Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman

All of us, whether we’re in management at work, lead a small team at church, or just take the lead on particular activities with our family and friends, engage in leadership and have an influence on others. While some people in leadership are ‘diminishers’, they cause others to feel less motivated and confident, others are ‘multipliers’. In this very clearly written and easy to read book, Liz Wiseman explains some of the key characteristics of a multiplier and how we can become someone who increases the potential of others in our team, therefore multiplying our impact. When it comes to seeking justice, maximising our impact and releasing others around us into their full potential, embracing multiplying characteristics is crucial. Learning what type of multiplier we can be and how to get the best out of others around us is something that I think everyone in the Just Love network should do.

Recommended by Esther

First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

Most people are not very engaged at work. To get the best out of talented employees, you need good managers. A number of books have tried to solve the problem of what makes a good manager, or leader, but they are often an extrapolation of the author’s own personality or experience. This book is based on interviews with over 80,000 high-performing managers, from pub managers to priests, as well as surveys of more than 1 million employees. It’s thorough, it’s practical, and it enjoyably takes down a lot of conventional wisdom around how organisations work that you perhaps always found a bit frustrating but never quite knew how to argue with. Even though a lot of the research was carried out over 20 years ago, I’ve found a lot of their suggestions to hold very true today.

Recommended by Tom

Growing Leaders: Reflections on Leadership, Life and Jesus by James Lawrence

For a long time I couldn’t work out if this book was having such a profound impact on me because I was reading it at exactly the right moment or because it was objectively brilliant. I have decided it’s the latter. The book is a comprehensive guide to how we need to be growing ourselves in order to lead. It walks you through how we can stay healthy (through not losing our first love and developing Christ like characteristics, amongst other things) and then how we can develop others. It articulated so many things I had felt yet not known how to address and each chapter ends with really helpful reflection questions to enable you to take in what’s been said. The context of the author is church leadership but even if that isn’t your context, there are valuable lessons to take away. I think everyone should read it.

Recommended by Anna

Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling by Andy Crouch

As a generation of leaders who are going to pursue God’s heart for justice in every sphere of society for decades to come, we will be people who shape culture- in the Church, in our communities, in our workplaces, in our families. Here Andy Crouch explores not only what it looks like for Jesus followers to relate to secular culture, but what it looks like to create and shape culture too. With illustrations and stories, Crouch unlocks the importance of bearing our cultural responsibilities lightly. We should be people who are eager to create, to bring about change, to breathe into life something new and joy-bringing but we should do all this knowing that our creativity, our ability to shape and build culture comes from all that God has given us. I would love to see our generation of leaders take on Andy’s vision of creating culture so that we can partner in our communities, our workplaces and our networks, to unleash our creativity and form a new culture where seeking justice for the oppressed, the poor, and the outcast is the norm for the sake of the King and the Kingdom.

Recommended by Esther

Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers by Erika Anderson

If you are, or one day aspire to be, in a position of management at work, this is one of the most practically helpful books you can read. It takes you through a whole bunch of topics – listening well, interviewing for candidates, giving constructive feedback, delegation, getting into a coaching mindset, and various others – and gives you clear steps, examples and exercises for how to do these things better. All the while, it manages to maintain a metaphor about gardening in every chapter which gets only mildly tenuous. I don’t think it offers groundbreaking new ideas, but this book is great for taking things that you think you can sort of do already, breaking them down into their component parts, and helping you work out what you could be doing better.

Recommended by Tom