“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you.” Max DePree in his book Leadership is an Art and repeated to me in my recent meeting with Roger Williams, Executive Director of Mount Hermon.
I’m very appreciative of Roger’s reminder of these words from this great book.
So when I got back to my office on Monday I grabbed my autographed copy and began to flip through it. As I did I realized two important but related facts concerning this book.
First, it is one of the best books on leadership I’ve ever read and was and is foundational in my leadership philosophy.
Second, I saw God’s hand directing Roger to bring Leadership is an Art back to my mind because of work the SpringHill Leadership team is doing in organizational planning.
So I took my copy with me on my trip this week knowing I now had to re-read it.
As I’ve finished it on my flight I’ve been blessed, challenged and affirmed once again because DePree puts into words and stories the heart of leadership. He sets an ideal that is noble, human, convicting and one I aspire to.
It is full of wisdom that is practical, philosophical and speaks to both heart and mind. And it is one of the most quotable books on leadership you will ever read.
It was written nearly 25 years ago so I was worried it was “dated” but I was not disappointed. It reads as contemporary, or maybe even more contemporary, today as it did when I first read it in the late 80’s. Both the truths and DePree’s writing style are timeless.
So I’ve ordered copies for my leadership team. We are going to read it together because it represents the kind of organization and leadership we aspire to.
If you want to be inspired to be the best leader you can be join us in reading (or re-reading) Leadership is an Art by Max DePree. It maybe the best book leadership book you’ll ever read.