GOSHEN — Five years ago, Todd Gongwer wrote a book about the attributes of leadership and what it takes to be a good leader.
“I wanted my kids to have the heart of my philosophies in case something happened to me,” Gongwer said. “I self-published the book first and then Tyndale House Publishing approached me to publish it. It has been a completely unexpected journey. It’s really cool that God has a bigger plan for me than I ever expected.”
The title? “LEAD … for God’s Sake!”
He says the fiction book focuses on the lives of a coach, a chief executive officer and a janitor as their lives intersect in a story about life and leadership.
“It’s like a parable — a story with an important message or meaning,” Gongwer said. “The book is near and dear to my heart. It asks questions about why are we here and what are our priorities and purpose? For me, faith is an essential component of that.”
Gongwer visited with a group of students at Goshen High School recently and shared his philosophies on being a good leader.
The students are in the Interdisciplinary Cooperative Education (ICE) program taught by Brian Bechtel, who attended the same college with Gongwer.
“I grew up in the huge, huge city called Wakarusa,” Gongwer told the students, while laughing. “I grew up doing jobs like crazy in the family business, Nelson’s Port-a-Pit. Nelson was my grandfather. I also had a real passion for sports, specifically basketball. I wanted to be an NBA player, but something told me I might be better as a coach. I was an assistant coach at Bethel College for a decade. I’ve held executive level positions in several companies. Over time, I developed a common thread of leadership.”