Through of all my years as a practicing student, coach and teacher of leadership, never have I come across a book quite like Perry Noble’s, The Most Excellent Way To Lead.
Perry Noble is the founding pastor of NewSpring Church, one of the fastest growing churches in the United States, based in South Carolina. Over the last decade, NewSpring Church has expanded to several locations across the state – if you’ve never had the chance to hear one of Perry’s messages, you’re in for a real treat. Perry is not only a gifted writer, but is also a special communicator.
If you’ve read a few shelves worth of leadership books throughout you career (as I have!), it’s quite possible you’ve been exposed to hundreds of different theories, meanings and opinions on the broad topic of leadership.
For many, thousands of titles in airport concession stores, Barnes and Noble and the deep, endless aisle that is Amazon has left us more confused and conflicted about what leadership is, what it looks like, and more importantly, how to put it in action in our lives and careers.
In my opinion, none sets the topic of leadership straight in my mind and heart more than Perry’s book. I only wish Perry’s book was available when I started my career. This book will be the first and perhaps, only book I will have my four children (ages 11, 8, 6, and 2) read on the topic of leadership.
The basis for Perry Noble’s case on what the most excellent way to lead is actually originates from the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 12:31, Paul’s writings say, “I will show you the most excellent way.” The entire chapter zeroes in on how to lead – further, Perry states that “if we practice leadership (regardless of what we lead) in the way that Jesus did, we will become leaders other people want to follow”.
Not only does Perry’s book surface the foundational truth behind leadership but also provides the clear roadmap and reference for you as you put it into action. I promise you I won’t spoil the entire book but I am eager to share a few of the sound bites that jumped off the pages for me.
In no particular order, here are 6 quick ‘nuggets’ on leadership from The Most Excellent Way To Lead:
- “Boastful people are bitter people. Humble people, however, are hungry people. They know there’s more to be done. They don’t mind washing feet and they don’t have to be the center of attention.”
- “A call to lead is a call to serve and sacrifice. Our goal isn’t to make much of ourselves; instead we’re to make much of the people who we’re leading. Only then will we become leaders worth following.”
- “One of the worst things we can do as leaders is subject the people we’re responsible for to small, safe ideas. I believe God always wants more for us than we want for ourselves. I believe one of the best questions a leader in any field can ask God when they experience success is ‘What Now, Lord’?”
- “Critics want to make a point while coaches want to make a difference. When we allow the voices of those who know us the least to shape us the most, we are in serious trouble.”
- When it comes to solving problems, Perry conditions his team to “not immediately think that more resources are needed, but rather that they’ve been given more opportunities to be creative and to be great stewards of all that’s been placed in our hands.”
- “If you spend all your effort trying to make sure everything is completely fair (whether as a leader or follower), you are setting yourself up for disappointment.” Perry goes on to say, “Fair is a place where you ride rides”. How perfect!
Maybe most of all, I love how Perry starts his close to the book, “instead of approaching leadership the way the world does, with a hunger for power and self-advancement and competition, may you see that the best style of leadership is love.”
Here’s the big challenge.
The most excellent way to lead is also the most difficult.
Are you up to it?