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Courageous Leadership

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  3,480 ratings  ·  135 reviews
The book you hold resonates with this conviction: that leaders such as you have the potential to be the most influential forces on planet Earth. Yours is the staggering responsibility and the matchless privilege of rallying believers and mobilizing their spiritual gifts in order to help people who are far from God become fully devoted followers of Christ. Life transformati ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 30th 2002 by Zondervan Publishing Company (first published January 1st 2002)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  3,480 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Ryan Reeves
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: leadership
I am judging this book based on what it bills itself as: a book on leadership. On that basis, the book does not deliver.

The biggest drawback to this book is that Hybels dwells too much on his own success, his own unique ministry, and his own style of leadership. Little of this can be applied universally. I also soon realized that Hybels has a penchant for dwelling overly-long on illustrations that no normal leader can connect with (examples include: whisking his inner core of leaders off on wee
Seth Little
Apr 20, 2012 rated it liked it
I finished this one while vacationing at the beach, and I have to say I enjoyed it. Hybels is very different from me and not very different from some of my close friends. He's a doer, a self-described activist type, maybe even a pragmatist. I tend to identify more as a thinker (rather than a doer), and books from guys like Hybels tend to feel more like pep rallies than substantial content. Still, I think it's been a valuable read for me. I respect Bill Hybels and am glad to have given a listen t ...more
Jun 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Again: love love love. This book is great because it's flat-out about Christian leadership. John C Maxwell is fantastic, but you have to apply his principles in a biblical way. Hybels spells it out for you. This book seriously challenged me to nurture my gift of leadership. ...more
Apr 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book was really helpful in understanding how fundamentally important it is to achieve balance; and explained a lot of great things about leadership.
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of my absolute favorite leadership books ever. Some of my favorite takeaways are...

"This is not a book on leadership theories, but rather on proven leadership practice."

"Whatever the capacity for human suffering, the church has a greater capacity for healing and wholeness."

"What flourishing churches have in common is that they are led by people who possess and deploy the spiritual gift of leadership."

"Leaders see the big picture and understand how to help others find their place of service w
Oct 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I could spend quite some time if I wrote out all the things about this book that are worth reviewing. It really just needs to be read.
If you are a church elder, pastor, lay leader, etc - read it
If you are a leader in the business world - read it
If you are a leader of a family - read it.

While Bill is targeting church leaders and much of it focuses in that realm, so many of us that have leadership potential allow it to dissipate because we don't recognize it, don't build it up and do
Shaun Lee
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read the book without knowing the identity of this certain Bill Hybels. If I knew who he was, I would most probably not have even picked up the book and would have missed the opportunity to get a glimpse of the inner workings of this man of God (because of my negative perception of Willow Creek and the visitor-friendly church model).

Courageous Leadership is one of top two leadership books I would recommend (the other being McIntosh & Rima's Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership - https://www.
Dec 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: leadership
This book reads like a sermon: everything repeated about three or four times using different vocabulary; illustrations; Bible verses; meaningless adjectives like "wonderful" and "incredible" and "phenomenal"; unfortunate sentences like "Without vision, people lose the vitality that makes them feel alive." None of this is surprising, I guess, since Bill Hybels is a very successful motivational speaker.

He is also a proven leader, so that alone makes the book worth wading through, or skimming throu
Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this book for a turnaround pastor coaching class. I have to say, the first half seemed like it was a lot of fluff, like the author was just trying to fill a page quota. It was not very engaging, and just really hard for me to get through. By the time I got to the second half though, there started to be a lot more practical application type material, which is what I'm looking for. Inspire me, move me, make me laugh, cry, or get angry - do something! So much of it was just words though.

Michael Eckhardt
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Definitely one of the better leadership books I've read, Courageous Leadership resides at that intersection between spiritual leadership and the time-tested leadership lessons of the marketplace. Thankfully, it does a great job melding the two. The book was encouraging, challenging, and inspiring all at once, while also having strong practical sections, especially those dealing with a leader's self-knowledge.

Because it covers so many different aspects of leadership, it can at times feel more lik
Evan Hoekzema
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There was so much insight in this book. Hybel’s leadership experience is impressive. The different topics he covers and inspiring and practical. It’s hard not to get through a chapter without something profound popping up. That being said, I also found myself incredibly sad reading through this book. Hybels writes over and over again about integrity, avoiding moral failure, and finishing the race God calles him to run the right way. It was impossible not to read his book through his more current ...more
Matthew Prydden
Given the revelations of the last few years the taint of hypocrisy hangs over this book. The business-driven philosophy that resulted in a church organisation that brings in tens of millions of dollars (admittedly that flows out through its various ministries) is something that doesn't feel quite right. Don't get me wrong, the spiritual aspect isn't neglected, but is it used or applied correctly? Its difficult to judge. This is an intriguing read and one that can potentially still even be of hel ...more
Danny Theurer
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Placing the recent stumbles associated with Hybels aside, this is actually an incredible book on leadership. Books in this realm are often too obsessed with soundbites and phrases that rhyme - and it's been to the detriment of the powerful truths that need to be contained within the covers. That's where this book stands out: It isn't a bunch of polished, marketable phrases. It's wisdom that an actual leader has led by. ...more
Apr 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Despite subsequent issues at Willowcreek (I've no idea); and despite some Americanisms that really grate on me; and despite the frequent irritating manner in which Bill Hybels refers flippantly to the Holy Spirit telling him stuff - there are actually some very helpful things here on leadership. I'm glad I read it, and it's useful. It's not deep or profound, but it's practical and we can all learn from it, especially church leaders. Yep, helpful. ...more
Christian Gaffney
Solid read

Great for leadership development for both pastors and their teams. Sometimes ministry materials from larger churches and large church leaders can be difficult to scale and to a small church setting, this was not the case for this book.
Alice Theobald
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very informative

I don't ever see myself as a leader on the level this book addresses but it definitely gave me a greater appreciation on what it takes to run a mega church such as the one I attend. I am getting ready to colead a woman's small group so it was helpful
Daniel Miller
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Most comprehensive leadership book I’ve ever read. Weaves together spiritual and business practices in a way that’s doable and challenging. I’ll be returning to this for a number of subjects. Solid read!
Colin Adams
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Not bad, but think there is better stuff out there on leadership.
Ash Thorpe
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very good read. Fantastic overview of the challenges facing leaders. Written for church leaders but would be applicable broader.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Has lots of how tos and lots of stories to inspire that you can lead well
Rob Markley
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
Covers the bases nicely. Hybels has put a lot of effort into leadership over his ministry and this is his personal take
Rodney Fletcher
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great insight into leadership; a must read for all leaders.
Jeff Turnbough
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've liked all of Hybel's books, and this one was no disappointment ...more
Eric Holman
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Harder to read this time around. Great content, but difficult to separate the current events from the leadership tips.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lot of truth but also felt extremely sad reading it. How can someone sharing so much passion about church be so deceived to ignore his own actions.
Katharine Smith
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A classic, something for everyone, challenging, inspiring, encouraging. Wish I had read it years ago and I'll be returning to it again and again. ...more
Daniel Sniper
Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Love it
Ann Maria
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good book on leadership and the role of the church in bringing life change
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: leadership
I found this book basic, but comprehensive. I was as Leo intrigued that Willow Creek was based on Acts 2.
Daniel Nemmers
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Despite his fall from Grace, this is an incredible book.
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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

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