Leadership Bibliography

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I was recently asked by a colleague to help put together a list of some resources for lay leaders in the Church. What I put together is by no means complete, but it does include a number of resources that I have found extremely helpful in the six years I have served as a catechetical leader in our diocese.

In the interest of sharing, here’s the list I supplied:




  • 12 Angry Men (dir. by Sidney Lumet, 1957)
  • Amazing Grace (dir. by Michael Apted, 2006)
  • Apollo 13 (dir. by Ron Howard, 1995)
  • Chariots of Fire (dir. by Hugh Hudson, 1981)
  • Chicken Run (dir. by Peter Lord and Nick Park, 2000)
  • Jiro Dreams of Sushi (dir. by David Gelb, 2011)
  • Mr. Holland’s Opus (dir. by Stephen Herek, 1995)
  • Office Space (dir. by Mike Judge, 1999)

What leadership resources have you found helpful in your ministry?

4 thoughts on “Leadership Bibliography

  1. A few other books are:

    Servant Leadership Models for your Parish by Dan R. Ebner

    The Catholic Vision for Leading like Jesus: Introducing S3 Leadership – Servant, Steward, Shepherd by Owen Phelps

    Robert Greenleaf’s books on Servant Leadership

  2. I have read many books on being an effective leader in my years as a principal and as a diocesan director of catechetics but the most recent books that have an impact on my own leadership are Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable by Paul Lencioni and Leaders East Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Some Don’t by Simon Sinek. These are secular works but with good things to offer whatever kind of leadership in which one is engaged. A good book for anyone, but especially leaders in any Catholic ministry is Time Management for Catholics: Make the Most of Every Second by Putting Christ First by Dave Durand. I have used this book when training new parish catechetical leaders.

  3. Thanks for a great list Jonathan! There are a few books on there I haven’t seen before, and I’m definitely going to check them out. Here are some that have been helpful to me.

    Carse, James P. Finite and infinite games. New York: Free Press, 1986.

    Collins, James C. Good to great and the social sectors: why business thinking is not the answer: a monograph to accompany Good to great: why some companies make the leap–and others don’t. Boulder, Colo, 2005.
    This is Collins’ companion monograph to his book. It is helpful for parishes because it gives them a way to understand the “economic engine” in nonprofit terms.

    Halsey, Vicki. Brilliance by design creating learning experiences that connect, inspire, and engage. San Francisco, Calif.: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2011.

    Klauser, Henriette Anne. Write it down, make it happen: knowing what you want—and getting it!. New York: Scribner, 2000.
    Klauser outlines a very simple process for goal setting and reaching your goals. I wrote about how RCIA team leaders can use her process here: http://www.teamrcia.com/2010/04/teach-catechumens-to-dream-big%E2%80%94by-example/

    Kotter, John P. Leading change. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 1996.
    Kotter lists six barriers leaders must overcome if they want to lead their organizations to new vistas. I discussed what those barriers might look like in parishes in this post: http://www.teamrcia.com/2011/12/can-your-rcia-team-recognize-these-6-deadly-barriers-to-conversion/

    Shenk, David. The genius in all of us: why everything you’ve been told about genetics, talent, and IQ is wrong. New York: Doubleday, 2010.

    Wheatley, Margaret J. Leadership and the new science: discovering order in a chaotic world. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2006.

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