Saturday, December 29, 2007

Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership

A blog by Tony Morgan

I went a little old school for my first vacation read. Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership by Gary McIntosh and Samuel Rima was written almost ten years ago, but it contains some timeless insights for leaders. The book takes a look at the "dark side" of both biblical and contemporary leaders--some who found great success and others who experienced significant failure. The book contains self-analysis tools to help you identify your dark side tendencies. Yes, we all have them. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

*"Every leader suffers from some degree of personal dysfunction varying from extremely mild to extremely acute."
*"In almost every case the factors that eventually undermine us are shadows of the ones that contribute to our success."
*"Because of the providence of God, some leaders do at times carry out their leadership responsibilities in spite of their dark side."
*"Our dark side can to a certain extent propel us to attempt and accomplish things we might not have otherwise attempted apart from its presence in our lives."
*"All human beings have their weaknesses, but not all of us realize them, come to grips with them, or offset their negative impact. As a group whose primary endeavor is interacting with other people, leaders must accomplish the paradoxical task of managing their darker sides." --Abraham Lincoln
*"Attributing all of our leadership failures and miscues to the devil or demonic influence lets us off the hook. When we do that, we transfer responsibility for our actions to a spiritual adversary we are evidently powerless to resist."
*"We have developed our own expectations and spiritual standards of measure not entirely supported by the Scripture we hold so high. Our legalism is well-intended; nevertheless it is also quite repressive and destructive for those who must live and lead under its weight."
*"Legalism is always a human attempt to legislate holiness and usurp the restraining, controlling work of the Holy Spirit in a believer's life. Requiring others to live by legalistic expectations says that we do not believe the Holy Spirit of God is able to get the job done."
*"We must always remember that our greatest source of worth as leaders should come from the knowledge that we are known by God and declared righteous in Christ."

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