At North Side, we have an influx of guys going into the ministry.

It is an extreme blessing, but we want to do diligence to prepare them for where God is leading.

We have started gathering these men together for training and development.  The first assignment was a book Jeff assigned called The Ascent of a Leader by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, and Ken McElrath.

It is a good book for someone to go through to look behind outward goals and deal with inner motives.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

  1. Character – the inner world of motives and values that shapes our actions – is the ultimate determiner of the nature of our leadership (1).
  2. Too many leaders spend their energies trying to appear more consistent in a superficial way, rather than becoming more consistent in a superficial way (15).
  3. We are not simply products of our environment.  Our environments are also a product of us (33).
  4. Although transparency is a good start, in vulnerability you deliberately place yourself under others’ influence, submitting yourself to others’ strengths (81).
  5. To say we have chosen to align or lives with truth while remaining isolated from others and invulnerable to their guidance and love is a sure sign that our destiny is in jeopardy (102).
  6. There are two basic starting points for regaining objectivity.  We can begin with failure or we can begin with truth (119).
  7. You cannot plan your destiny.  But you can prepare for it (164).
  8. You may have been trained in management theory – but community is management practice (176).

Book Description

Become the leader people are proud to follow by opening yourself to the influences that develop character: Enduring relationships with friends, family, and God.Solidly based on Christian values, this practical, visionary, and hope-filled book guides readers through a step-by-step process for developing both personal character and the network of important relationships that enable character to win out, even in the face of setbacks, adversity, and temptations to take short cuts. Leadership is about character, the authors assert, and character weaves values like integrity, honesty, and selfless service into the fabric of our lives, organizations, and cultures.

The Ascent of a Leader is written for ordinary people-mothers, husbands, bosses, secretaries, pastors, teachers, and students-who want to develop extraordinary character, find and follow God’s plan for their lives, and lead others where they need to go. We all have innate leadership potential. To maximize it, we must do much more than develop performance-based skills, the authors assert. We must consciously choose who and what we allow to influence us, find and develop our humility, and build enduring relationships with colleagues, family, friends, and God. They offer engaging real-life examples to show how we can grow into our true potential as leaders and inspire us to “make a difference in the 21st century-in our families, our communities, our companies, our government, and even our world.”

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.