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Posted on Jan 23, 2013

Book Review: Lead Like Jesus

Have you ever finished a book and said: “wow, that was amazing”? Or maybe you’ve had that thought all the way through as you were reading it…

That’s how I felt reading the book Lead Like Jesus.

The authors, world-renowned leadership guru Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges, have done an amazing job of putting together a powerful book on leadership that anyone can use. The concepts are simple enough everyone can grasp them. Yet the authors dive so deep it’s hard to read in one sitting.

For those that appreciate succinct definitions, Blanchard and Hodges have defined leadership this way:

“Leadership is a process of influence. Anytime you seek to influence the thinking, behavior, or development of people in their personal or professional lives, you are taking on the role of a leader.”

In addition, for those looking for the perfect leadership role model, there is one. His name is Jesus. But you don’t have to be a Christian or know the Bible to benefit from the lessons here.

If you are new leader, a seasoned leader, or want to learn more about leadership, this is the book to read. But if you prefer multimedia to reading, you’ll find a terrific overview of this book on YouTube where Ken Blanchard presents this topic to students at Biola University.

4 Domains of Leadership

In this book, leadership is divided up into four domains: Heart, Head, Hands, and Habits. The first two (Heart & Head) addresses the internal aspects of leadership. The last two (Hands & Habits) addresses the external factors of leadership.

Heart. This is the most important of the four domains, and the place to start. It’s all about your motivation. Are you a servant leader or a self-serving leader? The authors also address the issue of EGO (we all have it). The question is:

  • Are you Edging God Out? This is caused by pride and fear. Or…
  • Are you Exalting God Only? This can be done through humility and confidence.

Head. This section deals with your point of view (POV), your beliefs and theories abut leading and motivating others. Jesus point of view was clearly servant leadership [Mark 10:45]. The authors also nicely defined two different roles that make up a servant leader:

  • A visionary role – setting the course and the destination.
  • An implementation role – doing things right with a focus on serving.

Both roles are needed, and Jesus exemplified them both.

Hands. This is where the rubber hits the road. What’s inside you shows up through your actions. The authors suggest that a servant leader becomes a performance coach: setting goals, observing performance, praising, and redirecting inappropriate behavior. In addition, there are 4 stages of learning that a leader goes through:

  • Novice – just starting out
  • Apprentice – in training
  • Journeyman – capable of working independently
  • Master – highly skilled and able to teach others

Habits. The final section addresses the need to refresh and renew your daily commitments in order to remain a servant leader. Here to, we can learn from Jesus, and how He replenished His energy and servant perspective. Jesus embraced:

  • Solitude and prayer
  • Knowing the will of God
  • Fellowship with an intimate group of companions (or inner circle)

There you have it. Four simple concepts to look deeper into a complex subject.

This book truly offers a solid framework along with practical advice for anyone who wants to better understand leadership. One doesn’t even have to be a follower of Jesus to benefit from the wisdom and insights shared here.

Regardless of one’s beliefs, the one truth that remains for any reader is that Jesus is the best example of effective leadership.

If you want to learn more about this book or become a Lead Like Jesus facilitator, check out the website Lead Like Jesus.


Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?




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