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Mistakes Leaders Make (Re:Lit) Paperback – September 30, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Re:Lit
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; 1 edition (September 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433532492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433532498
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“As I speak and consult with all types of leaders around the world, I personally encounter these mistakes time and time again. The lessons in Mistakes Leaders Make are timeless, and this book should be required reading for every ministry leader. Keep it on your desk and read it at least once a year.”
Patrick Lencioni, President, The Table Group; best-selling author, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and The Advantage

“Far too often among those with strong theological conviction the idea of ‘leadership’ is filed under the banner of pragmatism and discarded instead of studied. I am grateful for men like Dave Kraft who hold strong biblical beliefs and still are deeply tapped into the leadership principles that are both biblical and essential for those who have been called to lead and shepherd the people of God as undershepherds. You can make these mistakes yourself or you can learn from those who have made the mistakes and avoid spilling your own blood.”
Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network

“Some of our most teachable moments come when we have made a mistake. When we blow it, we are hopefully most vulnerable, most exposed, most humbled, and most teachable. Coach Dave Kraft has devoted his life to helping ministry leaders fully live out their calling and to finish well. Learn from his insights and experiences as you dive into this gem, Mistakes Leaders Make. It could provide you with some of the great learning without having to suffer the pain.”
Daniel Harkavy, CEO, Building Champions; Founder, Ministry Coaching International; author, Becoming a Coaching Leader

“In Mistakes Leaders Make, Dave Kraft tackles the difficult problem at the center of many leadership tangles: the unsettling fact that many leaders don’t want to admit that they make mistakes, or at least not serious ones. This book addresses some basic mistakes on a basic level. A lot of leadership teams would profit by reading this together.”
Douglas Wilson, Senior Fellow of Theology, New St. Andrews College; Pastor, Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho

“‘Leaders are born, not made’ . . . not necessarily. Individuals are placed in leadership and, unfortunately, often learn from their mistakes on-the-job. Some would say that experience is knowing you’re making the same mistakes again! Allow me to encourage you to read this book so you don’t have to learn every lesson the hard way.”
Les Steckel, Veteran NFL Coach; Colonel USMCR (Ret.); President, Fellowship of Christian Athletes

“Dave Kraft’s heart and passion definitely come out in this book! It’s not just a read for your mind, but also your heart. Mistakes Leaders Make is not just for American leaders, but for leaders all over the world. It doesn’t matter if you are a leader in New York or a leader in a village in a Third World country; the principles that have been written here span all times and cultures. I strongly recommend that this book should be translated into as many languages as possible so that many global leaders can benefit. All leaders either commit these mistakes or are tempted to. As they say, ‘Prevention is better than a cure.’ By reading this book, young leaders can be prepared to face these challenges and prevent themselves from falling into these same mistakes. If you lead, no matter how or where, this book is a must read!”
Ajai Livingstone Lall, Founder and CEO; Central India Christian Mission; Damoh, India

“Dave Kraft has given leaders a wonderful checklist of key pitfalls that can sneak up on you and destroy your leadership. Go through each area carefully and evaluate which mistake could be a stumbling block for you. Then follow the actions steps that can help you walk forward in the leadership that God has called you to. This is a valuable tool for leaders in churches and ministries.”
Dennis Blevins, United States Director, Church Discipleship Ministry (A Ministry of The Navigators), Professional Coach

About the Author

Dave Kraft served with the Navigators for thirty-eight years. Currently Kraft runs his own coaching practice. He is the author of two books, Leaders Who Last and Mistakes Leaders Make. He and his wife, Susan, have been married for over four decades and have four adult children and seven grandchildren. Learn more about Dave at DaveKraft.org.

More About the Author

Dave is originally from the LA area. He is definitely a Southern California boy. Dave has been married to Susan for 45 years. They have four adult children and seven grand children.

He served with The Navigators for 38 years leaving that organization in the fall of 2005. In those years with The Navigators, Dave had assignments in Southern and Northern California, Sweden, Colorado and Washington State.

Dave is a professional Life/Leadership Coach with Building Champions and has the joy of coaching pastors around the world in developing a Life Plan to stay strong and healthy in their personal and family life. Building upon this, Dave helps each pastor think through their specific vision for their ministry and their game plan for building a team to help them carry it out.

Visit davekraft.org to have Dave come and speak on Leadership

When not recruiting training and placing leaders, which he truly loves, Dave likes to read, jog, listen to music and watch movies.

