LEAD . . . For God’s Sake!

Approximate 2 minute read

This installment of Things I Like: LEAD . . . For God’s Sake! A parable for finding the heart of leadership (Unabridged) by Todd G. Gongwer

To be honest with you, I am not typically a fan of “leadership books” and as a result have not spent much time reading in this genre, however I heard someone I deeply respect (my son) make mention of this book and decided to look into it.

LEAD . . . For God’s Sake! is written as a fictionalized tale. It’s the story of a coach, a High School basketball team and an unassuming wise school janitor who mentors and is loved by everyone.  Campy? Yup.

I purchased the audio book version which is produced by Oasis Audio and narrated by Brandon Batchelar. My two major criticisms are the campy story line and Batchelar’s narration which in my opinion lacks inspiration. Now that we have the negatives out of the way…

What author Gongwer does very well is illustrate the fact that most managers use a combination of rewards and punishments to achieve their ends. Even if successful (at all), the reward and punishment model only works for a time. Eventually this technique will become ineffective.

To achieve a culture of sustained excellence within an organization, leaders must find alternative currencies (rewards which do not diminish team members’ motivation upon achieving goals). The alternate currency Gongwer points to is “leading from the heart” – identifying each team members’ hopes, dreams, aspirations; and then aligning those external goals with the team’s collective purpose. To do so each team member, including leadership, must look with introspection at their personal purpose, why do they do what they do?  Why do they exist in the first place?

Within a few short chapters it becomes clear that Gongwer’s insights are not limited to the field of athletics, but can be equally applied to personal relationships, business start-ups, corporations and non-profits.

There is much in the book applicable to church tech-teams, recruitment, retainment, excellence; as well as understanding why someone may choose to serve in the first place.

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Tom D’Angelo has worked in television production and AVL corporate theater for nearly four decades. He has been nominated for a Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award (Best Director) and has been part of various teams that have been nominated and won national Emmy Awards. As the Media Director at a megachurch in the 1980’s he developed a love for the Church and church performing and technical artists.