I love reading about leadership. I love thinking about how I can be a better leader. I want to know how to motivate people, how to set a clear and compelling vision etc. So I read leadership books. Not as many I used to but I still read a lot of them.
But increasingly I have felt frustrated with the leadership books I have reads over the years and here is why:
Leadership books have helped me think about what I am not who I am.
If I analyse what the leadership books say I am they say that I am a leader and I need to be better at leadership. Therefore I need to work on all the skills that will make me a better leader.
If I analyse who I am, I realise I am a person who is broken and sinful. A person who needs a great dose of humility, a person who needs to have their skills sharpened, yes. But more importantly I need my character refined.
That is why I am frustrated with a lot of the leadership books that I have read. They don’t deal with your character. They don’t help you see how stupid it is to be a great leader in the workplace and a terrible leader at home. In fact two of my favourite books on leadership were written by men who had affairs and said that their affairs didn’t affect their ability to lead!
Most leadership books don’t say that what our followers need are people of character
How are you working on your character?
How are you working on being a better person?
Because that is what your people need you to be most,
A better person