Conference-SLI resources

Reading list

The Anatomy of Peace by the Arbinger Institute

The premise of this follow-up to Leadership and Self-Deception is simple: people whose hearts are at peace do not wage war, whether they're heads of state or members of a family. In this semi-fictional narrative ("inspired by actual events") illustrating the principles of achieving peace, the setting is a two-day parent workshop at an Arizona-based wilderness camp for out-of-control teenagers, but the storyline is a mere setting for an instruction manual. Workshop facilitators Yusuf al-Falah, a Palestinian Arab whose father was killed by Israelis in 1948, and Avi Rozen, an Israeli Jew whose father died in the Yom Kippur War, use examples from their domestic lives and the history of their region to illustrate situations in which the normal and necessary routines of daily life can become fodder for conflict. Readers observe this through the eyes of one participant, a father whose business is in nearly as much trouble as his teenage son. The usefulness of the information conveyed here on how conflicts take root, spread and can be resolved more than compensates for the pedestrian writing. 

Teams That Thrive by Ryan T. Hartwig and Warren Bird

2015 Readers' Choice Award Winner It's increasingly clear that leadership should be shared―for the good of any organization and for the good of the leader. Many churches have begun to share key leadership duties, but don’t know how to take their leadership team to the point where it thrives. Others seriously need a new approach to leadership: pastors are tired, congregations are stuck, and meanwhile the work never lets up. But what does it actually mean to do leadership well as a team? How can it be done in a way that avoids frustration and burnout? How does team leadership best equip the staff and bless a congregation? What do the top church teams do to actually thrive together? Researchers and practitioners Ryan Hartwig and Warren Bird have discovered churches of various sizes and traditions throughout the United States who have learned to thrive under healthy team leadership. Using actual church examples, they present their discoveries here, culminating in five disciplines that, if implemented, can enable your team to thrive. The result? A coaching tool for senior leadership teams that enables struggling teams to thrive, and resources teams doing well to do their work even better.

Invitation to A Journey by M Robert Mulholland Jr

M. Robert Mulholland Jr. defines spiritual formation as "the process of being formed in the image of Christ for the sake of others." Compact and solid, this definition encompasses the dynamics of a vital Christian life and counters our culture's tendency to make spirituality a trivial matter or reduce it to a private affair between "me and Jesus." In Invitation to a Journey, Mulholland helps Christians new and old understand that we become like Christ gradually, not instantly. Not every personality is suited to an early morning quiet time, so Mulholland frees different personality types to express their piety differently. He reviews the classical spiritual disciplines and demonstrates the importance of undertaking our spiritual journey with (and for the sake of) others. This road map for spiritual formation is profoundly biblical and down to earth. In the finest tradition of spiritual literature, it is a vital help to Christians at any stage of their journey. This edition is revised and expanded by Ruth Haley Barton with a new foreword, spiritual practices and study guide, to provide spiritual direction for individuals and groups seeking spiritual companionship for one another on the journey of transformation.

Necessary Endings by Dr Henry Cloud

Henry Cloud, the bestselling author of Integrity and The One-Life Solution, offers this mindset-altering method for proactively correcting the bad and the broken in our businesses and our lives. Cloud challenges readers to achieve the personal and professional growth they both desire and deserve—and gives crucial insight on how to make those tough decisions that are standing in the way of a more successful business and, ultimately, a better life.

Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet

"Leadership should mean giving control rather than taking control and creating leaders rather than forging followers." David Marquet, an experienced Navy officer, was used to giving orders. As newly appointed captain of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, he was responsible for more than a hundred sailors, deep in the sea. In this high-stress environment, where there is no margin for error, it was crucial his men did their job and did it well. But the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention in the fleet.

Marquet acted like any other captain until, one day, he unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. When he asked why the order wasn't challenged, the answer was "Because you told me to." Marquet realized he was leading in a culture of followers, and they were all in danger unless they fundamentally changed the way they did things. That's when Marquet took matters into his own hands and pushed for leadership at every level.

Turn the Ship Around! is the true story of how the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet by challenging the U.S. Navy's traditional leader-follower approach. Struggling against his own instincts to take control, he instead achieved the vastly more powerful model of giving control. Before long, each member of Marquet's crew became a leader and assumed responsibility for everything he did, from clerical tasks to crucial combat decisions. The crew became fully engaged, contributing their full intellectual capacity every day, and the Santa Fe started winning awards and promoting a highly disproportionate number of officers to submarine command.

No matter your business or position, you can apply Marquet's radical guidelines to turn your own ship around. The payoff: a workplace where everyone around you is taking responsibility for their actions, where people are healthier and happier, where everyone is a leader.

Humble Leadership by N. Graham Standish

There comes a point at which leaderhsip can break down precisely because of our success as leaders. When confidence turns to pride and arrogance, we lose sight of the people that we have been called to serve and become consumed with following our own vision. Graham Standish offers a way forward that moves us through this paradox by seeking to humbly follow God's plans rather than our own. Humble leadership, grounded in the teachings of Jesus, means recognizing that what we have and who we are is a gift from God, and our lives should reflect our gratitude for this gift. It requires us to be radically and creatively open to God's guidance, grace, and presence in everything. When we lead out of such openness, God's power and grace flow through us. The path Standish proposes is not easy. Humble leadership can be personally dangerous, exposing our weakness, powerlessness, fear, and anxiety. Our cultural need for strength infects Christian leaders with a pride that causes them to ignore biblical teachings on humility. But a humble leader says to God, "I'm yours, no matter where you call me to go, what you call me to do, and how you call me to be. I will seek your will and way as I lead others to do the same."

The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni

In his classic book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni laid out a groundbreaking approach for tackling the perilous group behaviors that destroy teamwork. Here he turns his focus to the individual, revealing the three indispensable virtues of an ideal team player.

In The Ideal Team Player, Lencioni tells the story of Jeff Shanley, a leader desperate to save his uncle’s company by restoring its cultural commitment to teamwork. Jeff must crack the code on the virtues that real team players possess, and then build a culture of hiring and development around those virtues. 

Beyond the fable, Lencioni presents a practical framework and actionable tools for identifying, hiring, and developing ideal team players.  Whether you’re a leader trying to create a culture around teamwork, a staffing professional looking to hire real team players, or a team player wanting to improve yourself, this book will prove to be as useful as it is compelling.