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The Character of Leadership: Nine Qualities that Define Great Leaders Paperback – June 1, 2007
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"An enormous contribution to the critical area of ministry and leadership. A must read for every ministry that strives for excellence. I recommend it without reservation." -- James T. Draper, Jr., president emeritus, LifeWay Christian Resources
"Iorg is imminently qualified to write this volume on leadership . . . the chapters on integrity and purity are very much needed in our times and worth the investment of your time." -- J. Robert White, executive director, Georgia Baptist Convention
"Jeff Iorg defines lasting leadership as character, not capacity or competency. The making of a great leader is built on what God intends you to be rather than doing the leading God intends for you to do. His purpose is first and foremost to shape you into the image of Jesus, the greatest leader of all time." -- Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life
About the Author
Jeff Iorg, president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, is also the author of The Character of Leadership and Is God Calling Me? He holds degrees from Hardin Simmons University and Midwestern and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminaries and has answered God's call to be a church planter, pastor, and denominational executive. Jeff and his wife, Ann, live in Mill Valley, California.
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So begins Iorg's very transparent first chapter. As pastor, denominational leader and now seminary president, Iorg understands the trenches. He also understands the God of the trenches. He confesses to the sin of "coasting."
"For me, my pastorate had become like swimming laps. I was stroking along, doing well, staying in shape, keeping things moving, and making steady progress." But then: "answering God's call to this new position was like being tossed overboard into the ocean. No more gliding along! Once again, I would be swimming for my spiritual life."
What's so unique about this book on character qualities? "God wants you to work hard and to study how to improve your skills so you work more effectively. Other books, other very important books, will help you do that. Most schools, seminaries and seminars focus on these skills. Many of them are helpful. But this book is not about how to do leadership. It is about how to be a leader."
So...after setting the spiritual foundation in chapter one (worth-the-price-of-the-book), he zeroes in on his Top-9 list of character qualities that define great leaders. It's the perfect book for a silent day-of-prayer retreat or a 10-week group study with emerging leaders and managers. I love the fact that his nine character qualities are preceded by verbs. It's all about being--and involves action. Here's the list: Maintaining Integrity, Finding Security, Maintaining Purity, Learning Humility, Developing Servanthood. Gaining Wisdom, Practicing Discipline, Showing Courage and Sustaining Passion.
"Showing Courage" is one of the author's Top-9 character qualities that define great leaders. He says that "showing courage begins with confronting immobilizing fear." Iorg reminds us that the Bible lists more than 600 references related to fear. All of the Bible's "spiritual hall of fame" leaders had something in common: they were afraid of something. What do you fear?
Because humility is one of the nine, the author (not surprisingly) does not suggest that his Top-9 list is the final word on character. What leadership character qualities would make your Top-9 list?
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