Crash Course in Leadership

One of my passions is leadership. Leading a group doesn’t scare me, it invigorates me. I love to organize something and make it happen, and the thrill of making it happen for a larger group of people is even better.

Lately I have felt a little, scratch that, a LOT frustrated with my desire to lead because I feel like I am ineffective in all of my roles. Financially, our family needs me to work, but our conviction is that I need to be with our son. So I work & stay with our son. He comes to work with me….

Trying to teach a class of 15-25 with a toddler in the room ain’t as easy as you might think… They’re yelling at me that his diaper is stinking up the library, he’s crying asking for a drink, someone points out that he has snot running out of his nose, etc., etc., etc.

I feel frustrated- am I leading my son effectively? Am I wasting the time of these kids? Am I doing everything at 50% and not exercising the strengths that I really feel the Lord has given me?

It’s been a struggle…

So when the opportunity to review this book came to me, I accepted it, hopeful for some encouragement and a challenge on how to improve in all areas in which I am supposed to lead.

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Dr. Mohler is the President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In this book, he outlines 25 very practical principles that he believes have the power to change the mentality of leaders.

Inside this book, I found many things that I needed to find. I will admit that it was, at times, somewhat heavy reading, however, it was written in a refreshingly simple format. Each principle had a chapter, and each chapter was able to stand alone. That will make this book an easy go-to reference for me in the future if I should feel frustrated and just need a jolt in a certain area of leadership.

Some of the best quotes in the book, in my opinion, were the following, which really resonated with me. They seemed to piggyback one another, even though they jumped from one chapter to another:

“Management is not the same thing as leadership.” (p. 16) (I’ve been satisfied to just manage my situation, believing that that is all I may be able to do- I have to put some things aside in order to LEAD in my situation.) “Without convictions, you might be able to manage, but you cannot really lead.” (p. 26)

“…if believers cannot lead, we are headed nowhere.” (p. 20) (How true is that? If we want to see a change, we have to have the conviction to step up and do all we can to make it happen. We complain about our country’s leadership, but so few of us would be willing to lead in those capacities.)

“The beliefs that anchor our faith are those to which we are most passionately and personally committed, and these are our convictions.” (p. 20) (If I do truly believe that the Lord has enabled me to lead, and my deep conviction is that my son is my 1st responsibility, then I must believe that I can accomplish these two tasks simultaneously.)

“Charisma is a great gift, but it cannot substitute for conviction.” (p. 32) (When we believe we are doing what we are doing, ON PURPOSE, with conviction, then we will see that our personality traits are not the things that will carry us, but our convictions.)

“Leaders who fear acknowledging alternatives to their decisions undermine their own credibility.” (p. 64) (I must lay aside my pride to lead effectively. If something isn’t working, change it! My own stubbornness will leave a much worse impression than admitting that I need to change will.)

As a librarian, you know I loved this one:

“Think of reading like you think of eating. In other words, pay attention to your diet.” (p.103) (In other words, readers are leaders, people! I have to keep seeking counsel in order to grow as a leader- both of my son and of my students.)

And as a blogger, this one was a favorite too:

“All leaders lean into words; it just comes with the territory. For Christian leaders, the commitment to words is a matter of discipleship and personal devotion, for our faith is communicated by words… The written word matters longer and reaches farther than the words we speak.” (p. 171-172) (I don’t want this blog to be fluff- I want it to matter, today and in days to come.)

Anyway, my overall opinion on the book? Very practical and very challenging to me. Dr. Mohler has obviously been in a very high role of leadership, and I appreciated his book very much.

Psst! Just wanted to remind you that this book was provided to me, free of charge, by the gracious folks at Bethany House Publishers as part of their blogger review program. I get to keep the book, which is awesome (please read that last word in a high pitched voice for full effect,) but I am not required to present the book in a favorable way. The opinions are mine, all mine.


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