I just fished reading Axiom by Bill Hybels with a handful of the leadership team at Central. In it, Bill compiles thirty plus years of ministry and leadership insights into short little phrases. Each chapter captures an idea and gives some perspective on why Bill lives by it. Depending on your context, many of these will directly apply to you and others won’t. Taken collectively it is a very practical look at leadership in the trenches.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
The truth is, leaders rise and fall by the language they use. Sometimes whole visions live or die on the basis of the words the leader chooses for articulating that vision.
The very best leaders I know wrestle with words until they are able to communicate their big ideas in a way that captures the imagination, catalyzes action, and lifts spirits.
…when handled properly, people are actually quite flattered to be asked to do significant things for God. Granted, they might not always say yes—they can’t always say yes—but they are almost always honored by a wise and well-timed ask.
The nature of human beings is such that we tend not to drift into better behaviors. We usually have to be asked by someone to consider taking it up a level.
A key responsibility of the leader is to know what season the organization is in, to name it, and then to communicate the implications of that season to his or her followers.
Wise leaders understand that the single greatest determinant of whether followers will ever own a vision deeply is the extent to which those followers believe the leader will own it.
Leaders traffic in idea creation. The best leaders I know are ferociously disciplined about seeking them out and incredibly committed to stewarding them well.
Incremental thinking, incremental planning, incremental prayers—it’s the kiss of death. Don’t fall for it.
The difference between great communication and not-so-great communication often comes down to where you place the bad news.
The healthiest organizations I see are not conflict-free. They are just ridiculously committed to keeping short accounts.