Leadership is a genre I tend to stay away from. Typically, I would expect leadership books to be shallow, self-centered, and a waste of time. Even more so in the genre of leadership books that are written by Christians, as most leadership has a secular business model in mind, rather than leadership within the Church or a Christian organization. So, what do you do when a man you highly respect writes a book on leadership, gives you a free copy and autographs it? You read it, learn from it, and review it, of course. With that, my review of The Conviction to Lead by Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr.
Dr. Mohler set out to make his leadership book different from others in the genre, not only to be different, but to change the way we view leadership. He wants to change things, so we view leadership as “leading with belief and conviction.”
This book is written with the concern that far too much of what passes for leadership today is mere management. Without convictions you might be able to manage, but you cannot really lead.
He focuses mostly on convictions, where they come from, what they must be, and where they lead us. Without convictions, leadership is merely management. From there, Mohler talks about the characteristics one must develop if they want to lead well. Some of those characteristics being keeping up with the happenings in the world and communicating to the world. He includes some practical tips as on how to do this, how to read, what to read, etc. along with deeper aspects, such as developing character, and how to speak with passion and conviction. The book ends talking about time, patience, endurance, death, and legacy. Without patience, one won’t endure, and their convictions will die with them, rather than leaving a legacy that shapes the organization for years to come.
Despite not being a genre I have much interest in, I enjoyed the book. It is broken into 25 small chapters, each one covering a particular topic. The format makes for a quick read, and should make it easy to go back and reread portions as a reminder to reinforce what one has learned.
Another aspect I enjoyed was when Dr. Mohler shared stories of how he learned to lead, and his leadership experiences at Southern Seminary.
From what I’ve seen, many leadership books are from questionable pastors who’s beliefs are soft, often times it is questionable if these self proclaimed leaders are even believers. Although knowledgeable about business leadership, they don’t seem to live a life that reflects the teachings of our Lord and Savior, much less lead those around them in a biblical manner.
It is one thing to write a book about leadership, it is another to be a successful Christian leader who is shaping our world today, and then document how he got there and how he leads. Dr. Mohler, is a credible source, known for his convictions, and with the experience that comes from leading one of the biggest and most influential seminaries in the nation. With this reputation, his book which documents how he leads, and why it works, is a must read.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to pastor a church or to run a Christian or other charitable organization. I’m not in any of those categories, but I did enjoy the book, and I feel I did learn from it. I’m also grateful to Southern Seminary and Dr. Mohler for giving me the book, autographing it, and more importantly, for their work in spreading the Gospel and doing so in a clear manner, out of their deep-rooted conviction and love.
I was given the book in a drawing at the potential student lunch at Southern Seminary (SBTS), it was not given to me in exchange for me reviewing it, or for giving a positive review.