Page Count: 224
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: November 2012
List Price: $22.99
“What will it take to transform your leadership?”
This is the underlying question that Dr. Albert Mohler addresses in his latest book The Conviction to Lead. Mohler, at the age of thirty-three, became the youngest president in the history of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Mohler was called upon to transform and revitalize Southern Seminary back into its place of prominence as one of the premier theological institutions in the world. In this work, Mohler outlines 25 principles that will challenge how you look at leadership.
In his principles, Mohler distinguishes between being a manager and being a leader. He points out that many are apprehensive in taking a leadership role. He also draws a line between the two cultures of modern Christian leadership – the “Believers” and the “Leaders.” He goes on to define the differences between the cultures:
“The Believers are driven by deep and passionate beliefs. They are heavily invested in knowledge, and they are passionate about truth…The problem is, many of them are not ready to lead. They know a great deal and believe a great deal, but they lack the basic equipment for leadership.” (19)
“The leaders, on the other hand, are passionate about leadership. They are tired of seeing organizations and movements die or decline, and they want to change things for the better….The problem is, many of them are not sure what they believe or why it matters…They often ride one program after another until they run out of steam. Then they wonder, What now?” (19&20)
As he walks through the 25 principles, Mohler provides numerous examples from his experience at Southern Seminary. I appreciate the fact that Mohler not only shares his successes, but also his failures. Additionally, Mohler applies Scripture to each of these leadership principles to drive home the fact that these are not merely man-made ideas, but are gospel-centered.
There is so much to take from this book. One such example is in his statement “The leadership that matters most is convictional—deeply convictional.” (21) It is these convictional beliefs that form the bedrock of our identity, the foundation from which we lead.
Other principles that really connected with me are Leaders are Readers; Leaders are Speakers, and The Leader as Decision Maker. In “Leaders are Readers”, Mohler discusses such areas as how, what and when to read. (99-106) In “Leaders are Speakers”, Mohler states, “Speech is the currency of great leadership.” (123) He details how leaders give voice to their convictions and use this message to mobilize an organization to action. Finally, in “The Leader as Decision Maker”, Mohler addresses what I see as a critical problem with most people in leadership positions, the ability to make a decision.
I appreciate Dr. Mohler writing this book. It is a must read whether you are a CEO or a small-business owner. Pastors, elders, or anyone in church leadership should read this book and be ready to have your leadership skills challenged and changed. I should disclose my bias for Dr. Mohler as I am a proud graduate of Southern Seminary and was blessed by my time there.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”