13 Quotes From “Simple Truths Of Leadership”

Kenneth Blanchard and Randy Conley have given leaders a gift in Simple Truths of Leadership. Inside you will find 52 leadership lessons that can be immediately added to your leadership toolbox, and ample follow-up information if you want to dive deeper into any of these principles. Check out my full book review by clicking here. 

“If today’s leaders had a more commonsense approach to leadership, we’d venture to say that 65 to 70 percent of the workforce would not be considered disengaged. That’s one reason our original title for this book was ‘DUH! Why isn’t commonsense leadership common practice?’” 

“The most persistent barrier to being a servant leader is a heart motivated by self interest that looks at the world as a ‘give a little, take a lot’ proposition. … If leaders don’t get their heart right, they will never become servant leaders.” 

“Organizational leaders often have an either/or attitude toward results and people. … You can get both great results and great relationships if you understand the two parts of servant leadership: the leadership aspect focuses on vision, direction, and results; the servant aspect focuses on working side-by-side in relationship with your people.” 

“Empower your people by letting them bring their brains to work.” 

When people are off track, don’t reprimand them—redirect them.” 

“The best minute servant leaders spend is the one they invest in people.” 

The remaining seven quotes are exclusive content for my Patreon supporters. In addition to book quotes, there are also videos and behind-the-scenes views that only these supporters have access to. I would love it if you would prayerfully consider supporting my ministry for just $5 per month.

Simple Truths Of Leadership (book review)

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible. 

Kenneth Blanchard cranks out the leadership books! What I love about his writing style is how he makes his leadership principles so accessible in just a few words. Most of his books contain an overarching concept that’s easy to grasp and immediately applicable. But Simple Truths Of Leadership, which he co-wrote with Randy Conely, is a slight departure from this predictable style. 

Simple Truths—as its title implies—still presents easy-to-grasp principles, but this book has a different feel to it. I think the best way I can describe this book is as an index to Blanchard’s earlier leadership books. 

The overall emphasis of this book is servant leadership, with all of these simple truths being presented to us in 52 snippets. Each snippet gives the reader more than enough information to get to work, but then there is a reference given to a book previously written or co-written by Kenneth Blanchard to allow for a deeper study of that principle. This is why the overall feel of this book is as an index to the other books. 

Whether you’ve read Kenneth Blanchard’s leadership books before, or if this is your first time picking up something he’s written, Simple Truths is a great book to add to your leadership library. 

►► Would you please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry? My Patreon supporters get behind-the-scenes access to exclusive materials. ◀︎◀︎

Leading Prudently

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible. 

Isaiah 52–53 contain a description of Jesus as a servant leader. One phrase describes Him like this: “See, My Servant will act wisely” (Isaiah 52:13). 

That phrase “act wisely” is translated in some other translations of the Bible as “deal prudently.” I like that word prudently. It’s not a word that we use very often today, but it’s one that sets God’s servant leaders apart from worldly leaders. 

Prudent can be described as…

  • circumspect 
  • intelligently speaking and acting 
  • teaching skillfully 
  • having increasing understanding and insight
  • helping others grow in understanding 
  • behaving appropriately 
  • living wisely
  • guiding oneself and others willingly 

What happens to the leader who lives and leads this way? Listen to the entire verse that I only quoted a portion of earlier—

See, My Servant will act wisely; He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. 

Notice that this exalted person is described as a servant—not just anyone’s servant, but Jehovah’s servant. As a servant of God, Jesus becomes a servant of all. And as a servant of God, He is exalted and honored above all. 

Jesus is every leader’s Ultimate Example of this. Jesus set aside every prerogative He had that would give Him the right to do things His way, in order to make Himself a servant of God and a servant of mankind (Philippians 2:6-11; Mark 10:45). Jesus gave all of His followers this example to emulate (John 13:15-17), so Paul tells us our “mindset should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). 

I need to ask myself a question—and I would invite you to ask yourself this too: As a leader, am I growing in Christlike prudence? 

A mark of a godly leader is one who can see his growth in prudence. 

Jesus, may You be pleased as I follow Your example of living and leading prudently. Holy Spirit, help me see the areas in my life where I need to submit to You. Father, may You be pleased to bless my leadership as it aligns with Your heart. I want to act wisely, lead prudently, and help others to follow this example of Jesus for themselves. 

This is part 61 in my series on godly leadership. You can check out all of my posts in this series by clicking here.

