Missional Leadership: Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership responses

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Missional Leadership: Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership responses

Post by Admin on Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:51 pm

In at least 250 words, summarize your understanding of the reading and a few points you are ready to apply.

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Overcoming Dark Side

Post by Brittony on Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:05 pm

In Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership, I appreciated that the authors paralleled the different types of leaders with Biblical characters we know and many we love. It allowed me to be connected and empathize with these characters more than, I think, ever before.

For example, in chapter 8, the authors describe the life of Moses from a more intimate perspective. Not only did I relate to Moses, but in my mind, I thought, of how often have I done similar things that Moses had done, and potentially express myself, out of ‘repressed anger' (pg. 107) or otherwise alike. When I think of Moses, I think of the classic stories I was told in Sunday School, the baby in a basket, the murder of an Egyptian and running to the desert; I think of the great things God had done through Moses, parting the Red Sea, giving the Israelites the Law, and speaking to God on the Mountain. I have never taken a close personal approach to get to know these people. Even though I felt more personally connected to Moses, the other chapters about different kinds of leaders were helpful in the sense that these people aren’t just “Bible Characters.” They were real people who lived and breathed and had real challenges, thoughts, and feelings of inferiority just like humans do today. In short, for me the Bible feels more alive and relatable than before after reading this book.

Also, the “Applying Insights” portions of section two were helpful and a great tool to gage which leader I tend to be. As I looked back on my life to see where and why my “dark side” had flourished. I agree with the authors when they said, “…simply understanding the dark side does not remove the scars, or the pain" (pg. 104). I think this is very true and therefore easy to become the victim rather than approaching the dark side in a healthy manner. However, the authors clearly don’t want their readers to be the victim either. In section three, the practical steps to “overcome the dark side” are indeed very helpful and allow the reader to take an honest look at their life. But chapters 18 and 19 provide valuable strategies to not allow one to stay in self-examination mode. The authors want their readers to experience freedom: reading scripture (pg. 201), journaling (pg. 202), and coming to terms that one’s identity is in Christ (pgs. 213-217). For Christ to completely take over and fill up the areas in my life, I had to go through, and some I still do, similar steps not to stay or go back to being stuck in my destructive dark side. While reading the end chapters I became more and more excited in the reality that Jesus wants me, and us, to flourish in Him! Therefore, allowing “dark side” tendencies to dwindle under the compassion of Jesus Christ.

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Re: Missional Leadership: Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership responses

Post by Matt Ostermeyer on Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:13 am

Reading through “Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership” has been a very cool experience for me. To me, the reading talked about a lot of the issues that I have been struggling through over the past two years of my life. For a long time I felt myself slipping into depression and anxiety because of insecurity and misunderstanding about my identity in this world. This journey through depression and anxiety led me to seek after many possible solutions that I thought would make everything ok. I began to retreat into my work as a core group leader and evangelist. I replaced meaningful relationships, rest, and eating meals with more and more work. When I failed to get the affirmation I was craving from my results I would continue to work harder and harder. This continued to happen until I broke and became an emotional mess. Getting to this place in my life led my friends to see the issues in my life and correct them, and help guide me back to the truth.
Reading this book has affirmed the truth of what they told me and re-emphasized the importance of this as I go forward in leadership both for myself and for those I am leading. I was thankful for the portion of this book entitled spiritual composting that got to the bottom of what it looks like to conquer the weaknesses in our lives that can either make or break us. Humility, is the greatest characteristic that we can have when approaching these issues in our lives. This only works if we will humble ourselves and lay bare our hearts not just for ourselves, but to God and even for others that we might receive their council. Admitting that we are weak, admits our need for Jesus. No matter how large of a leader we are in people’s eyes we must always understand that in truth we are always in need of Jesus. When we can get to a place of joyfully accepting that we have flaws and that Jesus has come to rid us of our sins through his grace and the process of sanctification than we will experience huge breakthroughs!

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Dark Side

Post by Spencer Kelly on Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:56 pm

This book was great. I have zero experience in any sort of psychology or introspective "feelings" thinking. So, this book was really good for me to go through. It begins with an exposition of several case-studies involving big-name religious and social leaders and the tale of their fall from grace. The first section highlights why it is important to recognize these aspects of ourselves. The second part specifically addresses five dark sides that leaders can have; compulsive, narcissistic, paranoid, co-dependent, and passive-aggressive. It couples the explanation with a Biblical person as a "for instance." I thought that was really cool, to see the people in the Bible as products of their environment, not just random characters in a story. The self-examination tests at the end of each chapter were helpful to identify my specific areas of struggle. The last section dealt with the remedying of those dark sides. This is where things got hard. One chapter had us reflect on childhood experiences to identify stand out moments that shaped us into the messed up person we are today. This was difficult but very helpful to actually think through these heavy things.

