Leadership is essentially about four skills; planning, communication, building teams and coaching others. If you can do these four these well, you’ll be a great leader.

So one key thing is to commit to growing in each of these four areas? Where can we get more material about each? Well, there are different industries that seem to excel in different ones.

  • Planning: The best skills and tips I’ve picked up on planning have come from the business world. Whenever there’s a new business best-selling leadership book doing the rounds, it’s often more weighted towards planning than anything else. Successful businesses know how to plan for success, so this becomes a great thing to learn from them.
  • Communication: I turn to political biographies to learn about communication. Politics so often comes down to the art of being able to persuade others to get on board with an idea. Whether it’s communicating with an individual or with a crowd of people, I find political history a great place for learning this skill.
  • Building Teams: The sports industry does this better than anywhere else. Football, rugby, basketball – so many sports are about getting teams to work effectively together, and that means biographies of sports stars and sports coaches are a great place for picking up more team building skills.
  • Coaching: So where does that leave coaching? Sports does have a huge amount to share here, and is probably still the leading industry when it comes to coaching. Business too has emphasized this a lot recently, and the coaching profession is growing exponentially with business coaches helping people to realise their full potential. But surely we’re missing something here? If there’s one industry that should excel in the area of personal development and helping others realise their full potential, shouldn’t it be the church?

When is the church going to become a leading voice, that others go to for coaching advice?

Mark Williamson works as a director of One Rock. He’s a lay preacher and leader within the Methodist Church, author of a biography on John Wesley, and has a biography on William Wilberforce coming out in summer 2014. He enjoys good films, good food, praying for London, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna. You can follow him on Twitter @markraynespark.