The Leadership Balance Between Input and Output

I was listening to a recent Catalyst podcast interview between Brad Lomenick and Rick Warren.  Warren, an avid reader, once asked his board of supervisors for only one perk within his job description- an unlimited budget for books.  Since then, he's read thousands of books on every topic under the sun.

Leaders do that- as John Maxwell says, "Leaders are readers."  They know that you can't lead from where you haven't been.  Books help the leader to go deeper, think bigger and broaden their people's horizons.  My team probably makes fun of me but it's ok- I still give them a book for a gift at Christmas.  Even if no one reads the book, I'm practicing the principle of adding quality input to their lives.

This is what we call input: what you put into your mind and heart.  This comes from books, audio, movies, lectures, etc.

The other side of the coin is output.  What we produce and put out into the world.  I've gotten a lot out of journaling and have written about my own prayer life as a result.

A great experiment happened recently.  I read Bill Hybels' book, "Too Busy Not to Pray" almost two years ago.  Since then, I've been praying every day since and have blogged about it periodically.  Input and output.

The key for leaders is to keep your input and your output in balance.  There will be seasons when you are publishing more than you are reading and visa versa.  Just be attentive to both and your leadership will thrive.