Book review: The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership
Jenni Catron's book, The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership, is a good read and helpful on multiple levels. The premise of the book is that our leadership skills are directly tied back to the greatest commandment as explained by Jesus. We are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and if we want to be an extraordinary leader, we must learn to do the same in our leading. And, almost as an afterthought, though, it really is the main point, this leadership is demonstrated by the second greatest commandment Jesus gave, to love our neighbor as ourselves. As leaders, we will demonstrate extraordinary leadership as we walk in love towards those around us.
Part Two develops the four aspects of leading with our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Part Three is one chapter and attempts to develop what extraordinary leadership actually looks like in practice. Though the weakest section of the book, there are truths to be gained here.
There are some wonderful pull quotes that I will direct your attention to:
- "Our leadership will be evaluated by what we do, not what we intend."
- "Paul prayed specifically that God would equip these leaders with wisdom. Paul didn’t pray, 'God give me wisdom so that I can give them good direction.' No, he prayed that God would the Ephesians wisdom and revelation to navigate the challenges they were facing."
- "We must be what we want others to be."
- "Extraordinary leaders understand that when the gifts of staff members are aligned with their actions, the organization will achieve maximum effectiveness."
- "Leaders keep their eyes on the big picture. They account for the unexpected."
- "You must be relentless about coaching your staff to adjust the fractional discrepancies." (In reference to staying close to the organizational vision)
- "We should focus on measuring results rather than on mandating a particular process."
- "Every time you are able to tie everyday tasks to vision outcomes, you provide immeasurable motivation to teams."
- "Patience and endurance are fueled by conviction. Conviction is the mark of a true vision. Conviction puts teeth on a passion."
- "Strong visionary leaders must remember that vision leaks."
- "Fear has stolen the future of countless leaders." (Mark Miller quote)
- "You make wise decisions not so you can be popular but so you can do what’s best for everyone involved."
There are of course more, but these present a flavor of the insights provided in the book. Each of these quotes are surrounded with additional insight, but they represent the thoughts and truth presented in the work. These quotes were just some of the ones I highlighted in my copy.
The challenge is clearly presented by the author – for leaders to step up from being simply a good leader to being an extraordinary one. The author believes that every leader can become great, and should. The last few sentences in the book make this clear – “Extraordinary doesn’t mean perfect. Extraordinary means the pursuit of God’s Great Commandment. And in the pursuit of leading with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength, the perfecting continues.”
Well said. The book is worth reading and should have a place on every leader’s shelf.
Jeff Klick / Dr. Jeff Klick serves as the senior pastor of Hope Family Fellowship. In addition, he is an instructor with The Institute of Church Management and is on the board of The Council for Gospel Legacy Churches. Dr. Klick and his bride Leslie have been married more than 40 years and are blessed with three adult children and 10 grandchildren.