A leader is a reader, that is a lifelong learner. Bill Hybels book, Axiom, is a book that has shaped, and even more continues to shape my leadership. Axiom can do that for you as well. Its bite size chapters contain a full leadership fueling meal.
This is part 4 of my reviews looking at Axiom, specifically my top 5 axioms from Category 4 of the book: Personal Integrity. With only 14 axioms to choose from, a top 5 should be easy right? Not when it comes to personal integrity. Here’s my shot at my top 5:
1. Read all you can. Reading is my hobby, it is also part of the lifeblood of the work I do, the fuel for my leadership life. When people go on vacation, they spend time looking at what clothes to wear, activities to pursue, or in my family places to eat. My favorite is the “book draft”. What will I take to read. The only advantage of a long plane flight is uninterrupted read time. Read all you can, especially about leadership, life and the God who gives both.
2. Always take the high road. You will be glad you did in the long run. It’s not easy, but the best leadership is not easy. I seek to show grace, look for the best, and when I slip on the high road seek forgiveness. Temptations will come to get your shot in. The critic who is relentless and gives open shots to take. Always take the high road. Others are watching, and you are leading. At one point David has to run from Jerusalem, and some guy is hurling insults at him. Those running with David are ready to take the guy out, but David lets him continue, God will work it out in the end.
3. We need us all. One of my questions when I get to heaven is why did God pick people like us to get the message of the Gospel out? We slip. We fall. We flounder. We fumble. We embarrass the name of Christ instead of lifting Him up. Yet God uses us frail people — Foot in mouth Peter, doubting Thomas, and the Sons of Thunder whose sense of world mission is to call fire from heaven to consume Samaritans. We need us all. Perhaps part of God’s goal is to see how He can use anybody, even me, even you. Life indeed goes better together, it’s all part of God’s master plan to teach us to love and to live.
4. To the core of my being. This is one of Bill’s favorite phrases. I have heard him use it often. His leadership passion comes shining through. You have one life to live, and discovering that purpose that goes to the core of your being, what else would you want to do? At my core is a passion to build people, to transform lives for Christ. What values drive you? What makes you weep? What energizes you? What gets you up in the morning? It better be more than a paycheck. Those don’t last to long at the fuel pump now days. Find the passion God has placed in your heart, and live out of the core of your being. (We need us all remember!)
5. Finish well. That sounds like a no brainer, but not if you read the Bible. Solomon starts strong, but stumbles horribly at the end. Even David, the man after God’s own heart, has lost his A game at the end. We usually remember the moral failures of leaders who stumbled along the way. Finish well because its not only your legacy at stake, it’s also the legacy of the people you lead. That’s why I am life long learner, it’s the legacy I want to leave. Keep growing. Keep reaching. Keep leading people to the God who made them, loved them, died for them and rose again.
How about you? What are your favorite axioms on personal integrity? Let’s continue the conversation.