Axiom is a book of powerful leadership proverbs (that’s what the cover says and I agree). The format of the book is set so that each axiom takes about 10 minutes to read. I enjoyed the format of the book because it allowed me to look at each axiom as really short chapters. I was able to read as much or as little as I had time. I’m the kind of person that doesn’t stop in the middle of a chapter so this flow worked well for me.
Hybels has the book split into four different aspects of leadership: vision and strategy, teamwork and communication, activity and assessment, and personal integrity. After thirty years of a ministry at Willow Creek Church, Hybels has learned a lot of important truths about leadership. This book is great for senior level church leadership, but the principles can be applied anywhere you are currently leading.
One of the axioms that sunk in the most for me was “Create Your Own Finish Lines.” In ministry, it seems that there is never an end. There is always something to be done and someone who needs you. Hybels share how he has set up very specific things that mark the end of his work day. Once he completes these tasks, he knows what the work day is over and he leaves the mindset of the office. For Hybels, his finish line is a three mile run with his neighbor every evening. For another person, it was a coffee date at the end of the work day. Having something set in place to help you finish protects your efficiency. Keeping a Sabbath and sustainable ministry are also points that Hybels brought up often. He has had to learn how to build them into his life. If he doesn’t protect it, then no one is going to it for him. This section of the book reminded me that I am human and have limits. I need to set a plan for my day and stop when it is necessary. I’m now trying to think of creative ways I can add a finish line to my day.
This book has 76 axioms that speak from personal leadership experience. I read the book in a about a week, however, I could see this book being used as a leadership devotional. When doing your personal quiet time and reflection, an axiom a day to focus on could be beneficial. If your brain is like mine, too many details, too quickly means that not everything will be absorbed. Taking this book slowly will allow you to soak in all it truly has to offer.
As a young leader, I need the influence of others who are more seasoned. Learning for others mistakes and growing from their discoveries is very important in ministry. I highly recommend this book to anyone in leadership. The format is unique and it lends the book to being used in many different forms of application.
You are wise to collect the wisdom of those that have gone before. You will never regret it! I have many such mentors in my life; and I love the “aha!”s that often follow my experiences with them.