►► Would you please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry? My Patreon supporters get behind-the-scenes access to exclusive materials. ◀︎◀︎

Podcast: Leaders Are Hope Dealers

On this episode of “The Craig And Greg Show” we talk about: 

  • [0:23] Greg makes a very personal investment in me—a special figurine to remind me, and all of us, about servant leadership. You can get more information on my book by clicking here. 
  • [2:18] Only servant leaders truly know how to breathe hope into the people around them.
  • [3:17] Greg describes how leaders can become hope dealers. 
  • [3:53] I paraphrase a proverb to help leaders see the immense value in dispensing hope. 
  • [5:59] Greg explains how leaders instill hope into themselves. 
  • [7:48] Hope-filled people are still realistic about the present difficulties they are facing. 
  • [8:59] Hope isn’t just about one-time vision casting—we talked about how leaders keep the message of hope consistent. 
  • [12:29] Leaders have to be around people in order to invest hope into them. 
  • [14:00] Greg notices how hope connects faith and love. 
  • [15:32] Greg gives leaders a challenge to grow as hope-fillers. 
  • [17:42] Leaders give their teammates hope for a better future. 

Check out this episode and subscribe on YouTube so you can watch all of the upcoming episodes. You can also listen to our podcast on Spotify and Apple.

Podcast: Are We Using The Right Metrics?

On this episode of “The Craig And Greg Show” we talk about: 

  • Greg toots my horn for me! [1:00]
  • I talk about how my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter came into being [1:45] 
  • Greg wonders why leaders get trapped using metrics of success that don’t really matter [4:10]
  • I talk about why the subtle shift from “servant leadership” to “shepherd leadership” is important [4:50]
  • Greg and I discuss the tension between a leader’s confidence and a leader’s humility [6:25]
  • I explain how my wife helped me see my leadership in a better light [8:00]
  • my favorite definition of humility comes from C.S. Lewis [9:45]
  • Greg asks how leaders can develop the right kinds of relationships that will help them continue to grow [10:35]
  • I share the dangers when leaders try to fly solo [11:40]
  • Greg talks about the vital need for leaders to refresh themselves [14:00]
  • who will benefit from reading Shepherd Leadership? [14:50]
  • I share a humorous story of a way I advised a church to grow their numbers overnight [16:54]

Check out this episode and subscribe on YouTube so you can watch all of the upcoming episodes. You can also listen to our podcast on Spotify and Apple.

Standing In The Gap

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on Apple or Spotify.

Pastors and other Christian leaders, this is from the Maxwell Leadership Bible and it’s well worth your time to contemplate. 

“God contrasts the poor leader with the godly leader in Ezekiel 22. The poor leader oppresses and destroys his or her followers, while the godly leader ‘stands in the gap’ on behalf of the land and the people. These leaders represent God to the people, and represent the people to God. They serve as ‘middle-men,’ serving God and serving the needs of the people. This text describes ten traits of the leader God affirms:

    1. Consecration: They set themselves apart and remain committed to their call.
    2. Discipline: They do what is right even when it is difficult.
    3. Servanthood: They model a selfless life, lived for the benefit of others.
    4. Vision: They see what God sees and live off the power of potential.
    5. Compassion: Love for their cause and their people moves them to action.
    6. Trustworthiness: They keep their word regardless of what others do.
    7. Decisiveness: They make good decisions in a timely manner.
    8. Wisdom: They think like God thinks and avoid impetuous moves.
    9. Courage: They take risks for what is right.
    10. Passion: They demonstrate enthusiasm for their divine calling.” —John Maxwell

Check out what God Himself says:

“Your princes plot conspiracies just as lions stalk their prey. They devour innocent people, seizing treasures and extorting wealth. They make many widows in the land. Your priests have violated My instructions and defiled My holy things. They make no distinction between what is holy and what is not. And they do not teach My people the difference between what is ceremonially clean and unclean. They disregard My Sabbath days so that I am dishonored among them. Your leaders are like wolves who tear apart their victims. They actually destroy people’s lives for money! And your prophets cover up for them by announcing false visions and making lying predictions. They say, ‘My message is from the Sovereign Lord,’ when the Lord hasn’t spoken a single word to them. Even common people oppress the poor, rob the needy, and deprive foreigners of justice. I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.” (Ezekiel 22:25-30 NLT)

Pastor, will you be that righteous one who will stand in the gap? Will you stand strong against the onslaught of sin and a compromising culture? Will you be a leader that God can use?

Would you please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry?

