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Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,700 ratings  ·  114 reviews
PMThe best leaders not only lead well but also reflect on their leadership long enough and thoughtfully enough to articulate the philosophies that cause them to do so. Whether serving in the marketplace or in ministry, as executives or rank-and-file employees, as salaried staff or volunteer servants, good leaders can pinpoint the rationale for their actions and decisions ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by Zondervan Publishing Company (first published June 17th 2008)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  1,700 ratings  ·  114 reviews

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Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I would highly recommend this book! If you're looking for some leadership principles that are solid, relevant, deep, and easy to apply, this book is for you! (Or even if you're not looking for leadership tips. Read this book anyway)
Phil Whittall
Dec 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a few of Bill Hybels' books now, and a few things are blindingly obvious. The man is fired up about, I think just three things the local church, evangelism and leadership (well possibly sailing as well but he's not written a book on that yet). Axiom is one on leadership. It reads quick as it is essentially his leadership proverbs, truths discovered over his years as senior pastor at Willow Creek and digested into bite size chunks.

You can either read this book start to finish (as I did)
Jan 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Since my first encounter with Hybels around 1994, I've been a student and fan. I've listened to hundreds of hours of his material and count him among those who've influenced my thinking. While few of the axioms listed in this book were new to me, I still appreciate the fact that he collected them in one place. I've borrowed many of these lines and use them on a weekly basis. For example, "umbrella of mercy" or "vision leaks" are phrases I use almost daily. One that was new for me? Six by six ...more
Apr 03, 2009 rated it liked it
I thought Axiom was ok, but honestly, I felt like it was getting long towards the end. I liken it to Bill Hybels fortune cookies (but longer & meatier). Some of his "leadership proverbs" I had heard before, although there were a few stand out ones for me (I've listed a few below). I suspect that this is the kind of book you probably revisit every so often to pull out a good nugget of truth for whatever leadership stage you find yourself in.

Some highlights (of newer info for me):

Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Hybels writing style is not enjoyable. Though readable, it's often boring.

Also, Hybels really demonstrates his commitment to a model of church heavily infuenced by business models. In some respects, this book was not overly helpful for those who are not in multi-staff, massive ministries.

Some chapters were better than others (more helpful) and could perhaps be extracted for teaching purposes, but on the whole I would not recommend this book.
Dec 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009-book-list
This is in my Top 5 of all-time favorite leadership books. It's a great resource of leadership insights from a great leader. It's also a great book to give your team. Highly recommend it.
Emil Bredahl
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An exellent book that I truly enjoyed
Jennifer Drake Johnston
Brief, high-level snippets of wisdom

I like mottos and word pictures to communicate concepts and experiences. This is exactly what is provided here, from the author's extensive leadership experience. Each chapter is brief enough to read one or two daily over time, or to read through over a long weekend to clarify new vision and key actions. (I left the weekend with a "Six by Six."). I tried to read it a year or two ago and it could not hold my attention. This weekend, it was exactly what I
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding leadership book by one of the great current leaders in America in an easy-to-use/easy-to-reference format.
This wonderful read contains 76 leadership axioms with 2-3 page explanations and descriptions for each.
The axioms are divided into four categories: vision and strategy, teamwork and communication, activity and assessment, and personal integrity.
Bill Hybels is a church leader so he writes from the perspective of leading churches and worldwide ministries however, his insights
Emilio Abiusi
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it
It is interesting to read a Hybels book on leadership in light of his recent history. Ironically this context makes Hybels’ list of good to decent leadership axioms (it is clear that some of these tips are just filler to meet the publishers manuscript page quota) far more engaging to read.

Hybels is a modern Solomon. All the wisdom in the world and the inability to apply it. May we learn from his wisdom and his failure.

Final thoughts:
Would only recommend for pastors / ministry staff.
Scott Maclellan
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting. Definitely some gems in there, but not all suggestions resonated with me. It reminds me a bit of Principles by Ray Dalio but applied to a completely different context. Intended for use in a Church, but still applicable to the marketplace.
Bryan Reeder
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I do realize that there has been some controversy with Bill Hybels and his leadership recently. With that being said, this was one of the best books that I have read this year. Hybel's Axioms are a must read especially for young leaders in the church.
Aaron Hixson
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Super good. How more leadership books should be - punchy
Hugh Laybourn
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
great nuggets of practicasl leadership truths
Taylor Reavely
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: seminary
Could have been written in 20 pages. Read for the principles--they are largely self-explanatory.
Allyson Schreiner
Great Proverbs/Axioms

Great for ministry or the business world. Enjoyed each proverbs and the revelation that came. My favorite, Tunnel of Chaos!
Wai Mun
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
Finished this book cover to cover within 3 days.

