Book Review: The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy

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One of the interesting pieces of this blog will be book reviews. The first book I’d like to review is one that really challenged my view of leadership. The book is written by Tony Dungy, who served as a head coach in the National Football League for over 10 years winning one Super Bowl in that run. I will do a separate blog post on Mr. Dungy at a later time, but he is one of my favorite persons to look up to.

The Mentor Leader book makes a 180 degree turn on what many people think leadership is all about. Many have been brought up to believe that leadership is about being the boss, a dictator and commander. This book makes the case that true leadership is about being a servant and mentor to those you lead. Most if not all of the principles Tony shares is based on his leadership philosophy that he used in being a head coach in the NFL. The book has 9 chapters focused on matters such as the mindset of the mentor leader and the measure of a mentor leader. The book is focused around the main idea that “your only job is to help your team be better.” Another huge issue that he brings up is the importance of making an impact. Some of the best leaders that have led left a mark on the person that will never be erased. That is the main principle of legacy. Overall, the book shows that leadership doesn’t have to be focused on controlling a group of people, but can be focused on making everyone a better person in every facet of life.

As an emerging leader, I love this book because it allows me to see leadership in a bigger picture. No longer do I have to lead with an iron fist (even though it’s necessary at times depending on the situation), but I can lead with a servant’s hand and heart. I hope that this book gets plenty of exposure in the years to come because it can totally change the dynamic of how we lead. There are absolutely too many people in leadership who don’t care about the people that they serve. That model has to change especially within the Christian church. Before reading this book, I never knew that the impact of leadership is so huge. So many of us want the title and prestige of leadership but don’t count the cost. Leaders are judged on a different standard and after reading this book it kind of feels justified.

I have no complaints about this book. I just want to encourage you to invest in your leadership (everyone is a leader in some capacity) by purchasing this book at your local bookstore or online retailer. Your life and leadership will never be the same!


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