Today, I could have written a profound article on leadership for you, or I could pass along an amazing book that I know will inspire you more than what I might write—and the latter is what I’ve chosen to do.
The following is a book review for those of you aspiring to excel in leadership. But, then again, leadership books are really for everyone, in that, in a ton of ways, they train people in principles relevant to all. But, having said that, if you are indeed a leader—this book is a must-have!
Reeeaaaaad Thiiiissss Boooook!
I choose the books that I read, often by what I call a nudge in my heart. I may be looking at a host of books on a subject, but one will catch my interest more than the others. It’s as if I get lured to a certain book. That’s the book I’ll buy and read. Sometimes the book I buy is “way out there,” but the nudge said, “Buy it!” Since I’ve been doing this, it seems as if almost all the books I read have been divinely destined for my reading—timely, and hitting just the spot I need at the time.
Such was the book Above The Line: Lessons In Leadership And Life From A Championship Season by Urban Meyer, in conjunction with Wayne Coffey. I heard a TV advertisement for the book while attempting to build extreme leg muscles on the treadmill at Planet Fitness. Then I got on an Amazon waiting list to get the book the day it was released. I finished it before the ink was dry. After I read it, I raved about it to Ruthie, so she read it, too.
Urban Meyer wrote the book with a focus on the lessons he had learned and applied during the 2014 college football season, which is referred to in the book as Meyer’s “master class in leadership.” Meyer was the coach of the Ohio State University Buckeyes football team. Their season ended with the glory of being one of the two teams to play in the first-ever college playoff for the national championship. (Previously, the national championship was awarded to the top ranking team without a playoff.) At the close of the final game, Meyer held up the trophy that put a kiss on the incredible lessons learned throughout the incredible season and the incredible leadership story about the journey to get there.
Above The Line is an amazing book about leading, team-building, and empowering others to accomplish things they had never imagined they were capable of. It is a book about character, integrity, and tenacity. When I read a book, I underline profound concepts that I can forward to others in my teaching—and, may I say, many paragraphs in Meyer’s book were above the line. Rarely do I reread books immediately after finishing them, but a month after I got to “The end,” I started reading it again.
Who’s Urban Meyer?
What makes this book so appealing is that Urban Meyer isn’t a guy who happened upon a successful season at Ohio State University. Meyer was also a successful coach at Bowling Green, Utah, and Florida. He won three national championships and had a collective record of 142 wins and only 26 losses. That’s the kind of guy I want to learn from! He coached Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow, who helped Meyer land two national championship titles for Florida.
Many of you will enjoy this book more knowing that Urban Meyer’s strong commitment to Jesus Christ reverberates throughout his book. If you love stories, you’ll especially love Above The Line, since it is packed with amazing accounts of people and events.
Lest I bore you with overmuch recommendation, I’ll close with some quotes from Above The Line. I begin with a summary quote from page 26:
“Where the coach’s job comes in is to get great players to play great. That is the responsibility of any leader in any organization. And it is what the core of this book is about: leading and motivating people to perform at their best and to exceed what they thought possible.”
“Leadership is influence based on trust that you have earned.” (Pages 1 & 2)
“Nothing can stop the team that harnesses the power of leadership. Nothing can help the team that doesn’t.” (Page 2)
“If you ignore a problem, or run from it—whether it’s poor punt coverage, an underperforming employee or department in your company, or a growing disconnect in your marriage—it is only going to get worse.” (Page 11)
“Do you know many people who wake up in the morning and say, ‘Today, I am committed to being mediocre?’ I don’t. I believe most people want to give the best they have but don’t have the necessary tools and mindset to get there. That’s where leadership comes in.” (Page 21)
“It is foolish to resent or resist change. A rapidly changing world deals ruthlessly with people who fail to adapt. If you don’t like change, you are going to like irrelevance even less.” (Page 51)
“Embrace discomfort. Discomfort marks the place where the old way meets the new way: Discomfort indicates that change is about to happen. Push through the pain. If it doesn’t challenge you, it will not change you.” (Page 52)
Another Book For You!
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