“Your only job is to make your players better” – Tony Dungy
I had an opportunity to read The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy as part of my reading for seminary classes this summer. Randy Tweeten, who is the pastor of care ministries at the church I attend, suggested I read the book this spring.
The Mentor Leader offers practical, challenging and inspiring advice from the perspective of a Super Bowl-winning football coach and a Christian leader. The book was most helpful in that the advice that Dungy offered came from years of personal experience. It wasn’t yet-another regurgitation of leadership lessons that are often taught in business school. Dungy includes several well-arranged stories and anecdotes that reflect the leadership lessons that Dungy teaches in the book.
There’s nothing in The Mentor Leader that necessarily breaks new ground, but Dungy models the lessons he teaches in the book in his life and explains the principles in an easy-to-understand way. Some of the core lessons in the book including focusing on strengths, making character and integrity a priority, building a team of individuals that have strengths that compliment one another’s, creating an organizational culture and being present in the lives of those on your team.
If you’ve read organizational leadership books by other authors, such as John Maxwell and Bill Hybels, you’ll find a lot of familiar ideas that are taught by other leadership experts. Also, Dungy frequently quotes others that are in Christian leadership circles. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you may find yourself wanting at the end of the book if you’re looking for something you haven’t heard before.