Customer Reviews

The book is short and easy to read.
Literary Wonders!
You could say most of it is not necessarily revolutionary, yet leaders do make these mistakes time and again.
Psychic Cypher
Kraft explores 10 different mistakes in this book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. Stephans VINE VOICE on April 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Dave Kraft formats this book on leadership to look at some of the mistakes leaders in churches make. Approaching the topic of leadership by highlighting mistakes leaders make provides a new angle on leadership that is helpful. They include "Allowing Ministry to Replace Jesus," Comparing to Others, Pride, People Pleasing, Busyness, Financial Frugality v. Steps of Faith, Avoiding Conflict, Focusing on the Hurting instead of the Hungry People, Teaching rather than Transforming, and Being Controlling. All of these are helpful for leaders to consider and to use to evaluate themselves.

Kraft intertwines his teachings with a hypothetical mega-church model from which he draws out fictional characters with leadership issues. For example, there is Norm, the CEO driver and leader of CCC church who is all business and becomes caught up in ministry success to the detriment of relationships with Jesus and others. There is the youth leader Bryan who has amazing success in numbers and popularity along with huge pride. Kraft provides counsel in light of these types of leadership dilemmas.

I found some helpful insights about leadership here, especially the danger of pride and allowing ministry focus to overshadow focus on Jesus and hearing from God. Conversely, I also found the usual problems when applying corporate types of leadership models to pastoring the Body of Christ. Although authors like Kraft decry applying the success-by-numbers model to church leadership, they continually use that as a measure of success. In his hypothetical church and as he discusses success, Kraft uses numbers as the measuring rod. The hypothetical pastor Norm is esteemed and lauded because of numbers and invited to an exclusive retreat because he is a pastor of a large church of over 1,000 people.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jonas on October 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
In "Mistakes Leaders Make", Kraft expounds on his many years of both ministry and leadership experience to arrive at the ten most common mistakes made by leaders in ministry settings. Kraft devotes an entire chapter to each of the following mistakes:

Allowing ministry to replace Jesus
Allowing comparing to replace contentment
Allowing pride to replace humility
Allowing pleasing people to replace pleasing God
Allowing busyness to replace visioning
Allowing financial frugality to replace fearless faith
Allowing artificial harmony to replace difficult conflict
Allowing perennially hurting people to replace potential hungry leaders
Allowing information to replace transformation
Allowing control to replace trust

What sets "Mistakes Leaders Make" apart from the many other leadership books I've read is the format and style that Kraft uses to communicate with the reader. Rather than simply identifying a mistake and then explaining to the reader how to avoid or fix it, Kraft instead uses several characters placed in a fictional ministerial environment to make the content of his book come to life. As the reader progresses through the book, the characters and the setting become very relatable, thereby making the mistakes that Kraft expounds upon much more personal. While the book could stand in as a textbook for ministry and leadership courses, it reads more like a short story with straightforward principles and applications tacked onto the end of each chapter.

The book was challenging and convicting, but also very encouraging. As a young leader new to both ministry and leadership, I have no doubt that I'll be referring back to "Mistakes Leaders Make" many times in the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dirk on October 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
For the overt lessons this book intends to convey, it is the worst leadership book I've ever read, and I've read dozens. One great flaw is that the allegorical situations presented depict the subject in an essential vacuum where he/she is somehow expected to inherently understand what senior leaders expect. The other monumental failure is that "leadership failures" by junior leaders are clearly depicted but the fact that they were "set up" for failure receives not even a remark. This is the great failure of the book. The implication is that, as long as you pick the "real" leaders to begin with, all you have to do is point them in they right direction and they will simply take wing, with harmony organizational efficiency following in their wake. I'll illustrate with the story of Bryan, the worship leader.

The young man, energetic, musically talented, faithful to the church was made the worship leader. Right away, though, he had problems because he didn't deal well with conflict - especially with strong-headed members of the worship team who were regularly confrontational. The book's conclusion is that Jim, the Executive Pastor, might have been a bit hasty in his selection of Bryan as worship leader because of his inability to deal with conflict. "...in the back of Jim's mind, he was concerned about whether Bryan had the moxie to strongly lead the team well and get tough when toughness was called for," and that Bryan unfortunately proved that to be true. Bryan's desire to avoid conflict is touted as his great leadership failure.

Hold the phone, folks.
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