THE CONVICTION TO LEAD – Albert Mohler (2012)

0764210041_lLeadership books are “a dime a dozen” these days.  More often than not, the challenge for readers is finding a book devoted to leadership that is worth reading and filled with timeless wisdom.  Over the last several years, I’ve found a several books that pass this leadership test.  A few that come to mind include Credibility and The Leadership Challenge by Kounze and Posner, Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, and Leaders by Warren Bennis.  A recent book to hit the shelves that should be included among the best of the best is The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler.

Dr. Mohler doesn’t pull any punches.  He admits the agenda on the first page of the book: “Let me warn you right up front … I want to fundamentally change the way leadership is understood and practiced.”  Mohler’s leadership agenda appears almost instantaneously: “My goal is to knock the blocks out from under the current models of leadership and forge a new way … I want to see a generation arise that is simultaneously leading with conviction and driven by the conviction to lead.”  What follows is a brief summary of Mohler’s commitment to articulate what he calls “convictional leadership.”

It is important to understand Dr. Mohler’s background before diving into the core of book.  Here is a man who was called to serve as the President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention – at the ripe age of 33.  Mohler’s was faced with the massive task of recovering the theological backbone and purpose of the institution.  No doubt, it was a major undertaking.  But Mohler succeeded in large measure due to  strong leadership that was dependent upon the grace of God every step of the way.  The church of Jesus Christ is the recipient of his courageous leadership.  Under Mohler’s leadership, Southern Seminary equips pastors, teachers, missionaries, and lay leaders with a rock-solid education that is Reformed and stands at the center of Evangelicalism.

In the book, Mohler presents 25 principles for leadership.  Each of the principles are battle-tested and grounded in Scripture for maximum impact.  A sampling of quotes is included below:

“I want to see a generation arise that is simultaneously leading with conviction and driven by the conviction to lead.  The generation that accomplishes this will se the world on fire.”

“Conviction is absolutely central to the faithful Christian life … The leadership that really matters is all about conviction.”

“Without conviction, nothing really matters, and nothing of significance is passed on.”

‘Convictional intelligence is the product of learning the Christian faith, diving deeply into biblical truth, and discovering how to think like a Christian.”

“Real leadership doesn’t happen until worldviews are changed and realigned.”

“Our ultimate conviction is that everything we do is dignified and magnified by the fact that we were created for the glory of God.”

“The Christian leader is, by definition, committed to living in truth.”

“The leader who makes the greatest impact will be a master teacher who trains leaders at every level in the organization to teach withf faithfulness, enthusiasm, and confidence.”

“Everything humans build will one day be reduced to ruins, but our lives and our leadership will, in Christ, have eternal consequences and impact.”

Dr. Mohler appears to summarize his thoughts on leadership in the closing chapter: “The leader’s central concern with regard to legacy is the perpetuation of conviction.”  It is conviction that drives the leader.  Effective leaders say what they mean and mean what they say.  The Conviction to Lead is the book that many have been waiting for from the pen of Al Mohler.  This is clear-headed wisdom that echoes the timeless realities of God’s Word and is sure to make a difference in the kingdom for the glory of God.  May God use these leadership principles to foster strong leaders in the days ahead.

Highly recommended

5 stars

I received this book free from Bethany House Publisher.   I was not required to write a positive review. 

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