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The Dark Side of Leadership

July 23, 2015

In their book OVERCOMING THE DARK SIDE OF LEADERSHIP:The Paradox of Personal Dysfunction (Baker Books, 1997) Gary L. McIntosh and Samuel D. Rima Sr.have written a book that needs to be read and worked through by everyone in Christian ministry leadership. The context of the book is the onslaught of moral failure that have rocked the ministry world since the 1980’s. but rally it is about so much more than that those high profile sins. Leadership as a gift requires certain perspectives and skill sets these strengths have a “side B” or flip slide of those things that make leaders successful. The book begins with 6 chapters covering 84 pages presenting a general overview of the dark side if leadership. Each chapter is informative, well written, and applicational. Of particular interest was Chapter #4 “How The Dark Side Develops(p.49)” which uses a case study of President John F. Kennedy’s childhood. The second section helps leaders discover their particular temptations toward the dark side of leadership including, Compulsion, Narcissism, Paranoia, Co-dependence and passive aggression. Each chapter involves exploration of a leader from the Scriptures that displayed these tendencies.Each chapter also includes a multi-question inventory to explore personal practices in these areas which make it great for small group or internship contexts. The third section deals with howto redeem our dark side utilizing 5 steps. Each of these chapters includes journal prompts for developing personal action plans for growth, correction and prevention. I found this book remarkably applicable and it will be included as a required text next time I teach Leadership Issues In Youth Ministry at Colorado Christian University. Regardless of your longevity in leadership this book will teach you and help you continue your development as a leader!. If you are a younger developing leader run to the bookstore to secure this valuable book.

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