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Leading with a Limp: Take Full Advantage of Your Most Powerful Weakness Paperback – January 15, 2008

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Leading with a Limp: Take Full Advantage of Your Most Powerful Weakness + To Be Told: God Invites You to Coauthor  Your Future + The Healing Path: How the Hurts in Your Past Can Lead You to a More Abundant Life
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (January 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578569524
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578569526
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Leading with a Limp

“There are good books on leadership, but this one is profound. It is better than a ‘how to do it’ book; this is a ‘how to be it’ book for leaders. Dan Allender offers serious wisdom rather than simple platitudes.”
–Mark Sanborn, speaker, leadership consultant, and best-selling author of The Fred Factor

“Not only is Dan Allender a good friend, he is a great leader. In Leading with a Limp, he has shown us how we can effectively lead those allotted to our charge. Read this book...it will bring a lot of things into perspective for you.”
–Dennis Rainey, president of FamilyLife and coauthor of Moments Together for Couples

“After reading this book, the first two words out of my mouth were ‘At last!’ Amid a deluge of spiritual gifts inventories, at last there is someone who understands how God’s strength is made perfect in our imperfections. At last someone has brought spiritual strengths and spiritual weaknesses into conversation. For Dan Allender, the limp is a limpid way of walking that leads into the very presence of God.”
–Leonard Sweet, author of The Three Hardest Words and Out of the Question…Into the Mystery

Leading with a Limp is not your basic, cafeteria-brand manual on how to ‘do’ leadership. It is a call to openly face your shortcomings as a leader. Dan Allender reminds us that our greatest asset as leaders is not our competence but the courage to name and deal with our frailties and imperfections.”
–Dr. Crawford W. Loritts, Jr., author, speaker, and senior pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia

“Once again Dan Allender has propelled us headlong into the paradoxical wonders of the gospel of God’s grace. Leading with a Limp exposes the thin veneer of respectability we leaders try to stretch over our destructive idols of control and pragmatism. In so doing, Allender invites us to the freeing humility of leading as “the chief sinner” in whatever context God has placed us.”
–Scotty Smith, founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee, and coauthor of Restoring Broken Things

“I often wonder if other people feel the way I do when they read books on leadership. Most of the books are heavy on motivation or strategy or positive thinking. Dan Allender looks at how anyone can move his team–and himself–forward when he is pummeled by circumstances and his heart is fainting. This is real-world stuff, but you’ll have to take off the rose-colored glasses to read it.”
–Bob Lepine, cohost of FamilyLife Today

Leading with a Limp will have a lasting impact on me; it addressed several issues I’m struggling with at this point in my life and leadership. I thank God for this honest and insightful book!”
–Brian McLaren, pastor, author of The Secret Message of Jesus and A New Kind of Christian

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Dan B. Allender, PhD, is a founder of Mars Hill Graduate School near Seattle, where he serves as president. He also is a professor of counseling, a therapist in private practice, and a popular speaker. He is the author of a number of books, including To Be Told, How Children Raise Parents, The Healing Path, and The Wounded Heart. Dan and his wife, Rebecca, are the parents of three children.

Customer Reviews

This is a very intense book, but very helpful.
Frank Pardue
Allender's frank and honest accounts of the experiences and situations leaders encounter are powerful stories that for some may be potentially overwhelming.
Rhys McFadden
This is the best leadership book I've ever read - bar none!
Paul Coneff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Rhys McFadden on May 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
Brief Summary

Allender's purpose in writing Leading with a Limp is to awaken leaders to the simple hard truth...you're in for the battle of your life . His goal is to encourage emerging and established leaders to grow a sense of inner confidence that will enable them to overcome the difficulties and challenges of leadership. His central thesis is that as leaders expose weakness and failure, a common experience for all at one point or another, this actually becomes a wellspring of strength to lead from.

The core assumption upon which everything else in this book is built: to the degree you face and name and deal with your failures as a leader, to that same extent you will create an environment conducive to growing and retaining productive and committed colleagues

A pericope discussing God's requirements in relation to a leader's character, approach and attitude to power, pride and ambition follows to frame up a discussion regarding the need for leaders to develop a humble, self effacing, transparent and authentic reluctant leadership as an exposure of their weakness and a revelation of God's goodness .
Major Features

According to Allender, learning to lead with a limp is the consequence of appropriate, open and effectual disclosures made in the midst of six challenging realities: crisis, complexity, betrayal, loneliness, weariness and glory .

