Monday, April 9, 2012

"Beyond Talent" by John Maxwell

Snack of Choice:

The place were a burger means two patties and a jr only means one. That’s right, Five Guys and pile on the fries. Am I the only one who is a fan of the malt vinegar on ‘em? And no, they did not require a positive review in order for me to eat there, but I wouldn’t mind if they gave me a gift card ;) Oh... and did you know you can order online or with their iphone app? Life is GOOD!

Story behind the Story:
The last of my latent reviews. Whew. Thomas Nelson provided me with a copy of this book and, similar to Five Guys, does not require a positive review.

Story Line:
Repackaged for a new generation...well, actually, the same generation.  This is a republishing of the 2007 book under the original title “Talent is Never Enough,” but apparently heeded my homiletics professor’s warning about using negatives in your messaging. From leadership guru, John Maxwell, we learn that, yes, talent, is important, but you can’t depend on it alone for extraordinary results and success. The chapter titles reveal the necessity of passion, initiative, focus, teachability, and teamwork among others to truly be successful.  

The Real Story:
Many pastors and Christian leaders love books by John Maxwell. I do too, but let’s be real -- much of Mr. Maxwell’s material is focused on the leaders in the business world.  I’m not saying that what he writes does not apply the church and its leaders, but it makes it all the more difficult to sift through. I think maybe my problem with all of this is the focus on “success”.  I could see a Type-A personality going overboard with messages of “Successful people go the extra mile and are willing to spend as much time as it takes” to the detriment of life, health, and family. I can also see “tenacity” and “bull-headed determination” to adversity as the opposite reaction to how the Lord would have us to deal with difficulty. Be sure, however, I’m not talking about laziness or compromising or character-less-ness. (Yes, that is a word... maybe).

Leadership is not limited to the strong and courageous and the “type A” personality. Although it would have a different presentation, leadership can be true of a quiet and reserved individual who is willing to follow the Lord anywhere. So, if you aren’t “type A leadership material,” don’t be discouraged.  God uses the weak things of this world to “confound” the wise.
Ok, with that being said, it is a “leadership” book with many valuable insights.

Check out:
Nehemiah – now THAT’S a book on leadership!

“Church in the Making” by Ben Arment – Leadership for church-planters or those who want to understand it.

“Radical Together” by David Platt – great direction and humility for church leaders.

3 out of 5 embroiled CEOs.

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