I read an awesome book this week. I’ve followed Ted Engstrom and his work from my high school years in Youth for Christ throughout my adult years of leadership. As Executive Director for Youth for Christ and World Vision International, he has had an awesome influence on many of us young and maturing leaders. Throughout my career, from a Child Care Counsellor through to a Chief Executive Officer role and now a Pastor of Congregational Care, his books and speaking have been world class for me. Born in 1916 and died at the age of 90 in 2006. It was time for me to pull his book The Essential Engstrom, one of his 55 plus books off my bookshelf again.
This text book is a must read. His forty chapters, cover Biblically based topics defining leadership, serving, differentiating management from leadership, the power of enthusiasm and value-based decision making. He is a proponent of team work and working with his people knowing that excellence in any organization whether secular or Christian, will require an ability to dedicate and often sacrifice personal achievement goals for Christ focused organizational success.
The phenomenal personal inspiration for me in this book is the complete dedication to Scripture that he quotes throughout. His work is focused on people and their collective work within their organization. Whereas the majority of leadership books try to put the organization first, Engstrom puts God first. The material is scripture based and encourages people to consider the value God has inspired within each of us. He quotes historical and Biblical figures to clarify and provide examples for each of us to learn from.
My favorite quote from this amazing book of leadership:
“Consider what God has made you, what he has allowed you to become. If, as a Christian, you view your chief purpose to bring glory to Him, what is it He has taught you about yourself, others and the world that you might now use now in some new and fresh way?” (Engstrom, Ted 2007)
Leadership is … reading another awesome book.
Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy