Leading Reading

3 09 2011

“That is one of the great secrets of becoming a great leader – never stop learning.”  – Jeff O’ Leary (Author of Centurion Principles).

Best selling author and co-founder of Team, Orrin Woodward has created a culture of people who never stop learning.  In his book, Launching a Leadership Revolution, Woodward describes the first level of influence as a leader is to never stop learning.

Harry S. Truman said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”  Since my journey of leadership began I think back to all the books I have read that have made such an improvement to my life in the 8 F’s.  Looking at my bookshelf reminiscing of the great principles I have learned that have much improved my life, I asked myself the difficult question, what is the best leadership book I have ever read?

Very difficult to choose just one but I ask you the same question.  Which one book has made the biggest impact on you in your leadership journey and why?

As Orrin Woodward states in his best selling LLR book, “Leaders can grow from anyone.”  As the Team is about to launch LIFE, enjoy learning from other leaders’ thoughts on books they have read that have made an impact in their leadership journey.

Steve Leurquin




16 responses

14 09 2011
Shannon & Kelly McGinley

Hey Steve!
Great posts as usual! I am also going to have to pick more than one (though I could pick several upon several, but I won’t). The three I think that have made the largest impact on my life are 1)Personality Plus by Florence Littauer, 2) The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, and 3)Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I’ve chosen these (all from basically the same category) because it’s amazing how when you understand yourself and others communication and understanding really flourish.

Understanding that Shannon (as a Phlegmatic) responds to situations VERY differently than I (as a Sanguine) do has been revolutionary in our relationship. I used to get so upset that he didn’t get excited about things that were important to me, but I soon realized that he IS genuinely excited. He’s just not over-the-top like I am. Also, because he’s so laid back, he is able to calm me down when I feel like I’m out of control….I LOVE IT!

Personality Plus has also been a great addition to my teaching. I begin every school year with a personality unit. The kids love it! My favorite is when they say, “That’s why my mom/dad is like that!”. 🙂 More importantly, it teaches kids we’re all different and that it’s okay. However, we can’t use our personality as an excuse but as a tool to get along and work with others in our various circles in life. My hope is that my students remember the important lesson behind the fun that will help them be great future leaders.

This book was amazing for Shannon and I as a couple as well. I eventually realized that if I have things done for him (acts of service) then he will say, “Honey, the house looks great” or “Great job with that! Thanks!” (words of affirmation). In that short exchange, we both got our love “tanks” filled.

This book also helped me with understanding my relationships with my parents better. My mom used to ask, “Why do you girls call your dad all the time?” I never had an answer for her but now I know that it’s because my father is does an AMAZING job at filling my love tank (best thing is he’s a natural, he’s never read the book). Dad is constantly telling me how great I did at this or that or how proud of me he is…it’s great for me to hear! I drink it up!

Finally, LOVE AND RESPECT. This book taught me so much about giving your husband what he needs and understanding how love and respect go hand-in-hand, even before I officially became a wife. I always knew it but didn’t quite get how he needs respect to feel love because I am the opposite. The book made it so clear.

The team system is incredible and I love how much I have learned. Everything from relationships to finances to leadership has helped. As previously stated by myself and others, picking one is just plain tough.

Which one(s) would you choose????

God Bless,

11 09 2011
Robin Schilling

You are the speaker who inspired me to pick up the book, “In a Pit with a Lion, on a Snowy Day’ and I thank you. Selfishly, I was perfectly content to be on our farm, homeschool our children, faithfully attend my church and minimize the influence society tries to force us to conform to. I never chased a lion, I simply avoided them.
The book, ‘In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day’ was so eye-opening and pointed out that if I stayed living a safe, sheltered life, content in my safe little world, would that fulfill God’s purpose for bringing me to life in this place and at this time? True, he would let me be safe and content in my world and continue to bless me. However, if I stayed content and safe, could God grow me, develop me and use me to have the meddle and experience needed to do His work, to and for his glory? Of course he could. But I may also need to become a lion chaser.
God knows the plans he has for me, plans to prosper me and not harm me, plans to give me hope and a future. Why wouldn’t I want to ‘run and chase lions’ even if it is into a pit on a snowy day? It is in the snowy pits with the lions that I can grow and learn to further depend upon him so that he is glorified through the purpose he has for a simple homeschooling farm wife. Thank you, Steve for suggesting from the Team Stage to read this book.

8 09 2011
Amy C

Hi Steve:

I would have to answer your questions with three books that have really impacted my life: Love and Respect, The Five Love Languages and Thomas Jefferson’s Education.

First off The Five Love Languages was so insightful!! I had no idea that there were anyother ways of expressing love. I was so taken back by the book and started to see if it really worked. I used to be so annoyed that Brian would come into the kitchen and sneak up on me to show me that he loved me. Once I read the book, I was shocked!!! That is one of the languages!!!! All of the sudden Brian was picking up around the house when I was out helping the TEAM. I would walk in late at night and everything was clean and picked up. This is just one example.

