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The Making of a Leader: Recognizing the Lessons and Stages of Leadership Development Paperback – September 1, 1988

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

LEADERSHIP. Where do leaders come from? What does it take to be a leader? When does leadership begin? The answers to these questions may surprise you. Leadership is not confined to position, title, or training, nor is it limited by experience. In fact, these things sometimes cloud the real issue of leadership. In The Making of a Leader, Dr. Robert Clinton identifies the patterns God uses to develop a leader. By studying the lives of hundreds of historical, biblical, and contemporary leaders, Dr. Clinton has determined the six stages of leadership development, and he establishes checkpoints to clarify where you are in the process. As you examine these principles and case studies, you’ll begin to recognize that the ministry of leadership flows from a person’s being. And that’s something God continues to mold throughout a lifetime. Designed for use as a resource, The Making of a Leader will prove invaluable for students, lay or professional leaders, counselors, or anyone in a leadership training position. It will help you: 1) Identify those with leadership characteristics 2) Direct the development of maturing leaders 3) Recognize where you are in the development process 4) Counsel those who are experiencing periods of trial or frustration And each chapter concludes with a “personal application” section to further help you become a better prepared leader. “The Making of a Leader will be a great encouragement to leaders (lay, professional or future) as they begin to see the direct hand of God in their development.”-Dr. Robert Clinton

About the Author

Dr. J. Robert (Bobby) Clinton is Professor of Leadership at the School of Intercultural Studies of Fuller Theological Seminary. He has coordinated the leadership concentration in the School of Intercultural Studies for more than 25 years. Bobby models and teaches the concepts of lifelong development and of the focused life, as well as the importance of mentoring to develop leaders. Before coming to Fuller, he and his wife, Marilyn, served as missionaries for Worldteam in Jamaica. His writings, besides the leadership commentary series, include numerous biblical examples of leadership development. His publications include: The Making of A Leader; Leadership Emergence Theory; Connecting—Mentoring Relationships; The Mentor Handbook; Focused Lives; Strategic Concepts— That Clarify a Focused Life; and Having a Ministry That Lasts—By Becoming a Bible Centered Leader. His major focus in writing and teaching now is to help leaders inform their leadership from the Bible.

Dr. Clinton has studied each of the books of the Bible from a leadership perspective. His book, The Bible and Leadership Values, contains that initial research on the Bible. From this study he has selected the top 25 books that contribute much to leadership thought. For each book of his Biblical Leadership Commentary Series, Dr. Clinton comments on the text from a leadership standpoint. He defines leadership concepts, which shed light on the leadership implications in the text. Further, Dr. Clinton writes short leadership articles, which further suggest the importance of Biblical insights for leadership. Fourteen leadership commentaries have been completed to date: Jonah, Nehemiah, Haggai, Obadiah, Daniel, John, 1,2 Corinthians, Philippians, Titus, 1,2 Timothy, 1, 2 Timothy.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress (September 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891091920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891091929
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #697,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Keith E. Webb VINE VOICE on May 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
For 10 years I've used The Making of A Leader in my work developing leaders. First, the book has been instrumental in my own personal and leadership development. Second, I use the content in workshops and classes all over the world. The principles hold up well in a variety of cultural contexts. And never before have these principles and practices been more relevant than today!

In The Making of Leader, Dr. J. Robert Clinton documents his research of hundreds of leaders. Clinton discovered a generalized time-line consisting of six phases that represent the general flow of a leader's life. Development phases represent major segments of a leader's development. The six phases are:

1. Sovereign Foundations
2. Inner-life Growth
3. Ministry Maturing
4. Life Maturing
5. Convergence
6. Afterglow

Identifying phases gives a leader capacity to track progress in their development, and clarify insights and lessons. Armed with these patterns a leader has the ability to actually identify and develop leadership, character, vision, values, and relational skills. This is what separates Dr. Clinton's book from the rest of the leadership genre; he actually provides the tools to develop a leader, not just talk about what one is or does.

