Review: “Deep Influence” by T.J. Addington

What leader doesn’t want to have deep influence on those around him or her? You do and I do.

If we are going to make a difference in the world, we must take seriously the way in which we influence others. We will have an influence, but will it be deep?

Recommended reading: "Deep Influence" by T.J. Addington

That’s the question T.J. Addington addresses in his latest book, Deep Influence (NavPress, 2014) releasing this week. Deep influence arises when leaders have the courage to press pause on the public accolades of leading and look deeply within themselves to evaluate how they lead. He writes:

I find three commitments common to those who enjoy deep influence: They want that transformative work, they make time in their busy lives to be with God and to reflect on their lives, and they actively cooperate with Him in areas where He speaks to them about needed change.

I have gotten to know T.J. personally over the last 10 years and I can think of no one more qualified to write about these commitments. He is one of the most intentional leaders I know. He travels all over the world as the leader of ReachGlobal the international mission of the Evangelical Free Church of America. For over two decades he’s advised numerous churches and Christian non-profit organizations on leadership and healthy governance. Yet, despite all of the terrain he covers and the demands on his time, he remains one of the most intentionally reflective and self-correcting leaders I know. Every conversation we share together goes deep—and I gain so much by our times together. Now, you can too.

Deep Influence is written for TJ’s primary audience, ministry leaders, but anyone seeking a Christian perspective on their leadership will benefit from reading this book. After all, it’s a book about how to cultivate inner heath. A leader must start there if they expect to have lasting influence on others. As T.J. puts it in the opening page, “That which is most central to what we are and who we become cannot be directly seen by others, but its impact is felt by those we lead, and it determines the depth of our leadership, our character, our vision, and the philosophy from which we lead.”

And so, T.J. dives into the inner world of a leader. He explores what it means to be a person of deep influence, why authentic leadership requires inner health, the role of suffering in developing the character of a leader, the need to understand the shadow-side of our gifts, how to enhance your emotional intelligence (EQ), and how to develop intentionality in living as a person of deep influence. All along the way, he shares openly and transparently about his own journey to become an person of deep influence.

Make no goals for yourself for 2015 without considering how you will first develop your inner life, for from it everything you do flows (Proverbs 4:23). Deep Influence joins T.J.’s four other books as must-reads for those who want to lead themselves and others as God intended.

(Also check out my podcast interview of T.J. about Deep Influence at Reinventure Me)

Comment below: Who has had deep influence in your life? What attention did they give to their inner world?

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