Each month, you’ll hear from one of us on what we’re reading and a little bit about the book. Enjoy!
Leadership is something that comes more naturally to some of us than to others. But the truth is, everyone has influence with people around them.
You might say, “I don’t manage anyone. No one reports to me.” So what? The example you set and the way you interact with others—at work, at home, at church—is just as important for you as it is for the manager leading a team of 20 people. We are always setting an example, whether we realize it or not. And being a good leader takes awareness and practice.
Leadership development is usually a self-motivated endeavor that we must be intentional about. Which is why a read of Jenni Catron’s book The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership is so helpful. In a space with many male voices, Jenni rises to share her perspective as a woman who has led and been led well. Taking help from Scripture, she bases her entire leadership theory on the Great Commandment in Mark 12:30: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”
Jenni explains that when leading we need balance in four specific areas—heart, soul, mind, and strength—to truly lead in an extraordinary way.
Extraordinary leadership is found in a leader who has searched to discover his or her authentic self and from that place influences others to accomplish great dreams through intentional relationships (heart), spiritual awareness (soul), wise counsel (mind), and relentless vision (strength).
All relational but no vision? Your team may not be quick to follow. All managerial with no spiritual awareness? Your team may question your motives. Just like anything in our lives, any area that is too heavy and out of balance leads to a weaker stance overall.
The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership includes a personal assessment quiz to help you see which areas you thrive in and which are lacking. When I took it, I discovered that I’m strong in mind (executing a plan), but I was lacking in soul. Having my eyes opened to this gap was really helpful. I needed to be more intentional about praying for others and making my own spiritual growth a priority.
A hallmark of Jenni’s book is that to lead others well, we must first lead ourselves better. She says:
Extraordinary leaders learn to lead themselves first. They develop the discipline to understand their motivations, to continually evaluate their emotional health, to manage their physical health, and to nurture their spiritual life. From the overflow of their understanding of themselves, leaders can then focus on the priority of leadership: leading others.
Because ultimately, leadership gifts are not for our own benefit. As Jenni notes, “Extraordinary leaders are other-centric. They recognize that leadership at its core is an act of service. …Leadership is all about people, and people are complex.” Because no matter where or who you lead, there is always potential to love others better.
Larissa Arnault Roach is the marketing strategist for LifeWay Women. As an Enneagram 8, she has displayed leadership skills since she was very little (her cousins nicknamed her Bossy Rissa). She loves to read and tells anyone who will listen about the Overdrive app—the easiest way she’s found to read books on her Kindle and listen to endless audiobooks on her phone all for free.