Each chapter covers roughly one development phase. Inside each phase we learn that there are Process Items that are specific types of challenges leaders typically will face during each phase. By identifying Process Items, leaders are armed with the means to see beyond their immediate circumstances to what the underlaying developmental lesson might be. I've been using these Process Items for years in my own life and in coaching other leaders to grow. They are tremendously helpful!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J. Michael on July 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
I met Bobby Clinton during a difficult time of transition. Over a cup of coffee, after asking a few questions, he was able to perfectly describe what was going on in my life and outline a practical plan to make the experience most profitable. It was if he had been reading my mail for the past two years.
When I told him how amazed I was at his ability he outlined for me the research that gave birth to this book. He and his students at Fuller Theological Seminary had studied the lives of over 400 leaders. The patterns of emergence they discovered are the basis of this book.
The book is a must read for anyone who is interested in the topic of leadership and leadership development.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A.Trendl VINE VOICE on November 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
Five stars? Yup... because a study of this text may revolutionize your view of leadership and what it means to be led. It did for me.

This book focuses on Christian leadership, outlining the lives of known leaders and how God developed them to do what He needed them to do.

It provides an honest, challenging and humbling understanding the responsibilities of being a leader, and how to develop a sucessor. This is for serious students of God who do not depend on 'rah-rah' leadership, but deep, life-long goals. Similarly, this isn't a PK-style look at leadership, though it comes from an evangelical understanding of God. However, PK fans might see this as a bigger, next step in a long journey.

The focus is about serving Christ, about being lead by Him, and in turn, in obedience, leading others to serve Him.

I read it in the context of a Wheaton College masters-level missions course.

The writer is a professor at Fuller Theo. Sem.

Anthony Trendl
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Manuel Hernandez on January 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
I teach leadership and leadership development both in the States and internationally and I can tell there is no better book on the subject. There are other books available, and they all are easier reads than this one but this is or will be the classic on the subject.
The book goes much further than explaining leadership it shows how every incident in your life went to form and fashion who you are. Take your time with this book and definitely do the chart work and you will recieve the peace of not only knowing who you are but that your past was all valuable and your future can be better understood.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
Dr. Clinton applies an analytical, engineering mind to historical and spiritual truths. He puts struggles, trials as well as victories and advancements into a very organized perspective. This is not light reading, as he forewarns people at the beginning. The terminology alone warrants the keeping of a finger in the glossary at all times. If you are a leader or know and support one, the book will be solid encouragement and a source of peace during all that you go through on the way to glory. It both challenges and heals. God's hand and purpose are seen at each juncture and circumstance. I'm buying other copies to give to other leader friends because of its wisdom and long-term effect. A wonderful reference by a very thoughtful and blessed person.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
Possibly one of the most significant shifts in the culture of church ministry over the past 10 years has been the emphasis on leadership and its development, both in our own lives and in the lives of those we have been called to lead. The downside is that most of us have a lot of knowledge about leadership skills and practices but no "big picture" understanding of how to "get there."

In 1988, Dr. J. Robert Clinton, who was at the time an assistant prof. of leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary, wrote what some consider to be the definitive work on leadership development. In "The Making of a Leader," Dr. Clinton developed a profoundly insightful text that will help any leader learn to recognize the lessons and stages of leadership development. Beware: This is not a book of "how-to's" that assumes anyone who works hard enough can make herself a great leader. This is a book that attempts to answer a single question: How does God develop His leaders over a lifetime? The result is an eye-opening look at the sovereignty of God as He molds and shapes those whom He has placed on the road to a lifetime of leadership.

I highly recommended this book for leaders or potential leaders who:

---[ Are wondering what God is doing

---[ Are beginning to seek their place in ministry

---[ Need a fresh challenge from God

---[ Need to understand how to select and develop young leaders

---[ Want to know how God develops leaders

Personally, I rate this as one of the most significant and life-forming books I've ever much so that I try to re-read it every year or two.
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