The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham

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9780310255796: The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham

Many people don't think of Billy Graham in connection with leadership. Yet the truth is that behind the scenes Dr. Graham has personified what Jim Collins in his bestseller Good to Great calls a Level 5 leader -- a paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional will to advance the cause of Christ's kingdom. Graham's fingerprints are on many of the key Christian institutions such as his founding of the media presence of Christianity Today, the National Association of Evangelicals, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association with all of its media arms, as well as global coalitions such as the Lausanne and Amsterdam conferences. The book takes us behind the scenes singling out twenty key principles of leadership, with character traits, and illustrates them with stories and examples from the life of Billy Graham. Rather than being a chronological biography, the book is an insightful story-driven analysis of the leadership of perhaps the world's best-known religious leader who has been on Gallop's top ten most-admired-men list thirty-nine times -- more than any other individual. At the turn of the century Dr. Graham was named one of Time's top ten leaders of the century. The book includes transferable applications providing readers with take-home value whether they are involved in leadership in a church, parachurch, business, or educational setting.

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About the Author:

Harold Myra served as the president and CEO of Christianity Today International, has taught at Wheaton College Graduate School, and is the author of several books, including Leaders and Surprised by Children. He and his family reside in the Chicago suburbs.

Marshall Shelley is a vice preisdent of Christianity Today, and editor of Leadership Journal. He is the author of a number of books, including Well-Inspired Dragons. He and his family live in the Chicago suburbs. SPANISH BIO: Marshall Shelley es vicepresidente de Christianity Today, Inc. y editor ejecutivo de Leadership Journal.

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The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham Copyright 2005 by Christianity Today International This title is also available as a Zondervan ebook product. Visit for more information. This title is also available as a Zondervan audio product. Visit for more information. Requests for information should be addressed to: Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Myra, Harold Lawrence, 1939-- The leadership secrets of Billy Graham / Harold Myra and Marshall Shelley. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-10: 0-310-25578-3 ISBN-13: 978-0-310-25578-9 1. Leadership. 2. Leadership---Religious aspects---Christianity. 3. Graham, Billy, 1918-- 4. Evangelists---United States---Biography. I. Shelley, Marshall. II. Title. HM1261.M97 2005 658.4'092---dc22 2005004700 This edition printed on acid-free paper. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means---electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other---except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher. Interior design by Sharon VanLoozenoord Printed in the United States of America 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 /? DCI/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1One Coming Alive The giants all had one thing in common: neither victory nor success, but passion. PHILIP YANCEY How is it that among millions of young men of no particular distinction, one ignites and becomes a driving force? How is it that---like a rocket on a launch pad with flame barely visible---one person is slightly lifted, then slowly gains momentum, thrusts upward, engines burning steadily with increasing velocity? The phenomenon of Billy Graham's humble beginnings and the ever-increasing velocity of his executive leadership intrigued us. What combination of genes, culture, experience, religion, and internal response created the alchemy? This first section consists of just one extended chapter exploring those questions. How did his extraordinary leadership get started? How did it continue in force throughout his life? Numerous scholars and commentators have ranked Billy with the 'greats.' We were intrigued to find, in seeking to identify common principles, parallels with other great leaders like Teddy Roosevelt, who was 'ignited' by similar forces. To put Billy in context, we include those experiences too, which may illumine some of what happens in these extraordinary lives. C H A P T E R 1 Igniting! Absolute identity with one's cause is the first and great condition of successful leadership. WOODROW WILSON Leadership is forged in the furnace. The gracious, positive spirit of a Billy Graham---or the broad smile of a Dwight Eisenhower or the exuberance of a Teddy Roosevelt--- does not reveal the complex, painful stories of how they rose to great challenges or sustained their intensity. Far from being a formula to learn, leadership is a set of life experiences melded by intense heat. The heat and struggle create often unexpected results. Jim Collins, as he researched corporate leadership for his book Good to Great, was caught off-guard by his team's research findings. 'The good-to-great leaders seem to have come from Mars,' is how he described his reaction to what they discovered about the very best corporate leaders. 'We were surprised, shocked really, to discover the type of leadership required,' Collins wrote. What his team found was a paradoxical blend of humility and 'ferocious resolve.' Those two characteristics don't easily meld. Only the furnace can extrude such seemingly opposite characteristics. Billy Graham's lifetime of leadership has, indeed, been paradoxical in blending extraordinary humility with fierce intensity of purpose. He fits Collins's descriptions of highly effective leaders, for out of that burning, paradoxical blend have come remarkable results. It's not just his countless television and stadium appearances or his leading the nation in times of grief or new beginnings. It has been his leadership of his team and of other leaders and of a broad Christian movement that has continually built momentum and created such impact on nations, cultures, and on millions of individuals. All this from a skinny farm kid from Charlotte, North Carolina? What ignited all this? Who could have come anywhere close to predicting it? Not his grade school teachers! According to one, he would have to be taken outside in the hall before he would recite his lessons. 'In the classroom, in front of the other students, he would hardly open his mouth. He was terribly shy and timid.' His fifth-grade teacher said, 'I just couldn't get him to say a word in class. I remember once, he just sat there looking at me after I asked him a question, and I finally burst out in exasperation, 'Billy Frank, don't just sit there---say something. Please, just say something.' Not a sound. He just kept staring at me. And to tell you the truth, I just forgot about him after he passed on out of school. Then, I don't know how many years later, I saw him for the first time on one of his television crusades. I simply couldn't believe it. His whole personality was so completely changed. He had such certainty, and the way the words were just pouring out---I kept thinking, somebody's putting the words in his mouth, he's just pantomiming it out. I couldn't get over it. I kept thinking, Is that actually Billy Frank Graham? What in the world happened to him?' As a teenager, Billy's work on his parents' dairy farm took a far backseat to girls and baseball. His wavy blond hair, sharp blue eyes, and ever-present smile attracted the girls, and his charismatic personality opened lots of doors. But a college classmate remembered not only the 'magic and charm of his youthful nature' but also his 'loose, careless way,' and his very messy room. 'We would have been absolutely staggered back then,' he recalled, 'that he'd be able one day to run such a large and complex organization.' What in the world did happen to Billy Frank Graham? Immersion in the furnace of leadership formation began with a painful experience with a beautiful young woman. Emily Cavanaugh was a dark-haired college classmate whom Billy had asked to marry him, even though they had known each other only one semester. Her reluctance to immediately answer worried Billy; yet after months of deliberation, Emily finally accepted his proposal. But one evening at a class party she sat with him on a swing and told him she had to give back his ring. 'I'm not sure we're right for each other. I just don't see any real purpose in your life yet.' She was interested in an older student, Charles Massey. She saw in him what she didn't see in Billy---goals, plans, responsibility. Billy was devastated. 'All the stars have fallen out of my sky,' he wrote to a friend. For months afterward, through the spring and summer, Billy roamed the streets for hours at night, praying for direction. He felt 'a tremendous burden.' He was not simply grieving a romantic breakup but confronting reality. In fact, many realities. He didn't, in fact, have a sense of purpose. He had a vague sense that God was calling him to preach, yet he had an equal sense that he, like Moses, was not eloquent enough for the task. Some see such realities and simply move on.

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Harold Myra; Marshall Shelley
Published by Zondervan (2005)
ISBN 10: 0310255791 ISBN 13: 9780310255796
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