Winning on Purpose - Review

For the last several months our elders have been doing some thinking about how they can bring increased clarity and efficiency to their role as they lead our growing congregation. One of the books they've been reading as they think about leadership is called "Reinventing your Board" by John Carver. Carver has a governance model that isn't specifically designed for churches, but that does an extremely good job helping leaders clearly define and communicate their roles and responsibility. It's a really helpful book worth the investment, but is extraordinarily dry.

Don't tell our elders, but I recently discovered a new book called "Winning on Purpose" by John Kaiser that takes a similar approach in a much, much, much more accessible format.

Kaiser argues that great leadership groups play to win just like any other team. They establish clear roles, clear objectives, clear boundaries, and a clear purpose. Someone has to pick the plays, someone has to execute the plays, and it's really important to know which is which.

Kaiser makes the point that there are three things that make a game worth playing: an object, rules, and a way to keep score. Absent any of these criteria, the game isn't going to be fun for long. The "Accountable Leadership Strategy" in "Winning on Purpose" brings these three things into focus and helps leadership groups find focus and clarity around each one.

"Winning on Purpose" discusses the difference between "wimpy boards" and "controlling boards" and helps governing boards avoid both ditches.

I realize most of you who read my blog are not pastors or elders in your local church. So, this isn't the kind of book I would normally review. However, I think it will be helpful enough to the few of you who are pastors or a part of a governing board somewhere that I decided to review it anyway. You won't adopt everything Kaiser recommends; that's okay. But what he's saying is good, good stuff.