Redefining Leadership: Character-Driven Habits of Effective Leaders by Joseph M. Stowell (Zondervan, 2014)
Most leadership books focus on methods, tactics, strategic planning, and vision. This book hubs on a more essential part of leadership.
Joe Stowell redefines leadership from the perspective of a shepherd rather than a CEO. From a person driven by character as opposed to a manager driven by results. From one who leads by serving rather than one who keeps score of outcomes.
Redefining Leadership comes in three parts:
- Part 1 redefines a leader’s priority as character, not results. The most important part of leadership is his or her character—a focus conspicuous today mostly by its absence.
Most outcome-driven leaders get a hall pass on character if the results of their leadership are significant. . . . In essence, they reflect the belief that outcomes trump character and that what a person produces is the most important value in measuring successful leadership. (pp. 26-27)
- Part 2 redefines a leader’s identity as a shepherd, not a dictator. Humility marks a Godly leader, with a person learning to lead self first.
- Part 3 takes lessons from Jesus’ sermon on the mount, urging a leader to be reliant and repentant, meek and righteous, merciful and pure, and willing to shift all expectations for God’s glory instead of self.
Written with a good dose of humor as well as personal stories, Redefining Leadership frames the role of leader as one who leads by example—just as Christ did.