Make a Difference: Growth in Leadership {Book review}

Perhaps the most important attribute of any successful leader is the desire to grow in every season of his or her life.
– Dr. Larry Little

You may be thinking, “I’m already a good leader. Why do I need to read about leadership?”

Maybe, “I’m a stay-at-home mom. This is NOT applicable to me.”

Or maybe a million things in between.make-a-difference

But I encourage you to rethink any hesitancy about reading a leadership book.

Whether you think you’ve arrived at work or not, you still have room to grow. And whether you think you have minimal or no influence over others in your job or at home, you have more impact than you realize.

Dr. Larry Little and Melissa Jackson from The Enrichment Center Group surveyed more than 200 successful leaders in a variety of fields about their wins and losses. Then David Rupert (an excellent writer I’ve been following for years) consolidated the information into an organized and interesting book, Make a Difference, centered around six traits of the acronym “GROWTH.”

  • Gratitude
  • Responsibility
  • Ownership
  • Willingness
  • Tough calls
  • Health

Each trait is broken down into manageable chunks, including examples of real-life stories, vision to put it into practical use, and encouragement to make it your own.

One thing evident in this modern society is we need direction. Our world has plenty of people who attempt to lead. The problem is that too many of them struggle with character issues, a lack of passion, and misguided management techniques.

As I read the book, I considered ways the information could apply to me, and without fail, relationships and roles came to mind. For instance, under the Ownership section, I was reminded of my leadership role as a parent. Under Tough Calls, I was inspired to not shy away from hard decisions I currently need to make.

It’s humbling, but we are in this place at this moment to make a difference.

As long as we’re still here, we all still have work to do. And we all should want to do it with excellence.

What you do, and how you do it, affects somebody. When you dissect relationships you’ll realize that each and every one of us has a role in shaping and molding the thoughts and actions of others. This is called influence.

I’ve not been in the traditional workplace for several years now, but I found this book to be just as applicable to my roles now as spouse/parent/friend/blogger/etc. as when I was a working accountant. We all have people around us that we influence for good or bad. Why not work to enhance our lives for everyone’s good?

I appreciate books like these; they encourage us to never stop growing. We can choose to make a difference.

* * *

My thanks for the review copy of this book

16 thoughts on “Make a Difference: Growth in Leadership {Book review}

  1. floyd

    Well, well, well… We meet again… I’m actually reading this one now! Finally we’re on the same page! I too appreciate wisdom and common sense and can always use a solid reminder. Thanks, Lisa.

    1. Lisa notes...

      It was bound to happen eventually. 🙂 Glad we both landed on this one. I loved all the great reminders too to not grow lazy or disillusioned with things but to keep aiming for growth.

  2. Dianna

    This book sounds very good, Lisa. I guess you know where I’m headed. 🙂 I am going to have to make a decision now that October is over…which of the many books you have shared that I bookmarked am I going to make final decisions on? xo

  3. beverley

    sometimes i think i need to change something to make me better but then the Spirit whispers and i realise that on the whole i am already doing ‘it’. In church i have gone from teaching adults to teaching 6 year old in the space of two weeks. Those little ones are so bright and have such a trust in God i wish i could have that without all the cynicism of life.

    1. Lisa notes...

      And teaching those little ones is just as important as teaching adults. And 6-yr-olds they have much to teach as well. You are leading in the areas God has put you, Beverley. I have enjoyed reading that you accepted your new assignment with enthusiasm.

  4. PL

    Ok this sounds good, “… the point is to change it.” and all that, but (aside perhaps), what is so good about “passion”? I’ve never understood that. Surely passion is bad.

  5. Dave Arnold

    Great post, Lisa. Love this quote: “Whether you think you’ve arrived at work or not, you still have room to grow.” That is so true. Sounds like a good read; will have to add it to my ever-growing book list :). God bless.

    1. Lisa notes...

      Thanks, Dave. For myself I find that sometimes I don’t read a book because I think I don’t “need” it, but oftentimes it’s just a sign that I do. 😉 Wouldn’t want anyone making that mistake with this one.

  6. Barbara H.

    Have you ever read Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders? I read it once in college and then again a few years later – need to revisit it some time. I felt just as you said at first – “Me? I don’t want to lead! Why should I read this?” but it was quite valuable. This one sounds like it is, too.


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