho six times on the first six days. Then on the seventh day, they walked around the walls of Jericho seven times. So a total of thirteen times, they circled the walls of Jericho!

As recorded in Joshua 6:1-5, they gave a loud SHOUT, and the walls of Jericho came down!

In the message given above, the congregation spends a few moments, symbolically breaking down some walls.

We chose to pray that God would break down the barriers that hinder people becoming followers of Jesus, also, barriers to people regularly being healed, and the barriers of religiosity.

What are walls you need to break down, by the strength of God?


Receive Pete's Blog Posts via email (below):

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Popular ALL TIME Posts