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My first full-time job was as a manager at McDonald's. My supervisor had a saying that plays in my head any time I want to slow down and coast or want to give up because I've made a mistake. She would say "If you are green you are growing. If you are ripe you rot." I hope you will find a way to keep growing.

Are You Growing?

It is one thing to be growing and developing as a leader, it is yet another to be both intentional and balanced.

If you have not developed a strategy for growing over the next 12 months, consider the following approach.

1. Be Committed: Let a small group of people know what your plan for growth is over the next 12 months. The excuse of being busy isn't a good one because when you start growing and learning you'll find that it helps you in so many other ways.

2. Be Intentional: The most common strategy of reading is to select what is popular or what is being sold at the most recent conference. While this may be good for keeping you current, I recommend choosing three topics and then getting a number of books on those topics from different authors. For instance, if you wanted to grow in the realm of cultivating ideas and bringing them to reality, you could read Great Idea Now What, Poke the Box, and A What on the Side of the Head.

3. Be Balanced: Ensure you are not just reading leadership books or just reading novels. To grow in a healthy way include topics connected to leadership, professional, and personal growth. Here's an example:
  • Leadership: Building Healthy Teams
  • Professional: Church Visitor Assimilation
  • Personal: Parenting a Teenager

Books in 2014

2014 Reading Plan

Each year I create a list for reading related to topics that improve leadership, and help grow in a professional and personal way. Below are the 12 books selected for this year.

Leadership Development

The Virtual Assistant
Getting Things Done
The 5 Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization
How Full Is Your Bucket

Professional - Bringing Ideas to Reality

Great Idea Now What?
Poke the Box - Godin
The Myth of the Garage - Chip & Dan Heath


Love Does
God in Motion


The Future Church
Relational Foundations
Start With Why
Meatball Sundae
To Sell is Human
Leaders Eat Last

Books in 2013

The following list of books were read in 2013.

E & Tree Books

Raising Boys by Design - Jantz
Decisive - Chip & Dan Heath
Deep & Wide - Andy Stanley
The Purpose of Boys - Michael Gurian
Read This Before Our Next Meeting - Al Pittampalli
Ready, Set, Grow! - Scott Wilson
The Minds of Boys - Michael Gurian
X-Team - Deborah Ancona
Sway - Ori & Rom Brafman
Building Team Power - Kayser
Necessary Endings - Cloud
Trophy Child - Ted Cunningham
True Purity - Hayley Dimarco
Entre Leadership - Dave Ramsey


Blink - Malcom Gladwell
The Advantage - Patrick Lencioni
The Starfish & The Spider - Ori & Rom Brafman
The Talent Code - Daniel Coyle
Meatball Sundae - Seth Godin
Silos, Politics, & Turf Wars - Patrick Lencioni
The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive - Patrick Lencioni