I didn't want to buy or read Bill Hybels's book, Axiom. While I have great respect for Hybels and Willow Creek, when I first learned of it at the Leadership Summit last August, I felt no desire to thumb through a bunch of "powerful leadership proverbs," as the subtitle promised. I wanted meat. I wanted substance. I wanted clear, muscular guidance.

So what made me finally read it? I don't remember. But I'm so glad I did. It's a top-notch leadership book, and it's both clear and muscular. And while the 76 chapters in the book are short, they're thoroughly substantive, and almost all of them were tremendously helpful to me--some because they were affirming (it's good to know I'm not the only one!) and others because they were corrective. A few (like "Leaders Call Fouls" and "Obi-Wan Kenobi Isn't for Hire") suggested new or improved ideas to my mind.

I agree with Rick Warren's critique (I'm sure he'll be relieved to hear): Hybels "serves up solid content, not cliches; axioms, not merely anecdotes."

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