Five things I read this week that can make me a better leader

How do you grow in your leadership skills? By doing? By watching? By being stretched? By learning from others? Probably you grow by doing a combination of all of them.

20140426-125821.jpg One of the ways I grow best is by watching the example of the leaders around me. I love learning. I’ve always been a curious sort. Over the years, curiosity has gotten a bad rap. We all know about the cat :-) What you might not know is that St. Augustine wrote in Confessions in A.D. 397, that, in the time before creating heaven and earth, God “fashioned hell for the inquisitive”. Apparently one of his followers was asking a few too many questions. I hope he was wrong.

One of the ways I scratch the leadership curiosity itch is by reading as much as I can, as often as I can. The information age that we live in is like crack for a consummate learner like me. Earlier I wrote a post about some of the tools that I use to help me do my job. I use at least three of those every day to help me learn and to retain what I’m learning.

  1. The first tool is Feedly, which is an RSS reader. For the nontechies – it’s an app that allows me to accumulate the blogs and news services I read into one place. I have it sectioned into the following headings: Christianity, news, leadership, social media, technology, photography, quotes and productivity. At least twice a day I check out what is new on Feedly.
  2. The second tool is called Pocket. It is a “read it later” app that syncs with Feedly. As I’m scanning through Feedly I might land on an article that I may want to either read later, use in a blog post, send to a friend or use for message prep. A button on Feedly sends it immediately to Pocket for later reading and tagging.
  3. The third tool is called Evernote. I use it as my long-term storage for everything. Think of it as an electronic file cabinet with some drawers with neatly organized folders and other drawers that are searchable catchall’s. Pocket has a button that sends things to Evernote for long-term storage.

So – as promised – here are five things in my pocket this week, that are helping me become a better leader:

  1. Five key characteristics every entrepreneur should have. Just substitute “church planter”, “Pastor” or whatever you do, for “entrepreneur”, and it applies to you.
  2. Eight things truly outstanding leaders do without thinking. These are things great leaders do instinctively.
  3. A beginners guide to social media for small business. Just the basics for anyone interested in connecting your message through social media.
  4. They are your words, choose them. Before you put up a sign to correct someone’s behavior, read these words of wisdom by Seth.
  5. How to get 300% more people to read your content. Poor title but an awesome blog post on the power of story.

It’s always been my goal to learn something new on the last day of my life. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it’s probably not a bad way to go :-)

Greg is the founding pastor of Seacoast Church, one of the early adopters of the multi-site model. Located in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, Seacoast has been recognized by various media as an innovative and influential thought leader in future strategies for church growth and development.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.


As far as curiosity goes, I would like to know how often it comes up in the Bible.  God wants us to believe in Him and trust Him, to have faith, like the little children, who cry Abba, abba. (Daddy, Daddy).  Did not Jesus say, Men say such and such, BUT I say this.  Many people are wise and know many things that can be helpful, but for me, I must make sure that what is said, really resonates with the Word of God.  

Just to be clear, I am extremely curious, so what does that say about me and how I relate to God?.  Maybe, I need to re-examine my priorities regarding Godly things.  Certainly, I can say that I am the chief of sinners and in desperate need of God's Grace.

I hope this is helpful, thanks for the opportunity to voice my opinion.


Thanks for sharing your tools and experience. Very helpful for one who is regrouping and learning. I share your passion for learning and IMHO being curious is a virtue not a vice!


Hello Mr. Surratt, I have followed your blog posts and also your teaching at SeaCoast, for a while.  Your comments on curiosity, were very interesting, but it reminded me of something a read, which was actually supposed to be a joke, but as I reflected, it contained a nugget of truth, worth remembering.  So, a teacher was saying to her class, "How wonderful to have this great gift of curiosity, why where would we be without it."  There was silence, and then a quiet voice: "The Garden of Eden."

Thanks for your time.  I enjoy your ability to share the things of God, possibly more that mere words can tell.