Multiplication Center

Author Insights with Dave Travis

June 19, 2013

Dave Travis is the CEO of Leadership Network. In this role he serves as a trusted adviser to many strategic pastors around the country to help them refine their thinking and to get from ideas to implementation to impact.  He is the author of several books including most recently, “What's Next: A Look Over the Next Hill for Innovative Churches and Their Leaders” and also “Beyond Megachurch Myths: What We Can Learn from America's Largest Churches” that he co-wrote with Scott Thumma.

If someone came to you and said they were thinking of writing a book, what advice would you give them?

“That's great. How are your story and your ideas unique? Can you frame them in a “sticky” way? What do you want to see happen with your book? How would you make it happen if you didn't have the book? Far too many people want to be known as an author but fail to realize that writing is not even half the battle.

Name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader. Why and how did this person impact your life?

“That question is mighty broad and it is a long list. I have been very fortunate to have many mentors.

I learned from my Dad to try to keep quiet and process things before speaking up. Two pastors who were totally different from each other, Bud Abbott and Forest Garrard gave me valuable gifts in different areas of leadership. That was followed by my longtime pastor, Jim Martin, who mentored me for years.

I also must give a shout out to Lyle Schaller who mentored me in understanding conceptual frameworks and asking the right questions as the key to helping others see their way forward.

And finally I was blessed to know Peter Drucker whose thinking informs much of what we do at Leadership Network as well as his key student, Bob Buford, who continues to pour strategic thinking into my life and the life of our organization.

Explain the impact, if any, that technology (including social media, the Internet, digital publishing, etc) has made on your organization or you personally.

“It certainly allows one to scan the field and current thought much more quickly than in the past. When I came to Leadership Network we worked primarily through person to person referrals. We still do. But now we can short circuit many of those connections through the technology piece. I can remember when leaders actually wanted not to be reached. Now we can direct message them at any hour of the day.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as an author?

“I read a bunch. Around 3 books a week. Now admittedly those aren't 500 page heavy lifting books, but I was blessed from an early age to read and process quickly. I think good writers are good readers.”

When you hear from your readers, what do they want to know?

“Well from the books I have written their questions usually have to do with their church and their unique situations. They want me to answer or agree with their point of view so they can use my words to confirm their opinion or club someone else over the head with it.

I try to get more at questions and leave them options because I can't understand each micro context they are addressing. They are usually the best person to answer their own question.


To learn more about Dave Travis follow him on Twitter.


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