Leaders are Readers

 In Blog, Daniel Cavanaugh

I know this is an emphatic and bold statement to make – a leader is a reader – but let us take a moment to consider:



Leaders give vision and direction to an organization and its ideals. Born out of an inner compass that is rooted in conviction, they are motivated to maintain true conviction and see it continue for generations to come.

However, how can a leader direct an organization or group of people when he fails to grow? Leaders do not grow unless they feed themselves with the proper resources and tools that stimulate the mind and heart, inspire, and most importantly fundamentally teach what it means to lead. If a leader is not growing, he cannot motivate and direct others to grow, achieve, and most importantly promote and continue that conviction they work from. Leaders can only lead from a life that gives evidence of the very conviction he promotes.  Leaders lead by example.

This is where the medium of reading comes in. Through words, sentences are built and through sentences, ideas are forged in the mind and ultimately in the heart – becoming unwavering conviction.  This is why books are so powerful and can alter or radically change the reader. Through the truth of God’s word, an individual’s heart is transformed. Through stories, journeys are taken that inspire and bring hope. When history is read, we learn from the mistakes and triumphs of fellow leaders. Through the written word, ideas change the course of civilization or direct the path of individuals who affect so many others. If you want to learn and grow as a leader, then you must without delay be a reader. The un-stimulated mind and heart never has and never will grow when left alone.


My list:

I leave you with a list of books that have changed and forged conviction that motivates me as a leader. Read them. Make your own list to share.  Leaders not only read; they encourage other to read.


1. ‘God is the Gospel’ – John Piper 


2. ‘Don’t Waste Your Life’ – John Piper 


3. ‘Think’ – John Piper 


4. ‘Dug Down Deep’ – Joshua Harris


5. ‘The Conviction to Lead’ – Dr. Albert Mohler


6. ‘Band of Brothers’ – Stephen Ambrose [Warning: language/war violence]


7. ’21 Irrefutable Laws of a Leader’ – John Maxwell 


8. ‘What is the Mission of the Church?’ – Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert 


9. ‘Church Membership’ – Jonathan Leeman


10. ‘Radical’ – David Platt 



Daniel Cavanaugh


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