Have you every heard of the term “everyday carry” or EDC? It has become quite the phenomena. At its most literal meaning, everyday carry refers to those things that you carry everyday with you in your pockets or in your bag.


They are the essentials, the things you check for each time you leave the house, those things that you cannot do without. They speak of what helps you feel prepared, those items of utility that help create a more effective day. In another sense, it has fueled a desire for knowing what other people carry with them that they deem to be a great product. 

Check out everydaycarry.com – it provides some great visuals if you have never been exposed to this concept before.

I definitely have my own set items that I deem to be of the everyday carry variety.

My EDC of leadership

Not too long ago,  my son had a great idea that has provided the impetus for this post. He suggested doing an EDC for leadership. In other words, what are those items that I “carry” with me that I view as helping me be more competent and practical as a leader? As an Executive Pastor, I am always looking for more tools for my tool belt.

And the more I mulled over this idea, I realized that this could easily turn into more than one post. So let’s do this!

Today’s EDC for leadership are those books that are providing clarity for my life to see the bigger picture, survey the landscape around me, and be more effective and engaged with the people with whom I am in contact.

1. Personalized leather journal 

Love. This. Journal. It is full grain leather, 80 lb weight paper, and hand stitched. This journal serves one purpose and that is to write down “big ideas” that I want to see happen personally or within my vocation. It gives my imagination a chance to breathe, and my time journaling about visionary-type activities has produced some life-changing results.

There is something unique about putting ideas from my head onto paper. It creates ownership and a sense of doing for me.

2. Living Forward 

This book, by Michael Hyatt, has given me a process by which I am able to ensure that the priorities in my life actually get attention. The initial technique took a full day but it has provided the clarity that I was needing. Are you busy but not feeling like you are giving the necessary attention to what matters most? Then this book is for you. I have utilized its results on a weekly basis for over seven months and will not go back.

3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 

This is a classic by Stephen Covey that is a must read. I have started this book more times than I care to admit, but finally finished it this past summer.

Life. Changing. Why?

Because it presents paradigm-shifting principles that are helping me view my landscape from 30,000 feet rather than just a “boots on the ground” look. From personal vision, to putting first things first, to beginning with the end in mind, to keeping my “axe” sharpened, I made some immediate changes that, incorporated with Living Forward, are a package that is making a sizable difference in my thinking.

This is one immensely practical text.

4. ESV Gospel Transformation Bible 

I get weary with hearing people tell me they just do not have time to be in the Word. 

Not true.

We do what we make time for and what we believe will best “move the needle forward.” As a leader, I cannot stress how critical it is for me to have daily time pursuing truth. Why? Because I have all kinds of thoughts to start my day that are not in line with God. But I am learning to search for Jesus in all of scripture, not just the four gospels. I am learning that I am more dependent on God than I realize and that the Gospel frees me from me.

Just last month, a friend of mine gave me the Gospel Transformation Bible. Love this! I am now using it as I read through Paul’s Epistles. This version is so helpful for me because of the focus of each note that I read for a given set of verses. Their website said it was “produced out of the conviction that the Bible is a unified message of God’s grace culminating in Jesus, the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible was created to help readers see Christ in all of Scripture, and grace fro all of life.”

It is a themed study Bible, showing how Jesus is the theme of all of Scripture.

And though mentioned as the final of the four listed, getting into the gospel is the most central, essential, and significant pursuit of my day.

I hope these are helpful in perhaps spurring on some new thought or providing another tool to add to your tool belt. Because we simply do not drift into being effective. We must be intentional.

Written by Phil Taylor
My name is Phil. I spent 20 years as an Executive Pastor and now I serve churches all over through consulting and coaching. I wrote "Defining The Executive Pastor Role" and "Eldership Development-From Application to Affirmation". My greatest passion is helping others bring vision into reality. I've been married for 25 years, and we have three kids and one grandchild.