Google “Leadership Books” and you will find that there are over 15,000 books on leadership. The question to ask yourself is: Which books have the most to offer in order to develop me into a better leader?
If you have ever seen the many overflowing bookshelves in my office, you know I love to read! Out of all the books on leadership I own, my favorite book is James Merritt’s book, “9 Keys to Successful Leadership: How to Impact and Influence Others.” The reason I value this book on leadership is summarized with this statement, “The level of your leadership will never rise above the content of your character” (page 7). Most books focus on skills, but Merritt states “Character ultimately trumps competency” (page 8). He goes on to write that, “Great leaders don’t just produce great results; they portray great character and inspire others to become better people by the way they lead their own lives” (page 9).
James Merritt is currently the Pastor of Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Georgia, and host of the Touching Lives television program. He is the author of nearly a dozen books. Previously, he served as a two-term president of America’s largest Christian denomination.
In this book, the Nine Keys to Successful Leadership and their principles are:
- The Key That Always Fits – LOVE
Principle One – Lead with love and people will gladly follow.
- The Key to a Happy Team – JOY
Principle Two – Joyful leadership produces happy followers.
- The Key to Team Unity – PEACE
Principle Three – Stay calm on the inside when things are chaotic on the outside.
- The key to Finishing Well – PATIENCE
Principle Four – The end zone is reached only through patience and perseverance.
- The key to Magnetic Leadership – KINDNESS
Principle Five – The road to best effort is paved with kindness.
- The Key to a Winning Organization – GOODNESS
Principle Six – Doing good always produces the best.
- The Key to Maximum Productivity – FAITHFUL
Principle Seven – A leader faithful to his team will see a team fulfilled in their jobs.
- The Key to the Velvet Gloves – GENTLENESS
Principle Eight – Every organization loves a kinder, gentler leader.
- The Key to the Even Keel – SELF-CONTROL
Principle Nine – Quality control flows from self-control.
Did you recall that these Nine Keys are found in the Bible? Galatians 5:22-23 reads “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (HCSB)
What fruit comes more naturally to you? What fruit do you need to work on?
How do you use fruit in the workplace? At home? With your family and friends?
Referring to the fruit of the Spirit, he writes, “Those who have God’s Holy Spirit living in them, have the supernatural ability to be winners who can influence anybody.”
Merritt writes in the conclusion that, “We are all influencers, and we are all influenced.” He goes on to say, “The greatest influence and impact you have on others comes from who and what you are.”
In order to have the influence and impact on others that God would desire of you, “Ask the Holy Spirit to make you into a tree that will bear fruit of blessing on all that you meet.”
On January 5, you and your family will have a special opportunity to ask God to help you bear fruit. The highly anticipated event, Blessing Sunday, will offer a growth station for you to declare your growth goal for 2020. This is a chance for you to reflect on the fruit you want to cultivate in the new year, to be prayed over, take communion and visit multiple interactive stations. All are invited to this powerful annual worship service which begins at 9:00 and 10:45am at both campuses. Blessing Sunday is a wonderfully personal and significant occasion that you and your family won’t want to miss. Come, start the year off right!
9 Keys to Successful Leadership How to Impact and Influence Others by James Merritt. Published by Harvest House Publishers. ISBN 9780736965644
Previously published as How to Impact and Influence Others.Topics: Books, New Year