I try to set personal development goals every 60 days for the next 60 days. I’ve tried setting goals over different periods of time, including as long as a year. Some of those goals have been successful and others have failed miserably. I’ve found that 60 days is about right to sprint toward a goal and complete it successfully. One of the goals that I set for July and August was to read five personal development or leadership books.
The Leadership Summit, put on by the Willow Creek Association, is next Thursday and Friday. There are always a slew of great new leadership books that get highlighted during the summit, so I thought I would try to read everything that I wanted to before having a new list of books to read.
Here’s what I’ve been reading:
Quitter by Jon Acuff – Jon Acuff, author of the popular Stuff Christians Like blog, has written a new book about transitioning from your day job to your dream job. He provides some contrarian advice, telling people to not to quit their day job and to make the most of it. He tells people to try to create their dream job on nights and weekends until it can sustain your family. Acuff does a great job of sharing how he moved from working as a copywriter to his “dream job” of being a speaker and an author. It’s definitely worth reading if you’re not currently doing what you love.
Axiom by Bill Hybels – Bill Hybels is the senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. Axiom is a series of short, easy-to-read, leadership parables based on Hybels’ personal leadership experience. One of the messages that stuck out to me is the need to have a “blue sky” day every now and then to dream about big picture goals. Axiom is a great devotional for any Christian leader.
Failing Forward by John Maxwell – John Maxwell’s books can tend to get a bit repetitive after you read a few of them (he publishes a lot of books!), fortunately, this was an exception to the rule. This book provides a framework for dealing with and getting past failing. It’s a pretty quick read.
The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley – The Principle of the Path is a short book that can be summed up in a few sentences. There are certain paths that you go down in life, which will almost always lead to specific results. If you work out regularly and eat right, you will get fit over time. If you spend more than you make and don’t do a budget, you’ll be broke over time. If you’re not where you’re at in life in a specific area, do things that people that are doing well in that part of life are doing, and eventually you’ll get there.
Holy Discontent by Bill Hybels – I enjoyed reading Axiom so much, that I thought I would read another book by Bill Hybels. Holy Discontent doesn’t disappoint. It’s a quick read that delves into why people volunteer their time or even commit their life to righting a wrong. Hybels asks, “What makes you so upset that you’re willing to do something about it?”