Secondly, Love and Respect was a very humbling book to read for a very strong, independent woman. I had quite the responsiblity at my corportate job that I made many decisions without much help due to the nature of what I did. I was out of the office a lot and had to self manage. Over the years I became a woman that did not need to have someone to help make my choices for me. I read this book and found out how Brian, my husband, ticked. He wanted to lead but I was in the way! I wanted to be a better wife and this was my textbook. I have come a long way, but have a longer way to go! I work on it everyday! I see the man that I fell in love with in a whole new light and he is more than amazing. Brian is a leader that people are drawn to, want to be around and want to learn from. He teaches me everyday how to know him better mostly through his actions. Because he is a man who leads and if he needs to he will do it with words.

Lastly is Thomas Jefferson’s Education. Where to start with this book, Lisa Hawkins referred me to it!! This was a book that I had but had not read. Lisa and I were having a conversation about schooling and she said read that and we will talk after it. I could not put the book down!! My totally God loving daughter that is very artistic had just started Kindergarten and I went in to help out in class and my eyes started to pop out of my head. They are going to change her into something else and I wanted her to be this wide eyed girl who loves everything and everyone. I took a year studing the Thomas Jefferson approach to home schooling along with many other books that were referred to me though people and books as references. I have been home schooling now my second year and could not be happier. Brian is my biggest cheerleader for this and it is so nice to have such a good looking principal to go to for help!!!

Steve thank you for asking the question and making me reflect on my journey with TEAM and LIFE!!!!!!!!

Amy Christian

9 09 2011

These are three great books that offer us great personal insight on how we are serving people in our lives. Thank you for your thoughts and how you have applied these books to your life.

8 09 2011

Hi Steve!
Just wanted to reply to this finally. (I really dont want to bc I feel like I’m sitting in the front row somewhere & I’m being looked at!-but I will relpy). I’m going to agree w/Kelli- I think it was the first book I was ever given out of the Team training system which was Personality Plus. I was extremely uncomfortable growing up. Very shy around even friends I was with a lot. I always wondered why I couldnt be the fun loving, goofy person everyone wanted to be around. Granted, my friends wanted me around, but I was not the outgoing one in the bunch, at all. I had thoughts of “what is wrong w/me?” That book really helped me understand why I was the way I was growing up, & why even my twin was totally different. I now recommend that book almost daily to parents I meet. I get to spend a little bit of time w/these families as someone is getting work done. (on their teeth). & I am constantly hearing parents ask why or tell the little ones they are being naughty. And I see that that parent & that child just have different personalities.
Also, since I can never eat just one; I’m going to also agree Ms Jammie; the other is How to Win Friends & Influence People. The two books go together, for me. Growing up, I wonder if I had known how to interact with people, if I would have been more comfortable when around people; whether friends, or strangers? I am reading this book again, as I think it was so out of my realm of thinking the first time, that I did not implement most of what I read. As the book says, refer to it often! It is definitely good ,when you still have a job, 😉 to know how to interact with people. I used to just keep it inside, & complain to someone else about what others were doing to upset me, & not handle the situation, or even see the full picture. I think understanding peoples personalities, along with knowing how to, properly, deal with people is making the biggest, personal, impact for me right now.
Thanks to you & Jamie for everything you’ve done & continue to do to lead all of us!!!

9 09 2011

Never be shy about sharing what is from the heart. You have so much to offer that so many people need to hear. Thank you for your courage and leadership.

8 09 2011

Couldn’t agree with you more on a great book. It’s amazing what we let our own mind say to ourselves. Thanks for leading the way for your kids and many others to follow.

7 09 2011
Corey Clark

Hey Steve,
I have been thinking about this a lot recently & I realized that my choice was a recommendation from you! “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself” Shad Helmstetter. This book changed my thinking in such a huge way. I still remember reading it on a construction site sitting on a 5 gal paint bucket while on break. I remember working so hard, harder than normal, completely convicted that “I work hard because that is who I am & I believe the ability to work hard is a gift.” Man I was pumped, & I still am. Many people believed in me before but I needed to “hear” it from myself. I started to stop the bad self talk & implemented positive statements. A little weird at first, but I like what Orrin says, ” if your friend talked to you the way you talk to yourself, they wouldn’t be your friend anymore!”

6 09 2011

Wow Jammie wow a great response about a great book in the Team system! I hope anyone with similar experiences would seek out that book to advance their leadership skills in all areas of their lives. Thank you for your thoughts.

