About the Book:
At the age of thirty-three, Dr. Albert Mohler became the youngest president in the 153-year history of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was the driving force behind the school's transformation into a thriving institution with an international reputation characterized by a passionate conviction for truth. In the process he became one of the most important and prominent Christian voices in contemporary culture. What will it take to transform your leadership? Effective leaders need more than administrative skills and vision. They need to be able to change the hearts and minds of those they lead. Leadership like this requires passionate beliefs that can stand up to pressure from without and within. Now for the first time, Dr. Mohler reveals 25 principles to crystallize your convictions, revolutionizing your thinking, your decision-making, your communication, and ultimately those you lead.
I have great disdain for books about leadership. Sacred or secular, they all seem to present the same idealistic standards that no leader, or at least, I, could ever reach. I took a leadership class once and read everything from Jonathan Maxwell to Seth Godin and resolved that if I had to read one more book about the 60 indispensable undeniable indescribable marks of a leader that leads I was going to cry. And so when I was asked to review Albert Mohlers new book The Conviction to Lead, I was more than skeptical. It seems that the last thing the Christian world needed was another book on how to be a leader. Yet I was interested in the book because of Mohlers credentials- there are few men who have held such high levels of leadership in some of the most influential Evangelical institutions that exist- and I was sure that from his lifetime of leadership that Dr. Mohler would hopefully have something good to share. But I remained skeptical. However, as I opened and began to skim the pages of this book, my attitude quickly changed for a number of reasons. First, I was surprised at how short the book was- approximately 170 pages long- which seems incredibly short for a book offering 25 principles for leadership that matters. However, as I began to read through some of the chapters, I noticed that they were all very short- 6 to 12 pages long- but dense with wisdom and insight that is far from "leadership theory" but contextual, applicable, and intensely theological. It reads much like a devotional book with 24 days worth of leadership wisdom rooted deeply in Evangelical theological conviction. Mohler says in the first chapter that his goal is to change the way we as Christ followers view leadership by deeply rooting his principles in Evangelical theology and the Bible. Now, from a secular standpoint, that may seem like a sure sign that the book is going to be of little help to those who are not clergy. However, even with the deep theological pull of each chapter, Mohlers wisdom and insights are deeply applicable to anyone who leads anywhere in any position.
One of the aspects of this book that really grips me is how up-to-date it is. This is not your grandfathers leadership book. It is relevant and addresses a wide range of 21st Century tools that should and are being utilized by leaders of all types and issues that most leadership books never even think to address. Some of the chapter titles include: "The Digital Leader", "The Leader and Death", "The Leader and the Media", "Leadership is Narrative", and "Convictional Intelligence". In his chapter entitled "The Digital Leader", Mohler speaks of how important it is to utilize the technological resources of our day to expand our reach and influence, highlighting how his blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts, podcast, and Ipad have revolutionized the way he leads. The fact is that Mohler is a truly 21st Century leader and I think that this book will benefit many in his generation who are stuck in old "styles" of leadership. The other major difference in Mohlers approach to leadership in this book is his theologically grounded approach. Many Christian leadership texts are very nominally Christian using a few random quotes (out of context, usually) from Jesus or Paul, but not so with The Conviction to Lead. Mohler delves deeply into topics like the Sovereignty of God as a basis for effective leadership. Without giving too much away, the way Dr. Mohler ties in theology and practical leadership proves to be so essential to having a Christian perspective on leadership.
Mohler is a quality leader and has a record that speaks volumes to his ability to lead. This book is a small glimpse into one of Evangelicalism's most able leaders and his strategic, theological, conviction based approach to leadership. This isn't a theory book or even an in-depth book on leadership. This is a practical guide that speaks to leaders in a way that is easy and doable. And whether you agree or disagree with the theological or philosophical stances of Albert Mohler, if you are a Christian and are in any leadership capacity, you will benefit from this book. And that's quite an endorsement for someone like me who has little good to say about Christian leadership books. With all of that said...
I give The Conviction to Lead by Al Mohler at 4/5 stars!
Review for the Patheos Book Club Roundtable Discussion
For more information about the Patheos Book Club, click here.