We have updated our Privacy Policy to provide you a better online experience.

My Top Leadership Books–and They Might Surprise You!

August 21, 2020 Kay Burnett Leadership

My top leadership books? Most expect me to list titles by John Maxwell, Michael Hyatt, or any number of well-known authors on this extensive subject. These are my top three, followed by why:

1.Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster—a classic you’ll want to read, reread, and read again, maybe annually. The content is foundational and transformational.

2. Soulkeeping by John Ortberg. Written in conversation with Dallas Willard. Heart changing and recalibrating toward a healthy inner life.

3. Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton. Pursuing methods for going deeper with God and living in intimacy with Him. My advice for thriving as a leader: lead from a deep, abiding walk with God. Don't start with leadership principles. Start with extravagant time with Jesus and committed time daily in the Word. Pursue growing deeper before growing wider. Leaders who develop disciplined, deeply personal walks with Jesus, let Him fill the reservoir of their souls, allowing them to minister from the overflow. Godly, prayerful leaders make our heart hunger for what they have, and it has nothing to do with fame or popular following.

Personally, I want to devour books by people whose roots run so deep their fruit is life-giving and eternal. Leaders can gain vast numbers of followers, and their influence can spread a mile wide, with their roots only half an inch deep. In recent years, the church may have taken leadership principles from business models and adapted them for ministry. We may be seeing less spiritual transformation because of that. Leaders who get on their face before Jesus can then rise and lead with assurance, following what He is saying, rather than following a popular leader, author, or speaker.