He develops a model by overlaying two lists, one the antithesis of the other, over six challenge realities in an attempt to describe a three dimensional matrix that equates to the multifaceted web of relationships and responses a leader has to negotiate . These positive effectual or negative ineffectual responses equate to possible response to each of the realities.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By FaithfulReader.com on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you're a leader, you are in for the battle of your life, says Mars Hill Graduate School founder Dan Allender in LEADING WITH A LIMP. The author of numerous books, including THE INTIMATE MYSTERY and TO BE TOLD, Allender warns that leadership is costly and likely will never bring you riches, fame or praise. Rather, Allender likens leadership to a "long march through a dark valley." Is it worth the cost? The costs of leadership include crisis, complexity, betrayal, loneliness, weariness, and interestingly enough, glory --- not particularly what most of us associate with leadership. That's not all. A good leader, Allender writes, will in time disappoint everyone.

So why would anyone aspire to leadership? Allender looks at what a leader is (anyone with someone following him or her). The fact is, God calls all of us to lead, he says, no matter how humble the context. And it is in extremity or your failures that you meet not only yourself but, more importantly, the God who has written your life.

Allender builds the core assumption of his book on this: "to the degree you face and name and deal with your failures as a leader, to that same extent you will create an environment conducive to growing and retaining productive and committed colleagues." Acknowledging your screw-ups transforms your own character and earns you more respect and power, he writes. And these shortcomings must be more than just acknowledged; they must also be dismantled in front of those you lead.

But, Allender warns, most leaders are afraid to name their failures; they have too much pride to admit their faults, and they may be addicted to various substances or behaviors.

The best leaders, he says, are not necessarily those who seek leadership.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Kellemen on May 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As always, Allender is provocative. Rarely do you find a writer with the boldness to write with such counter-cultural truthfulness, especially in Evangelical Christian circles where "vanilla" is the publishing flavor of choice.

Everyone knows that the character of the leader is central to leadership. However, everyone else seems to highlight the leader's strengths. It's like the job interview candidate's reply when asked, "What are your weaknesses?" Inevitably the candidate shares some "minor flaw" which is then spun into a "real strength." Allender will not stand for such banality.

Instead, he speaks of deep wounds, lifelong limps, and inner weaknesses. Like Jacob after his encounter with God, the leadership limp never dissipates. Rather, it becomes a sign, to the leader and the follower. A sign of God-dependence. Of God-sufficiency.

Another strength of "Leading with a Limp" is Allender's avoidance of yet another tendency in Christian mythology: a hyper-extreme focus on naval gazing negativity. Yes, Allender limps down the path of leadership. However, he also recognizes the resurrection power of Christ. He leaves readers/leaders with hope. Hope that they can cultivate the healing power of Christ. For what purpose? To lead for God's glory and the good of the organization--not to be recognized as the "resilient leader" as if Christian leadership is about self.

"Leading with a Limp" is not your father's (or your mother's) leadership manual. It boldly goes where no leadership book has gone before--inside the limp.

Read it to be humbled and to regain hope.

Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction," "Soul Physicians," "Spiritual Friends," and the forthcoming "Sacred Friendships: Listening to the Voices of Women Soul Care-Givers and Spiritual Directors."
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More About the Author

Dr. Dan B. Allender has pioneered a unique and innovative approach to trauma and abuse therapy over the past 25 years. Central to Dr. Allender's approach are the categories of Faith, Hope and Love and their converse betrayal, ambivalence, and powerlessness. Through engaging these categories and in learning to identify them in one's personal story, healing and transformation can occur by bridging the story of the gospel and the stories of trauma and abuse that mark so many.

Having received his Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary, Dr. Allender went on to earn his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University. Dan taught in the Biblical Counseling Department of Grace Theological Seminary for seven years (1983-1989). From 1989-1997, Dan worked as professor in the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling program at Colorado Christian University, Denver, Colorado. In 1997, Dan with a cadre of others founded The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology in order to train therapists and pastors to more effectively serve in the context of the 21st century. Dan served as President of The Seattle School from 2002-2009.

Dan continues to serves as Professor of Counseling Psychology at The Seattle School. He travels and speaks extensively to present his unique perspective on sexual abuse recovery, love & forgiveness, worship, and other related topics. Dan is the author of The Wounded Heart and The Healing Path and has co-authored several books with Dr. Tremper Longman (Intimate Allies, The Cry of the Soul, Bold Love and Bold Purpose).