The Softer Side of Leadership

ISBN: 9781632694683

Author: Dr. Eugene B. Habecker


Essential Soft Skills that Transform Leaders and the People They Lead

Many who aspire to be organizational leaders focus on developing “hard” skills, related to quantitative action and analytical thinking. These are important, but over his many decades of executive leadership, Dr. Eugene B. Habecker has learned to value the “softer” side of leadership. Unfortunately, these “soft” skills and behaviors are often neglected, to the detriment of both leadership and organizational development.

In The Softer Side of Leadership, Dr. Habecker, president emeritus of Taylor University, makes a case for these skills and provides practical ways to develop them and put them into action. He draws from his own experience, other leadership experts, and from the Bible.

The Softer Side of Leadership has two main sections. The first section focuses on the soft skills that effective leaders develop in a more personal dimension. These skills help leaders build and maintain a healthy spiritual, mental, and physical foundation that will benefit them personally as much as professionally. The second section naturally builds on the first, focusing on skills that effective leaders foster in the organizational dimension, such as creativity, trust, and forgiveness.

Many of these skills, practices, and attitudes may be difficult for readers whose business education has been driven by numbers and immediate results. But to be effective, they must commit to continuous learning―and that includes understanding the softer side of leadership. These soft skills support what hard skills cannot, at least not on their own: a culture that better promotes robust mission fulfillment.

Each chapter includes key takeaways and action steps, equipping readers to immediately develop and employ the skills presented. As readers develop the skills and behaviors presented in The Softer Side of Leadership and pair them with hard skills, they will become stronger, more well-rounded leaders.

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Media Kit

Author Bio

GENE AND MARYLOU HABECKER have spent 35 years in leadership roles, Gene in president/CEO roles, and Marylou serving in varied ministry roles as they “professed the presidencies” together. He is an author, speaker, and educator and holds degrees from Taylor University (BA), Ball State University (MA), University of Michigan (PhD), and Temple University (JD). He is also a graduate of the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management (IEM). Marylou is an educator, writer, speaker, artist, and holds degrees from Taylor University (BS and LHD), and Ball State University (MAE). They have been blessed with three married children and seven grandchildren.


Gene Habecker gifts readers a salient reflection on what matters most in leadership. He pushes back against the common cultural view of leadership that exalts power, authority, busyness, and yes…even competence. Instead, he highlights the importance of the many soft skills and character traits that prove foundational for leadership that is deeply rooted, impactful, and timeless… Current and aspiring leaders alike should glean all they can from Gene’s wisdom and example, praising God for the transformation they will likely experience as a result.”

Shirley V. Hoogstra, JD, President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities


This is not a casual read. It will require reflection, and this will require time…. A commitment to … reading this book will make this worth the effort.”

R. Dale Lefever, PhD, Organizational consultant and Emeritus Faculty, University of Michigan Medical School


What a good book…. Prepare to be challenged, empowered, and motivated…..”

Manuel Rosado, MBA, President/Partner, Spectrum Investment Advisors, Inc.


While there are religious examples in this book, it has invaluable information for anyone who reads it…. This book is good for potential leaders as well as for those who want to be more successful in their leadership positions.”

Rhonda Jeter, PhD, Professor and Dean, College of Education, Bowie State University


“This is a bold book that takes time to reflect and critically examine what and how leaders ought to do and think differently to influence…. A must read book for all who wish to ‘lead and follow and follow to lead.’”

Harold Andrew Patrick, PhD Professor and Dean, CMS Business School (India)


Leaders who truly influence are the ones who rise to the top through these softer skills of leadership…. This book is extremely insightful, and these skills are non-negotiable for anyone who wants to reach their full potential.”

Heather Larson, former Lead Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church


I don’t ever remember reading a book on leadership that I didn’t want to put down, until this one. One chapter after another provided conviction, grace, and hope…. Honesty, humility, and wisdom mark each page. Prepare to be inspired.”

 Dan Wolgemuth, President/CEO, Youth for Christ

Retail Price: $15.99