6 09 2011

I agree, and I can’t eat just one chip either, but for the sake of the question I will choose. I know that early on and probably foundational to me having a positive experience in every area of my life, which led me to keep reading and stay plugged in to learning was How To Win Friends and Influence People. When this system and that book found me (and I know Orrin has said this too) I was truly living how to loose friends under the influence. I was maintaining many different areas of life:professional, personal, recreational and list goes on, but I wasn’t living truly in any area for excellence. I wanted and yearned to, but because I was following the information that I was given as best I could and it wasn’t working out, I felt I was at the end of the line with nowhere to go.
I read this book and it answered some basic questions I had asked myself for years: like why don’t people like me who I genuinely like, why are people so easily offended when I share my opinion even after I give theirs a listen, how could people be upset at work with someone who is investing so much and asking for nothing in return, and the one I heard about the most: what is the big deal about not smiling? As I read this book, my entire outlook was changed. I have read it many times since and I can look back and see family, professional, personal relationships that are solid today or even open for communication that would never have become that way had I not read that book. I am sure there are many other positive side-effects as well, like my kids using acceptable 4 letter words rather than those I chose prior to reading this book, but I can’t say enough what this book then led to. Because the results I saw from this read, I was inspired to continue learning even though I didn’t enjoy reading, was not great at it and have a hard time sitting still long enough to accomplish much of it. Very few things have impacted my life in so many areas and in a direction that led me to better results in life than, what is now, a yearning to read as much as I can.
I am excited as a new school year starts to continue to try to pass that on to my children, as well as to other adults who feel they are trapped with their current results in life and don’t see new information as the answer . . . yet.


6 09 2011

Well said Kelli from a great Top 5 book in the Team training system.

5 09 2011
Kelli Sager

Steve ,
I would have to say Personality Plus , by Florence Littauer , has made the biggest impact in my life . This book helped me to understand why people act the way they do , and , that it’s ok . Once you realize that not everyone thinks the way you do ,( and they’re not ” stupid ” just because they don’t) , makes it easier to accept people for who they are . This book helped me to understand my kids better , ( and boy do they have opposite personalities ) , my husband , close family members , and even someone i may have just met . The biggest impact I have to say though , is it has helped me to understand myself . Weather it’s the strengths i wasn’t seeing I had , or the things I needed to work on , so that my relationships with others would improve . I feel that if more people read this book , there would be less divorces and broken relationships in general . Thanks to the Team for coming into our lives and helping me to realize that i should never stop learning !

5 09 2011

Great choices! Team Leadership development has a top 50 booklist and those two great books are on that list that has been developed by the founders of LIFE. Thank you for your feedback and leadership thoughts.

5 09 2011

I’m going to pick two. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, and How to Win Friends and Influence people by Dale Carneghie.
The Slight Edge…
This book helped me to realize that I was never going to accomplish the results I wanted in anything without making several positive choices over and over. Personally – it made me realize that because I had made many choices in the past that were no positive – I have moved myself away from the results i was wanting. It would take me time just to get back to my original starting point (so to speak), because my bad choices had moved me in the wrong directions.
How to Win Friends…
I don’t know if the idea of having ‘people skills’ had ever even crossed my mind. If it did, I’m sure that I just assumed that mine were great, because I have friends that I like to hang out with. This book was kind of like the friend who told Benjamin Franklin that some of his character traits were offensive and that some of his friends would cross the street when they saw him coming just to avoid interacting with him. I’m not sure (at least I hope) that I was that bad, but there are so many helpful tips in this book that have helped chisel some offensive traits away and add some helpful ones to my toolbelt.
I’m still a work in progress, but that is the beauty of the Slight Edge and the Team Training System. With enough persistence, anything is possible!!

5 09 2011

Great points from some great books that have come through the Team leadership system. It’s like the potato commercial, I bet you can’t eat (choose) just one!

4 09 2011
Kevin Hamm

Hey Steve,

Tough to narrow it down to just one, or to ten for that matter, but on the short term there was one statement in God’s Plan for Your Finances by Dwight Nichols. In the book he makes a comment that many people become an expert at something through an experience or circumstance but never realize the financial benefit of that expertise. It was that statement that inspired me to become an expert at eliminating significant debt without bankruptcy. That expertise, once completely attained will not only lead to a financial benefit for me personally, but will help many others gain confidence in their own battle with their finances. Currently, my accountant is referring people to at least talk with me prior to filing bankruptcy, due to the significant gains that have been made in our situation. In the long term, the Magic of Thinking Big by Dr. David Schwartz has got to be at the top of my list for influencing my leadership journey as big thinking is a prerequisite to any significant accomplishment. One more top pick would have to be Launching a Leadership Revolution by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, specifically, the chapter on the Tri-lateral Leadership Ledger. I often find myself thinking through Character, Task and Relationship levels in my life and considering the multiplied score that I may have at any given time. I am very anxious to get free so I can dedicate more time to my studies. My son,Taylor, graduates in 2014 at age 17. We want to take a year to mentor and travel together before he attends George Wythe University. I want freedom well enough in advance of that, and perhaps some of our travel and studies can revolve around trips to various Team stages around the country. Here’s to thinking big. Thanks Steve for all you do and for leading from the front.

Kevin Hamm

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