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Tough Calls: Game-Winning Principles for Leaders Under Pressure Paperback – July 21, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

For more than 25 years, Dr. Travis Collins has purposefully helped people around the world discern and live God's call for their lives. Experienced as both a pastor and a missionary in Venezuela and Nigeria, Travis has written extensively for church leadership, preaching, and mission journals. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Travis served a two-year term as a Missionary Journeyman in Venezuela, and spent four years teaching in the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary in Ogbomoso. Travis and his wife, Keri, live in Richmond, Virginia, with their three children, Landon, Brennan, and Grant.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: New Hope Publishers (July 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596692294
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596692299
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,522,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Book Review: Tough Calls: Game Winning Principles for Leaders Under Pressure. Travis Collins, (New Hope Publishers: Birmingham, AL, 2008).

Tough Calls is an inspirational book and, I must say, is one of my favorite leadership books of all time. Collins Draws clear analogies between the job of a sports official and the role of a spiritual leader. Building on his experience as an official, as well as that of a pastor and missionary, Collins uses many illustrations of difficult decisions to encourage the leader to "make the call."

The book is different than many other leadership books because it focuses on the narrow aspect of leadership pertaining to decision making. Many people are well-versed in leadership theory and even have leadership experience; however, they still find it difficult to make tough decisions. Some are plagued with the "paralysis of analysis" while others are haphazard and capricious in their decisions. This book encourages a leader to make good decisions...but to always make the decisions. In the event that a leader misses the mark, he can make the decision to recant...but no leader ever led waiting on everyone else to get on board.

The book offers practical considerations like leading with poise/humility and considering the culture for change. At the same time it acknowledges that most decisions are going to experience resistance and critique, even when correct.

As a pastor, I live in the world that Collins speaks of. The book was refreshing and was difficult to put down. Particularly impactful was the final chapter where Collins encouraged the reader that "looking back" one day would be a great reward. Even the difficult consequences that arise due to making decisions seem worthy it when considering the unspeakable privilege of serving others as a spiritual leader! Thank you Dr. Collins for this incredible and encouraging read.

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Format: Paperback
Travis Collins is a Southern Baptist pastor in Richmond, Virginia. He has served as a missionary in both Venezuela and Nigeria. He moonlights as a football official calling high school games in Virginia.

In this book, Tough Calls: Game-Winning Principles for Leaders Under Pressure, Collins blends his ministry work with his officiating work to develop principles for leaders. As a Christian who enjoys football, I was intrigued with the prospects of this book.

Collins provides insights into being a wise and decisive leader. The target audience is those who find themselves in leadership roles. He does include helpful information for followers and for those who might light from the second position in an organization.

The 27 chapters are divided into 7 sections. These sections explore the nature of leadership and decision making, the necessity of being poised as a leader, handling criticism and conflict, and dealing with people issues. In the end, the final chapter is "Make the Call--It's Your Job." At the end of each chapter he has an application section called, "Just for Vocational Ministers." Others will also benefit from these application sections.

I loved this book. Collins skillfully weaves stories from the world of sports officiating into his principles for leaders. The reader will be challenged to provide wise leadership that is neither weak nor overbearing. He presents a leadership that can listen and handle criticisms without taking them personally. Bullies don't get a free pass. He presents principles for dealing with them, too.

Collins presents a leader that I would sign up to follow. I would love to watch him in action - whether in the church or on the football field.
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Format: Paperback
I would never be accused of being a sports buff. In fact, I run for the second TV when my husband turns a golf tournament or football game on. When I first realized that sports was a recurring theme with Collins, I almost set the book down. I'm glad I didn't! His insights into the stressful situations all leaders face are practical ones but his comments caused me to reflect on similar situations I've faced and I saw the wisdom his years of experience have given him. I have been able to incorporate much of what he says into my current leadership position. I intend to use his principles for team training in the near future.
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Format: Paperback
I had hesitated on this book because Im not really into sports and many of the books that compare a subject to sports leave you in the dark cause you dont know the jarge, or the game. This book, however, shocked me! I have highlighted so much of it, and have been stimulated in my thinking on certain subjects. I love books that challenge my mind, strech it, and actually leave me w/ something new. This is definetly one of those. A powerful book on leadership that actually says something new!I highly recomend it.
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