My Ideal Bookshelf - Part 2
In my book review of My Ideal Bookshelf, I asked, “So what’s on your ideal bookshelf?”
Today I’m posting the 10 books on my ideal bookshelf:
Cathy and Carl Captured, by Dorothy Johnston
I received this book in third grade at Elim Baptist Church, Seattle, with this inscription: “To John Pearson for doing very good work in his Sunday School class during the last quarter of 1955. Teacher – Ray Hendrickson”
At an impressionable age, the Lord used this book and the story about the Oregon Trail missionaries, Narcissa and Marcus Whitman (also a physician), to nudge me about serving in Christian ministry. I treasure this first edition, published by Scripture Press.
The Temptation to Do Good: A Novel, by Peter F. Drucker
Bob Buford and Fred Smith invited me to one of my Top-10 life experiences—sitting at the feet of Peter Drucker for four days in Estes Park, Colo., with 30 other Christian leaders in August 1986. He signed and gave me this book as a gift. One of my 20 management buckets is the Drucker Bucket.
Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow, by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie
“While the best leaders are not well-rounded, the best teams are.”
I encourage clients constantly to leverage the 3 Powerful S’s: Strengths, Social Styles and Spiritual Gifts. This StrengthsFinder book categorizes the Gallup Organization’s 34 talent themes/strengths into four major categories: Executing, Relationship Building, Influencing and Strategic Thinking. It is transformational for many teams and boards.
The Messiah: An Oratorio, by George Frideric Handel
Handel wrote this enduring Christmas oratorio in 1741 in just 24 days. It’s on my ideal bookshelf because in 1984 I bought the score (252 pages, $5.95) and joined the bass section for the “Do-It-Yourself Messiah” at the Norris Cultural Arts Center auditorium in St. Charles, Ill. Once a very part-time church choir director in my college years, I am still deeply moved by good music and God-honoring lyrics. The Hallelujah chorus, of course, is on my iTunes list.
The Delicate Art of Dancing With Porcupines: Learning to Appreciate the Finer Points of Others, by Bob Phillips
The social styles system was (and still is) a game-changer for me. Understanding the four styles (Analytical, Driver, Amiable and Expressive) has enhanced my people skills by at least 500 percent. I’m a Driver—and any decision is better than no decision. But I need to be versatile (a key social styles concept) with my wife, Joanne, an Analytical who believes that no decision is better than the wrong decision.
Author Bob Phillips and I learned social styles from Don German. Bob has since written several updated versions of social styles with new titles. Don was gracious enough to write “The People Bucket” chapter in my book, Mastering the Management Buckets. (There...I cleverly worked my own book in.)
I read this on a plane enroute to a speaking engagement in 2011. I immediately and dramatically changed my presentation style from that point on, following the author’s wisdom on handling audience questions. Buy an extra copy for your pastor!
The One Year Bible (The Living Bible)
The Living Bible breathed new life into my Bible reading, but for a Driver like me, the One Year Bible launched a holy habit in 1988 that was both deeply satisfying and wonderfully invigorating. Copied now by almost every Bible publisher, the folks at Tyndale House Publishers gave us a profound tool with the easy-to-use format of an Old Testament portion, a New Testament portion, a Psalm, and one or more Proverbs every day—thus reading through the entire Bible in a year.
Here is the Proverbs selection for today, April 20: “A person with good sense is respected; a treacherous person is headed for destruction. Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness.” (13:15-16)
Owning Up: The 14 Questions Every Board Member Needs to Ask, by Ram Charan
About half of my consulting work is in nonprofit board governance and Charan’s book is one of my favorites in this arena. Most boards are soft on Question #5: “Does the board own the strategy?”
Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry, by Ruth Haley Barton
This was my 2009 book-of-the-year and I reviewed it again in 2010 to keep it on everyone’s front burner. I’ve seen only a handful of books that God has used to dramatically change the game. This is one of them.
She writes about spiritually discerning God’s voice: “It is also important to involve the right people. One very common leadership mistake is to think that we can take a group of undiscerning individuals and expect them to show up in a leadership setting and all of a sudden become discerning!”
A Diary of Private Prayer: A Devotional Classic, by John Baillie
Where do I start? I received this deeply encouraging devotional book in 1988 and rarely missed reading the 31 morning prayers, one per day, for 12 years until it was stolen, along with my laptop. (Maybe the thief is reading it now?)
On the blank facing page to each prayer, I had recorded my travels by date and location, U.S. and worldwide. Combined with the poignant prayers by this Scottish Presbyterian professor, my road warrior diary was both nostalgic and meaningful.
I bought my replacement prayer book in 2000—a hardback this time—and use it infrequently now (so it doesn’t get stale), but I’ve given dozens away to appreciative friends.
So…that’s my Top-10 list. What’s on your ideal bookshelf?
INVITATION: EMAIL ME YOUR IDEAL BOOKSHELF!
Email me a photo of your ideal bookshelf and I’ll post it on this blog. Or, if you prefer, post your photo directly on my Facebook page.