Great Books On Faithful Entrepreneurial Leadership


One way to define faithfulness is to seek to be holy. (See the “Humility Code” in Road to Character below.)

A one-word definition for leadership may be influence (see the books Entrepreneurial Leadership and Influencer below.)  Ultimately, influence is grounded in integrity and intimacy.

One way to define entrepreneurship (and marketing) is to “create a customer.”  (See The Practice of Management and The Four Steps to the Epiphany below).

We can all seek to be faithful entrepreneurial leaders.  That too involves  integrity with our gifts and calling and intimacy with God.  It means a transformation of self.

You are what you are — but that is not all you are.  You are what you are, but you are not yet what you will be.  I will be with you” (p. 19).

The Life You Always Wanted

So let’s begin thinking about the life you always wanted.


John Ortberg All the Places to Go

Also consider all the places to go: how will you know?

But to go somewhere we have to get “out of the boat” we’re in.

If You Want to Walk on Water..

God calls us to get out of the boat.

“There is a consistent pattern in Scripture of what happens in a life that God wants to use and improve:

  • There is always a call….
  • There is always fear….
  • There is always reassurance….
  • There is always a decision….
  • There is always a changed life….

Those who say now are changed to.   They become a little harder, a little more resistant to his calling, a little more likely to say no to the next time.  Whatever the decision, it always changes a life–and it changes the world that that little life touches” (pp. 9, 10).

“Your boat is whatever represents safety and security to you apart from God himself.  Your boat is whatever you are tempted to put your trust in, especially when life gets a little stormy.  Your boat is whatever keeps you so comfortable that you don’t want to give it up even if it’s keeping you from joining Jesus on the waves.   Your boat is whatever pulls you away from the high adventure of extreme discipleship.  Want to know what your boat is?  Your fear will tell you.  Just ask yourself this:  What is it that most produces fear in me — especially when I think of leaving it behind and stepping out in faith?” (p. 17).

[We abandon ourselves to the power of Jesus.  Then it happens.  We experience the wind] and we become afraid again (p. 19).

So let’s go!  Are you ready?

With that grounding, let’s think about how we can become more faithful and entrepreneurial leaders.


The Four Steps to the Epiphany

To organize the rest of the best books in faithful entrepreneurial leadership and to help determine what work you will do, I have created an outline based on The Four Steps to the Epiphany.  Here is a summary:

  • Step 1: Customer Discovery.  The goal of Customer Discovery is…”finding out who the customers for your product are and whether the problem you believe you are solving is important to them.  More formally, this step involves discovering whether the problem, product and customer hypotheses in your business [model] are correct” (p. 20).  This step involves numerous problem, solution, and minimum viable product (MVP) interviews, and understanding the dimensions of the problem and the features of the solution for relevant user segments.
  • Step 2: Customer Validation.  The goal of this step is “to build a repeatable sales road map for [the sales and marketing teams to follow later]…. In essence, Customer Discovery and Customer Validation corroborate your business model.” (p. 21).  This step involves designing and testing conceptual and then rough prototypes and verifying costs and pricing.
  • Step 3: Customer Creation.  “Customer creation builds on the success the company has had in it initial sales [or donations, etc].  Its goal is to create end-user demand and drive that demand into a company’s sales [or donor, etc] channel.” (p. 22).
  • Step 4: Company Creation.  Scaling and building the structure to support it.

Click here to discover the process and philosophy of creating a sustainable start-up.



holy discontent

Want to start something?  Begin with what you can’t stand anymore.


courageous leadership

How to channel your holy discontent (Faith-focused leadership isn’t only for the local church.)


Building-a-Bridge-203x300Build an authentic bridge of integrity as you walk across it.


Art of the Start 2.0Click here to get going!


Running LeanClick here for a template on how to build a start-up before running out of resources.


Alphabetical EntrepreneurIf you are wondering if you are an entrepreneur, click here.

Education of Millionaires

Skills you need you may not learn in school.


EffectuationClick here to discover the logic of expert entrepreneurs.


Let Your Life SpeakClick here to let God speak through your life about your calling.


visioneeringClick here to explore a powerful way to envision the future.


entrepreneurial leadership--Goossen and StevensClick here to explore integrating your Christian faith and start-up life.


zeroClick here for new ways to think about your business’s future.


the innovatorsClick here if you want to understand the context of our digital age.


MakersClick here to learn about the new industrial revolution!


Blue Ocean Strategy

Alternatively (vs effectual learning), find your blue ocean!



start with whyClick here if you want to know how to attract followers (customers, employees, investors) to your start-up — a great marketing text!


tribesClick here to learn how to become a leader in the digital age.


Click here to keep it real.


purple cow2Click here to learn more about marketing.


Give and TakeClick here to learn how to network the most effective way.




Get happy because happiness leads to success?


Leaders Eat LastClick here if you want to build a company.


Leading with Questions

 Company Creation begins with asking questions.

Good Strategy Bad Strategy

Company Creation and Recreation require good strategy.


 Here’s a great baseball book on business strategy.


The Enemy of Engagement

Click hear to end the inevitable workplace frustrations.


Practice of Management

If you want to read only one book on management, click here.


Managing-the-Non-Profit-OrganizationClick here for building and managing a non-profit organization.


creativity at workClick here to understand creativity biases and helpful tensions.


Deep ChangeClick here to avoid slow death.

Primal Leadership

Understand your own emotions and how to create resonance vs. dissonance.


Daring GreatlyClick here to understand the power of vulnerability.

 Getting Naked

Click here for a great fable and model about shedding the fears that hold us back.


scary closeClick here to understand more about the power of vulnerability.


InfluencerClick here “to break down silos, encourage collaboration,” change behavior, etc.


Leadership Jazz

Leadership is more covenantal than contractual.


leadership is an art

Leadership is more tribal than scientific.


Good to Great

Classic Collins on company-building.


Good to Great in the Social Sector

Click here to build a great social organization that lasts.


Five DysfunctionsClick here for functioning teams.


Real Change Leaders

To grow and stay relevant, you will need real change leaders.


Zingermans Building a Great Business

Click here for the story of putting it all together.

The only way to win

 Yes, the only way to win: with moral character strengths.


Orbiting the Giant HairballHow to survive the “hairball” you just created.



holy discontent

Want to start something?  Begin with what you can’t stand anymore.

Change the WorldClick here you want to think about how to seed change in the world and yourself.


Road to CharacterWhat are our two Adams?  Click here to explore the answer.


Eugene Cho OverratedDo we love the idea of justice more than doing it? Click here to find out.

upendedClick here to experience deep change from a Christian perspective.


In the Name of Jesus

Click here for a different perspective on leadership.


CFL background

Click here to learn more about CFL.

2 thoughts on “Great Books On Faithful Entrepreneurial Leadership”

  1. I have found Margaret Wheatly and Peter Senge’s work very helpful. Flight of the Buffalo and Teaching the Elephant to Dance were helping from an organizational development standpoint.

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