the books you read

This past Tuesday, I had the honor to be invited to speak to a group of church planters at the 5:2 wikiconference hosted by Crosspoint Church in Katy, Texas.  My friend and colleague Mark Junkans, Executive Director of LINC-Houston, asked me to come and speak to a group of people on the topic of "Taking your leadership to the next level."  Rather than give the group "five ways to improve your leadership" I shared with them two concepts in which they could invest that could dramatically change their leadership - and their lives: 1) the books they read and 2) the people they talked with.  I promised them that I would list the 30 books I shared with them on this blog, so that is what this will be - thirty texts that could dramatically change the way one sees the world...the way one interacts with the world...the way one leads others...the way one sees themselves...and the way one sees God.  We ended the conversation with the idea that to really learn from these texts, readers needed to approach them with an attitude of learning, a willingness to embrace questions, the practice of patience, and with true humility.  Just as God calls each of us to vocations to serve the neighbor, so he gave each of these thinkers and writers the gifts in which they could share great ideas and thoughts with others through the written that we - hundreds or thousands of years later - might be better in our vocations.  I encourage you to consider these works of literature and philosophy...I encourage you to take them up and work through them...I encourage you to read them with your leadership lenses...I encourage you to let them speak into your lives...and I encourage you to allow them to shape and mold you to become the leader God has intended you to be.

10 books that changed the world:

The Analects – Confucius
Tao Te Ching – Lao TzuThe Iliad and the Odyssey – HomerNicomachean Ethics - AristotleConfessions – AugustineLives - PlutarchThe Divine Comedy – DanteThe Prince MachieveliThe Wealth of Nations – SmithThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions – Kuhn

10 works of philosophy every leader should read:

Meditations – DescartesCritique of Pure Reason KantGenealogy of Morals NeitzscheFear and Trembling - KierkegaardTruth and Method GadamarVarieties of Religious Experience – James
Sources of the Self – Taylor
Being and Nothingness – SartreAfter Virtue – MacintyreDiscipline and Punishment – Foucault

10 novels that are important to read:

Don Quixote – Cervantes
War and Peace – TolstoyAnna Karenina – Tolstoy
Moby Dick – Melville
The Count of Monte Cristo – Dumas
Jane Eyre – BronteBleak House - DickensThe Brothers Karamazov - DostoevskyOne Hundred Years of Solitude - MarquezShort Stories of Flannery O'Conner – O’Conner