Podcast: Leaders Love

On this episode of “The Craig And Greg Show” we talk about: 

  • Greg won’t pick a husband for his daughter’s arranged marriage  
  • Gary Chapman’s outstanding book The Five Love Languages 
  • if leaders don’t love what they’re doing and they don’t love the team around them, are they really leaders?  
  • Greg challenges leaders to go beyond the Golden Rule in communicating with others
  • leaders naturally communicate in their native love language but they must learn how to communicate in the languages of their teammates
  • once you start speaking someone else’s love language consistently, you fill their love tank and then all of the love languages become effective  
  • servant leadership is defined as learning and speaking the love languages of my teammates
  • how leaders can use love languages to more effectively transmit a vision or announce a new project
  • download the free Love Languages assessment → 5 Love Languages assessment 

Check out this episode and subscribe on YouTube so you can watch all of the upcoming episodes. You can also listen to our podcast on Spotify and Apple.

Authority To Serve

And David knew the Lord has established him as king over Israel and that his kingdom had been highly exalted for the sake of His people Israel. (1 Chronicles 14:2) 

“David knew” reminds me of “Jesus knew” in John 13:3.

Both knew God had placed them exactly where they were supposed to be. 

Both knew the authority God had given them. 

Both knew the power that was theirs to use.

Both knew they could do self-glorifying, self-promoting things with their power. Yet both used their authority and power to serve others: “for the sake of His people.”

Jesus gave His authority to us (Matthew 28:18). 

Do I know that? 

I mean, really know that? 

If so, am I using His authority to serve others?

A mark of a godly leader is one who uses his God-given authority to serve others. 

This is part 53 in my series on godly leadership. You can check out all of my posts in this series by clicking here.

Impossible To Unstoppable

King David was a unifier. He took people that were territorial and possessive of their own tribes and unified them into the strong nation of Israel. 

The way he responded to the murders of Saul, Abner, and Ish-Boseth prompted this response: “All the people took note and were pleased; indeed, everything that the king did pleased them. So on that day all the people there and all Israel knew that the king had no part in the murder of Abner son of Ner” (2 Samuel 3:36-37). 

The leaders of Israel’s various tribes then followed the lead of Abner—“All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron” and “all the elders of Israel” joined with David (5:1, 3). 

David accepted all of this in confident humility. He knew that it wasn’t his doing but God’s. He made sure to stay reliant on God (5:19, 23), keeping in mind that he was leading to win victories for all Israel: “Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over [all] Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel” (5:12).

Result: “[David] became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him” (v. 10). 

God delights to empower leaders who have a humble heart to unify God’s people. God will let self-made leaders struggle in their own ability, but He will unleash all His resources to help the humble, God-dependent leader.

These God-empowered leaders are the only ones who can bring lasting unity. 

Leading on my own strength: Impossible.

Leading in God’s strength: Unstoppable! 

[read all of these passage in the Bible for yourself by clicking here]

Check All The Boxes

Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders … [and] consulted the young men… (1 Kings 12:6, 8). 

As King Rehoboam ascended Israel’s throne, the people met with him to ask if there could be a change in policies. They stated that Rehoboam’s father, King Solomon, had worked them hard building God’s temple and Solomon’s palace. They asked for a bit of reprieve. 

Rehoboam took this suggestion to both the elders who had consulted his father, as well as to his friends that were his own age. 

Sometimes the older generation wants to stick with “the way we’ve always done things” because it appears tried and true; they are usually hesitant to make any changes.

Sometimes the younger generation wants to change nearly everything because they think there must be a better way; they are usually anxious to make changes. 

So when the elders suggested a change from Solomon’s policies, Rehoboam should have taken notice. “This is not typical for the elders to suggest a change, so perhaps I should ponder this more closely.” For the young leaders to suggest a change was typical for their generation, so Rehoboam should have expected that. 

Also notice that the elders’ advice was toward servant leadership, while the young men’s advice was toward more top-down, heavy-handed leadership. Although there is no record of either Rehoboam nor his advisers seeking God’s counsel, the elders’ advice is clearly more in line with God’s heart. God spoke through Moses about how He carried (or served) His people (Exodus 19:4), so a reprieve from hard labor would have been more God-honoring. 

Sadly, Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders, making the working conditions even harsher for the people of Israel. This terrible decision had disastrous consequences, as Israel was henceforth split into two nations: Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Rehoboam missed the cues from both the older and younger generations, as well as God’s own example, that could have preserved a united nation. 

For our decision making today we have the additional example of Jesus who came not to be served but to serve others, and who gave us a similar servant-hearted command (Mark 10:45; John 13:12–17). 

When God-fearing people are facing a key decision, here are three important things to consider: 

  1. Are the seasoned, God-fearing elders advocating a change? 
  2. Will this decision help me better serve the people I lead? 
  3. Is this decision exemplifying Christ’s servant-leadership? 

This is so important—I need a “YES” in all three boxes if I am going to move forward! 

If any box is unchecked, I need to seriously re-evaluate making a change.

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