BookReview: Making of a Leader (Second Edition)

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Reviewing The Making of a Leader Second Edition Recognizing theLessons and Stages of Leadership Development by Robert Clinton was achallenging book to read. The opening foreword addressed the need forleadership on every level, may it be politics, business, or thechurch. As he launches this study he carefully planted scriptureprior to the opening of the introduction to the 9thchapter which set the tone for reading. Also his academic narrativeis reflected throughout this book leaving a thread of understandabout leadership emergence theory that forces us to look at a lifetime preparation.

In this book,Clinton clearly defined a clear purpose of each chapter grippingpeople with the understanding that the need of leadership isperceived to have left a vacuum for much organization. It isindicated within the text that the first two chapters has the bigpicture of leadership emergence. Chapter one places a five Phaseform conception of leadership from its beginning to the maturation.These phases I-V is built of an emerging timeline of a progressiveprocesses that is supported by the word of God (Roman 8:28-29, ESV). Chapter two continue to funnel these processes piece by piece inemerging leadership which give a bird’s eye view of terms whichpatterns, processes, and principles are foundational to understandingthe analysis of a person’s life.1The purpose of chapter three is to test the emerging leaderscharacter by three indicators which leaders or being developed byintegrity checks, obedience checks, word check and there’s anoption of the four items which is the inner-life phase. All of theseaspects are based on God timeline of truth which is the bridge thatovercome each process. Chapter 4 and 5 holes Phase III priority ofdevelopment of a leader is their character for maturing in ministryand the entry of their integrity which is the true measure of theinner life. It also reveals the skills and spiritual gifts to enhancethe leader’s effectiveness called training.2Furthermore, their inner life encounter four problems that stems fromrelational learning and discernment they are: authority, learningstage, plateau barriers and ministry philosophy problems.

Guidance is a mustfor leadership and the process in chapter six leader’s obligationto develop allowing God to heighten their inner life discernment fora lifetime. This is done by six processes: divine contacts, mentors,double confirmation, negative preparation, flesh act, divineaffirmation. The inner life phase is deepening by the maturing phasewhere leader’s development in chapter seven is face with skillsbeing developed through three phases: integrity checks, obediencechecks, and word checks. This maturing is fashion by clusters ofprocesses of isolation, conflict, and crises. It is noted that growthmay need a reason why it is growing which points to the phase of lifematuring as chapter eight points out clear philosophy of ministry forall leaders in ministry. The author clearly points out “all leadersoperate form a ministry philosophy.3”Ministry philosophy that evolves continually benefit from threefactors: biblical dynamics, personal gifts, and situation dynamics.Finally, Clinton openly express that the process of looking at thecondition of the ministry of leader in chapter 9 when finishing wellis very important knowing God is cultivating leaders and interveningin their live for his purpose. Leadership evolves and emerges over alifetime.4


The book has revealed memories of the journey I have made in terms ofthe leadership transformation over the years. More importantly, Ibelieve that God has changed my heart and facilitated my maturitybefore I started serving His ministry. In fact, Clinton asserted that“the major thrust of God’s development is inward. The realtraining program is in the heart of the person, where God is doingsome growth testing”5.It was enlightening experience where I had to prioritize my skillsand interests so as to excel in most of the responsibilitiesassociated with the leadership role. I had to seek insights from theprayers and intensive reading of the scriptures that guided methrough the experience too. At that time, I prayed for the passionand guidance that will help me in serving the ministry and ensuringthat my behaviors aligned with the Biblical teachings. Even Clintoninsisted that, “A leader is a person with God-given capacity andwith God-given responsibility who influences a group of followerstoward God’s purposes for the group.6”More importantly, to acquire the passion that will be the guidance infinding the required insight to excel as a spiritual leader. Iremember that at the beginning, things were not that easy and thescriptures especially, “In his heart a man plans his course, butthe Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9, ESV). Such versesfrom the scripture provided the required guidance in the role of theleader instead. I remember asking myself if I was ready to serve theministry, but, after praying I knew that I was ready for the ministryand everything was possible through the prayers and Biblicalinsights. The spirit was instrumental in strengthening my vigor andpassion to serve God as well.


The high level of spirituality that the book presents is effective inoffering enough guidance to a leader and not only the religiousleaders but also other leaders that are serving some of the majorcorporations. However, the book looks at the insights and thespecific phases of leadership that might be applicable in atheoretical capacity. The book is not practical enough and does notsuggest any actions that the reader might undertake to ensure that heor she develops. Instead, it only outlines the specificcharacteristics associated with the leadership development phases,but, it has not revealed anykind of practical aspects that will make moved from ahead. Moreimportantly, the book helps the leaders in understanding theircurrent position and even some of the characteristics that reveal howthey should undertake their roles. The lack of the specific actionsto undertake in moving to another leadership phase creates a gap inthe knowledge. Often, the ministry has been filled with fake leadersthat claim how they have been called by God to serve the people, yetthat is not true. Perhaps, an illustration of what entails the callto serve the ministry would have been a better start. A leadershipwithout the call might end up being challenging the leader might facemultiple problems just because he did not receive the call to servethe people of God.


The first action I have decided to take in changing my leadershiprole includes the need to heed my heart in serving God. In fact, thetranslation of “heart” in the Bible captures the ambitions, hope,interests, dreams, and desire that one has to succeed. Hence, myheart represents all kind of motivation that I might be seeking andensuring that I achieve all that within the required time. Even thescriptures keeps reminding us to “serve the Lord with all yourheart” (Romans 12:11, ESV) since he gave us life and serving willbe a great way of showing how grateful we are. The specific actionswill ensure that I achieve that and guide the ministry towardssuccess. I will even understand each of my interest that are singingand teaching and set aside three days in a week to help the youth inthese fields. More importantly, I will set aside a group of youth andengage them in life teachings and challenges they should expect inlife. Apart from that, I will even reveal the specific Bible versesthat can guide them through the challenges they might encounter. Inthis case, the goal to serve God with my heart will be achieved sinceI will use my interests to sensitize the youth on how to stay in Godeven with all the challenges that are evident.

The second action will entail the identification the leaders thathave the passion and those that are mature enough to lead people.Evidently, finding a leader with the same passion as mine will beeffective in reaching my goals and objectives. In this case, theleaders help in providing insights on the appropriate way one mightachieve success as a leader. I will find one of the leaders andengage him in insightful discussions twice in a week because of hisbusy schedule. From the scenario, I will have the chance to ask someof the important decisions he has ever made that touch on leadershipand the guidance he sought from the Bible. In fact, the insights willbe effective in moving forward from the current leadership phase.Besides that, it will provide the chance to have a map guide to findthe perfect direction in solving some of the issues that I might haveas a leader. The elder leaders have the experience and passion thatwill guide others in achieving the goals I have set as a leader.


Clinton, Robert. Themaking of a Leader, Second Edition recognizing the Lessons and Stagesof Leadership Development. ExecutiveCarol Stream: TyndaleHouse Publishers, Inc. 2014. p. 27-185.

1Clinton, Robert.The making of a leader, second edition recognizing the lessons and stages of leadership development. Executive Dr, Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2014 p. 35

2Ibid., p.87

3Ibid., p.157

4Ibid., p.185

5 Ibid., p.27

6 Ibid., p.110