Best Books of 2010 (Leadership)

The Best Books of 2010

There isn’t much I love more than reading — so much so that most of my thoughts in the last 2 weeks have been consumed by whether to move to a Kindle or not (as opposed to having the actual book in hand).

Anyways, in the spirit of reflecting on 2010, ‘best of’ lists, and looking forward to 2011, I thought I’d showcase 5 lists over this next week. The first four lists wills showcase the best books I read in 2010 (regardless of actual publishing date) in categories of leadership, youth ministry, ministry, and general. The last list will detail the books I’m most excited to read in 2011.

The Best LEADERSHIP Books I Read (Regardless of Publishing Date) of 2010


1. Up Your Business: 7 Steps Fix, Build, or Stretch Your Organization (Dave Anderson)
I am a Junior High pastor, but I lead 90+ volunteer leaders and help run an “organization.” I found the advice practical and immediately applicable in how to deal with and properly lead people. Pastors are in the people business, and we must be fantastic at leading these very people.

2. Crucial Confrontations: Tools for talking about broken promises, violated expectations, and bad behavior (Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler)
Have you ever needed to confront someone’s poor behavior or violated expectation? If you lead people, you have. And maybe, if you’re like me you’ve either silenced your confrontation or exploded. This was a book recommended to me that I just finished this week and I highly recommend this intensely practical look at how to simply confront people in a healthy manner. The great leaders get it — that is, they get that excellence is achieved in the crucible moments. Read this book and learn how to make it through the crucible even stronger.

3. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? (Seth Godin)
This is a book I’ll return to every year. It’s just that good. It’s informative, but mostly, it’s inspirational. Godin has a knack for prodding the “motivating” button inside of people. This is no different. Linchpin should be required reading for all leaders, especially those in youth ministry.

4. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard (Chip & Dan Heath)
I was a little hesitant to read this because I wasn’t in a situation the second half of this year where CHANGE was needed. However, I still picked it up and found it valuable. I’ll forever be influenced by considering how to “direct the rider” and “motivate the elephant.” People are wired differently; therefore, we need to consider how we mobilize and motivate. We can’t just default to our default style. We need to influence people in unique ways.

Honorable Mention:
* Leaders Who Last by Dave Kraft
* The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins (I’ve read this 3 times but again in 2010)
* Axiom by Bill Hybels (I’ve read this 3 times as well but again in 2010)
* The Truth About Leadership by Posner and Kouzes

For those who work in youth ministry, it is my contention that beyond first loving and knowing Jesus ourselves, our primary job must focus on becoming students and pioneers of leadership — even beyond youth ministry technique or strategy. If you’re going to build a youth ministry that truly reaches young people for Christ, you’re going to need to be an exceptional leader! I’m not an exceptional leader — yet — but I make it a priority to consistently be reading about leadership and learning from great leaders around me.

What are your favorite Leadership Books of 2010?