I really appreciated this book and it was a necessary exercise (that is no where close to over) that will help me to grow in my ministry, marriage, and person. I like it's emphasis on the practical steps to take, such as prayer, retreats, Scripture reading, journaling, etc. I plan on becoming more disciplined in these things. I want to add a daily examine prayer/journaling time to my routine.

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Re: Missional Leadership: Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership responses

Post by Dane Miles on Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:05 pm

I greatly enjoyed the how the authors extrapolated Maslow’s hierarchy of needs influences are dark side. As I read the book, I often reflected on the experiences of my childhood/upbringing and how they might influence me today as a campus missionary.

I often found it difficult to figure out which of the five dark personality traits most afflicted me. That said, I resonated most with the compulsive characteristics, not for the element of control, but for the workaholism. The questions of not being able to mentally distance yourself from your work, as well as feeling guilty for giving yourself rest have been tendencies of mine since childhood. I believe this is due to an improper view that my worth to my father was tied up in my ability to accomplish tasks, rather than in my character as a son. This common experience for many young kids led to unique challenges in accepting the unconditional saving grace of Jesus, and that nothing I did could deserve or discredit the offer of salvation.

Chapter nineteen (discovering our identity in Christ) reminded me much of what was read in Gospel Fluency. As we go from fruit to root and discover the darker tendencies of the personalities which God has given us, it is crucial that we preach the Gospel into the areas of our lives where we are less than Christ-like. In fact, it is the Gospel which redeems our dark sides for the cause of Christ, that we might be ever-increasing in His image.

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Response to Dark Side

Post by Kenji on Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:27 pm

I think my biggest realization was how blessed I am to be part of a ministry that values discipleship deeply. I think the book talks about a lot of examples were people didn't "open up" or reflected inwardly about themselves, and that's something that happens very naturally in a discipleship context.

I also realized how important it is to stay humble and vulnerable with my own discipleship because the examples given were quite awful. It truly can happen to anyone and it is very scary. But I also realized that a lot of the examples were about leaders of ministries where a lot of depends on the pastor man, which further makes me appreciate Chi Alpha and the type of ministry that we are.

The different types of leadership dangers were interesting and I think tend to fall on the codependent and passive aggressive one.

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Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership Post

Post by Lindsay Leeson on Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:27 pm

Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership revealed to me a few important aspects of being a leader that I needed to know. First off, it was interesting to learn that every person has a dark side. It is something I knew before, because we are all sinners, yet I tend to forget this. It is easy to look at others and see them as perfect or very imperfect. The difference between some successful and failing leaders is being aware of their dark side and taking the steps to control it.

From the book, I learned my two main types of “dark sides” would be the codependent leader and the compulsive leader. I see ways in my life that I am codependent (trying to please others and covering my true feelings because of not wanting to offend others or look bad), as well as ways that I am compulsive (I want to control my life, I want people to be proud of me to an unhealthy level sometimes, and feel my work/success/failure expresses who I am as a person).

This book helped me realize the root of my dark side more. I spent time journaling a few days ago because I felt God revealing to me some pride issues that I didn’t know were there. I wrote about my childhood and thought about why I could have these pride issues linked to my compulsive and codependent nature. It was quite freeing to start to understand that these issues didn’t just appear; they started long ago in my childhood, family, school and just have been growing. I have realized my dark side before, but it helps me to continue to be aware and address those feelings I have so Jesus can continue to help redeem and heal those sins/struggles.

I loved that the book ended with reminding us of our identity in Christ. I think this is the root to our dark side, when we forget who we are in Christ. We must know that He has completed the work on the cross. He has given us freedom, forgiveness, and a gift and all we have to do is accept. We don’t need to compensate for ourselves or look to others for approval to boost our status. We are CO-HEIRS with Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe!!! Just by having faith in Him. If we continue to remind ourselves of this every day, we can rest and be overjoyed by the gift He has given and live in freedom of serving our Father and King.


Lindsay Leeson
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