Great compilation of bite sized leadership principles that are highly applicable to modern-day leadership. Would recommend!
Stephen Tan
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The ONE book on leadership that every pastor or Christian in leadership should read and re-read.
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
This book is a treasure trove of easily digestible leadership wisdom from one of the greatest leaders of the evangelical world today!
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A brilliant book on leadership. There is so much great stuff in here that I think I should add this to an annual reading list to try and remind myself of it.
Justin Tapp
Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs is a poorly named, but otherwise good book. An axiom is "a proposition that commends itself to general acceptance," in math/logic it's a premise accepted as true without controversy and without being deduced from logic-- it's a starting point that you build other deductions from.

Hybels is using the word basically to mean "recorded observations" or "short phrases that sum up a larger idea." It took me a few chapters to get past this, but once I did I really
Aaron Carpenter
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a lot to like about this book. In its pages, one of the world's foremost evangelical leaders offers practical wisdom gleaned from decades of good and bad experiences. He presents his "axioms" in 76 tersely-written, amply-illustrated chapters that average 2 pages in length. Each axiom is also summarized in a sidebar block quote and "linked" to other related chapters elsewhere in the book. So, it's obviously not a book that must be read from cover to cover, and having done that, I will ...more
Vivien Naomi Lee
I love the structure of the book. If this is not your first Bill Hybels book, you would recognize some of the phrases and content he throws in there, but he doesn't come across as repeating an old story but just driving a beautiful and simple point back home. You may find the need to pause and ponder and pray and this book really allowed me to take it at my own pace, to absorb the rich lessons that Bill Hybels wanted to share out of his numerous years in ministry and in following God. It's a ...more
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was recently at Willow Creek's Leadership Summit & my co-worker asked me what I thought after Bill Hybel's talk & I found myself saying out loud something I've said in my head a hundred times, "More so than anyone else, Bill Hybels manages to make me walk in the tension of the Christian life - somehow simultaneously saying to God, 'Put me in, Coach!' and yet being completely overwhelmed by the ludicrousness of the fact that God chooses to use ME of all people."

Leadership Axioms is like
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I've been an eager student of Bill Hybels leadership tenets for over a decade when I first attended Global Leadership Summit, as a volunteer at a Northern California satellite location which just happened to be at the church I attended. The masterful juxtaposition of Christian ethical leadership principles and Secular profit-driven growth strategies, is the ultimate win-win and undoubtedly, divinely inspired. Whether your goal is to build a thriving morally grounded corporation ...more
Jonathan Brooker
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had been told by far too many friends to count that I should read this book. So I began reading it a little while back when I had free moments because of it's unique format. The short chapters and simple thoughts allow you to put it down and pick it up a lot and still feel very connected to it. There were a number of chapters that just felt like pure gold! Some were a bit more common sense for me. I would guess, though, that some which I felt were common sense were gold for others and vice ...more
Sep 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Church Leadership
Shelves: christian
This book was passed out a year ago to teachers after an appreciation service for teachers. It really seems like a random pairing as the book is all about Hybel's leadership in the church. I connected it much more with work I've been doing at church to start a 20-somethings group. Most of it felt like common sense, but I really wasn't the intended audience of this book, so I guess my vote needn't count. I'm sure a pastor or some other person actually in leadership at the church might have a ...more
Shaun Lee
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply brilliant. This is a book worth many times its retail price; the many many gems gleamed from years of experience (and the related tears and pain) are now available through an extremely engaging presentation. Why make the mistakes and go through the painful experiences when we can learn from our elders that have served faithfully in Christ's service for so long?

Perhaps designed to be read one at a time, I could not stop myself from putting the book down. If you would like to bless a leader
Aug 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Bill Hybels has proven over time that he can not only lead a church but can inspire other leaders to lead well - and this book is a distillation of his leadership philosophy into bite-sized pieces. It makes a great companion to his longer book, Courageous Leadership - and in some ways is probably more useful in a staff/volunteer setting where focusing on a short chapter (some are just one page) can really help you flesh out the concepts.

If you've been listening to Hybels preach/teach for a long
Anthony Hiltz
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing. It's a short read, each chapter is anywhere from one page to three at the most. Bill Hybels does a great job of sharing leadership principles that are unforgettable and ones I wish I would have applied in the past.

I'm definitely more equipped to lead well after reading this book.

This is a must read for all leaders!

One of the things that smacked me between the eyes was this quote here because this was so me.

"Far too many leaders in high positions me of responsibility
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Bill Hybels is the founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, a non-denominational church with eight regional locations in the Chicago area. He is the bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Simplify, Axiom, Holy Discontent, Just Walk Across the Room, The Volunteer Revolution, Courageous Leadership, Too Busy Not to Pray, and Becoming ...more
“It’s the great temptation for small groups of people to slide into a state where they’re not quite telling each other the truth and they’re not quite celebrating each other. Instead, they tolerate each other, they accommodate each other, and they settle for sitting on the unspoken matters that separate them.” 9 likes
“If you’re a serious minded leader, you will read. You will read all you can. You will read when you feel like it, and you will read when you don’t. You will do whatever you have to do to increase your leadership input, because you know as well as I do that it will make you better.” 7 likes
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