{New Post} Dr. Mohler on Leadership (Part 2)

Here is a brief summary of chapters 14-25 from Dr. Mohler’s latest book The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership that Matters.

Chapter 14 – Leaders are Managers: Not all managers are leaders, but all leaders are managers.

  • Leadership and management are inseparable, and no effective leader can disparage or neglect competent and efficient management. Leaders absolutely must manage. If not, there will be a disconnect between conviction and operation. Management is leadership put into action. The right actions will follow if management had done its job. Lastly, a leader who does not know how the work is done cannot possibly lead with effectiveness. 

Chapter 15 – Leaders are Speakers: Leaders give voice to conviction and mobilize hearts and minds with a message

  •  Speech is the currency of great leadership. People expect to hear the human voice deliver a message, explain events, channel enthusiasm, and mobilize others for action. Most of all, we like to hear a story told well by one who relished its telling. No one is more boring than a speaker who has no convictions. If you’re called to lead, you are called to speak and you need to do it well. Mohler shares eight points as he prepares to speak: (1) Know what you want to say, (2) know your audience, (3) outline your message, (4) frame your presentation, (5) punctuate and illustrate, (6) get yourself ready, (7) speak like you mean it and (8) tell the audience what to do. 

Chapter 16 – Leadership as Stewardship: Leaders never lead for themselves; they are stewards in service of another

  • The central role of belief is what must define any truly Christian understanding of leadership. Christian leaders are stewards (1) of human lives and their welfare, (2) of time and opportunity, (3) of assets and resources, (4) of energy and attention, (5) of reputation and legacy, and (6) of truth and teaching. 

Chapter 17 – The Leader as Decision Maker: Organizations expect many things from leaders, most of all the trusted ability to decide

  • Leadership is a blend of roles, responsibilities, and expectations. But the one responsibility that often matters most is the ability to make decisions – the right decisions. To be effective, the leader must earn the trust of the organization and its stakeholders – he must be trusted to make decisions and then to take ownership of them. 

Chapter 18 – The Moral Virtues of Leadership: Leadership and morality are inseparable

  • Leadership as Mohler defines it is honesty, dependability, loyalty, determination, humility and humor. 

Chapter 19 – The Leader and the Media: The medium is not the message, you are – and the leader must know how to deliver that message

  • Never apologize for having a message and for wanting that message to receive the widest possible coverage and exposure. 

Chapter 20 – The Leader as Writer: The written word remains one of the most powerful ways to lead, so leaders write

  • The invention of the written language was one of the most greatest human achievements, and the very fact that we can and do read messages written thousands of years ago is proof of its power. Leaders who want to make a difference, and to make that difference last, must write. You can write this down – leaders are writers. 

Chapter 21 – The Digital Leader: Leaders understand that the digital world is a real world – a world in which they are called to lead

  • A leader who is not leading in the digital world, his leadership is, by definition, limited to those who also ignore or neglect that world.  The digital world itself a real world, just real in a different way. As leader, consider establishing your own Internet presence as a part of your organization’s site. If this seems self-aggrandizing, recognize that this comes with the territory when you are a leader. 

Chapter 22 – The Leader and Time: Leaders know that time is the great equalizer of humanity

  • The scarcity of time is the great leveler of humanity, affecting the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless. That being said, the expectation of constant availability will defeat any leader and render leadership ineffective. At the same time, the essence of leadership is the transformation of conviction into corporate action, and this requires the leader to be available and present at just the right times – the times that reinforce that transfer of conviction into the mission of the organization. Knowledge of eternity affirms that our lives mean more than mere time can contain. Our earthly lives must be measured by an impact that is eternal rather than merely temporal. 

Chapter 23 – Leadership that Endures: The leader’s goal is not only to last but to endure

  • Organizations are amazingly resistant to change. Even when change happens, it can be undone in a flash, as people return to old and entrenched habits of thinking and working. The most effective leaders know to stay on the job, determined to see the task done. If you want to make a lasting difference, you had better make the commitment to endure. 

Chapter 24 – The Leader and Death: Mortality frames the horizon of leadership

  •  The knowledge of our own mortality would be devastating if all we knew was that we will lead for a season and then die. But turn this knowledge around, and it serves as the great incentive to aim for a legacy – the continuation of our influence and leadership after we are gone. The plans and visions of the leader will soon be outdated soon after his burial. The style of the leader is a personal signature. Your tastes will not be tastes of the future. Yet none of this really matters. What matters is that the convictions survive because leadership is conviction transformed into united action. If the convictions are right, the right actions will follow. 

Chapter 25 – The Leader’s Legacy: In the end, the leader’s goal is to leave a lasting imprint

  • The leader unconcerned about leaving a legacy is a leader who will leave the job undone. The leader does this by (1) making certain that the organization’s core commitments and convictions are shared by those who will hire the new leader, (2) bearing the responsibility of building a leadership team of outstanding individuals who fully share the leader’s convictions and vision, (3) communicating these convictions to the organization’s various constituencies, laying a solid foundation for a healthy succession, (4) striving to drive the convictions and beliefs so deeply into the culture and ethos of the organization that alteration and abandonment is seen as betrayal and (5) understanding that every hiring decision is a legacy decision. 
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One thought on “{New Post} Dr. Mohler on Leadership (Part 2)

  1. I’m a little skeptical of 20 and 21, or curious what examples Mohler gives. I know an awful lot of pastors, CEOs, and political figures that hire ghost writers to write both their books and online content. Many can’t write well and one can argue that it makes better use of their time to outsource that kind of thing. They lead through their presence, I suppose. Did Mohler address that? (I’d always assumed he relied on ghost writers for his blog.)
    My wife supports a pastor/CEO in that role, he sends her an idea he wants to write about and she pens the article. She also handles his online presence while he’s out meeting people and doing ministry. Some pastors, like Andy Stanley and Ed Young Jr., have entire teams of ghost writers.

    Quite a few leaders outsource reading as well– they read “executive summaries” or the Reader’s Digest version rather than the actual books.

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