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Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs Paperback – March 4, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


'Toss out all your texts on leadership by theorists and read this masterpiece again and again. Bill serves up solid content, not cliches; axioms, not merely anecdotes. I love this book! The distilled wisdom is pure gold---classic Hybels.' -- Rick Warren, Founding and senior pastor, Saddleback Church <br><br> --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The best leaders not only lead well but also reflect on their leadership long enough and thoughtfully enough to articulate what philosophies cause them to do so. Whether serving in the marketplace or in ministry, as executives or rank-and-file employees, as salaried staff or volunteer servants, they can pinpoint the rationale for their actions and decisions with the ease of reciting their home address. In Axiom: The Language of Leadership, author Bill Hybels divulges the God-given convictions that have dictated his leadership strategy for more than three decades as Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. Oriented toward four key leadership categories—vision and strategy (“Promote Shameless Profitability,” “Take a Flyer”), teamwork and communication (“Obi-Wan Kenobi Isn’t for Hire,” “Disagree without Drawing Blood”), activity and assessment (“Develop a Mole System,” “Sweat the Small Stuff”), and personal integrity (“Admit Mistakes, and Your Stock Goes Up,” “Fight for Your Family”)—Axiom brokers accessible wisdom from one leader’s journey, as well as emboldens you to nail down the reasons why you lead like you lead. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (March 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310493080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310493082
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,567,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Hal Seed on September 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Bill's latest book is a kind of distillation of his learnings, values, and leadership principles from 30+ years at Willow. Written in 76 short, concise chapters, "Axiom" is both inspiring and instructive. Each chapter contains a principle, wrapped in a slogan (or "Axiom") that Bill has coined to summarize a specific facet of leadershipo. The chapters are self-contained, like Proverbs. You can read one, put the book down and go apply the principle. No chapter takes more than 10 minutes to read, but each will take months (if not years) to fully implement.

Axiom is one of the most practical books on church leadership in our day. I found myself putting most chapters into practice the same day I read them. Those familiar with WillowWorld will recognize many (if not all) the book's principles from previous Leadership Summits or Hybels' sermons. For me, the book was both a great review and a kick in the seat to go lead better, and lead better in specific ways.

Axiom reminded me once again of the importance of leading daily, improving myself and my church regularly, not settling for incremental growth, and the absolute necessity of church leaders fighting for the advancement of the kingdom. I recommend this book to all churchworld leaders.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bill Hybels revs up in chapter one--and the good stuff is still kicking in chapter 68, "Read All You Can." He writes, "I have little patience with leaders who get themselves into leadership binds and then confess that they haven't read a leadership book in years. If you're a serious-minded leader, you will read." In the book's foreword, Henry Cloud writes, "Great leaders do their homework so that weariness and unsteadiness are kept at bay."

Amen to that vote for lifelong learning, also affirmed in the "Book Bucket" one of 20 buckets in my book, Mastering The Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Non-profit. Consequently, I was eager to read the latest book from Bill Hybels, one of the most gifted leaders I've ever met. Axiom, with 76 pithy leadership proverbs, doesn't disappoint.

"Speed of the leader, speed of the team," was and is one of Bill's oft-mentioned axioms. Few leaders make this pronouncement because the camera immediately focuses in on them. As the first president of Willow Creek Association, I watched Hybels up close and he always shared that core value confidently, yet humbly. His walk and his talk backed it up. He writes, "If you cannot say, `Follow me,' to your followers--and mean it--then you've got a problem, a big one."

He elaborates. "Follow my values. Follow my integrity. Follow my work ethic, my commitment, and my communication patterns. Fight as I fight. Focus as I focus. Sacrifice as I sacrifice. Love as I love. Repent as I repent. Admit wrong as I admit wrong. Endure hardship as I endure hardship." Then he concludes this one-page proverb with the whole point of it.
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Format: Paperback
Leadership is no easy task. In the midst of all the hard work and busyness, an ordinarily effective leader can become careless, frustrated, or downright hopeless. Bill Hybels who has spent three decades building one of the most successful churches in America, has dedicated his life to developing successful ministry leaders around the world. Too often he has seen churches and ministries fail due to a considerable lack of quality leadership. God's work demands our best.

Hybels attempts to break leadership into small, manageable leadership truths. Leadership Axioms aims to provide leaders with a toolbox of handy leadership proverbs that he or she can apply to almost any leadership challenge.

Obviously, these axioms will not solve every single leadership dilemma. The leader needs to take this information, digest it, and use it appropriately. At times the axioms seem to contradict each other (see chapters Language Matters and Just Say It), but in the end, these words will ring true to any leader. Having this reference on your shelf would be a good idea.
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Hybels himself claims to have been mentored by many great leaders, most of whom he has never met. He was mentored by them through studying their books. Likewise, we can all now be mentored by Hybels, and learn his leadership skills through studying this book.

Axiom is divided into 76 short chapters, between 1-5 pages each. Given that many different topics, some are sure to be more useful than others. For me there were 3 or 4 chapters that are life changing, and many others that contain useful advice that I will comeback to time and again as I move into new leadership challenges. I appreciate that the bite size chapters are easy to browse through, making it easy to read what is useful at the time, and skip what doesn't apply. As my situation changes, I'm sure different chapters will apply in different ways.

As a pastor I appreciate reading a leadership book by another pastor. Although John Maxwell has been a pastor, he writes leadership books applicable to any organization. Same with Andy Stanley. And Jim Collins writes specifically for business leaders. But Hybels writes from one pastor to another. In my mind this point alone made this book especially useful. I highly recommend this book for pastors looking to improve their leadership skills (and isn't that all of us?).
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