I’m a little overdue in updating my book list so here are three that I’m recommending. None of these books would fall into the category of Christian or spiritual, but I enjoyed each of them for different reasons.
I’m still finishing up “The Starfish and the Spider”, but I’m totally into it. The Starfish and the Spider argues that organizations fall into two categories: traditional “spiders,” which have a rigid hierarchy and top-down leadership, and revolutionary “starfish,” which rely on the power of peer relationships. If you cut off a spider’s leg, it’s crippled; if you cut off its head, it dies. But if you cut off a starfish’s leg it grows a new one, and the old leg can grow into an entirely new starfish. The subtitle, “the unstoppable power of a leaderless organization” isn’t inaccurate. The examples of the organizations, movements and tribes do have leaders, but not a single leader. This book has a lot of application for anyone who is interested in reproducing multiple church sites or a movement of new churches.
“Monster” is what the prosecutor called 16-year-old Steve Harmon for his supposed role in the fatal shooting of a convenience-store owner. It holds you in complete suspense till the very last page and beyond. Monster is brilliantly written as though you are reading the diary of someone who is imprisoned and working on a potential screenplay. My daughter Amy recommended this because “Dad, you only read stuff about leadership”. She is right. I need to read more stuff outside of my usual genre of church, spirituality, management, leadership, etc. Monster is definitely worth the read.
And now back to more of the usual stuff. “The Brand Gap” is a great quick read that gives a tutorial on brand strategy and management. You and your organization do have a brand. The question is whether or not you will be intentional about what you do with that brand. The brand is your voice and how others perceive you.