Book Reviews, Leadership

Book Review: Mistakes Leaders Make by Dave Kraft

July 27, 2013


I have read many parable books on leadership throughout my ministry, but this is the first one that features the dynamics of a church staff.  In the fictitious setting of the “Community Covenant Church” author Dave Kraft describes how various personalities affect the overall synergy of the typical church leadership team, and how we have replaced various aspects of genuine leadership with superficial aspirations.

The format of the book is comparable to the writing styles of leadership gurus Ken Blanchard and Patrick Lencioni.   As a matter of fact, Lencioni gives Kraft a nice endorsement in the book.  Kraft does a good job at describing the various flaws of spiritual leadership, especially as it relates to interpersonal relationships.  The format of the book is interesting as well.  Kraft introduces a particular subject (for example, how we allow pride to replace contentment, how we allow information to replace transformation) and then he demonstrates through the story, how that particular truth plays out on the church staff.

As the title suggests, leaders do make mistakes, and this book documents those mistakes through a very believable storyline.  Instead of giving you a long list of “what and what not” to do, Kraft shows the cause and effect of leadership failures in a spiritual setting.  The characters are well-developed, the story-line is believable, and the lessons are succinct.  The book is short (117 pages) and easy to read.  If you like leadership parables (Patrick Lencioni, Jon Gordon, Ken Blanchard, Mark Sanborn) you will enjoy this read.


Favorite Quotes:

“Godly ambition has an insidious way of morphing into selfish ambition” –Dave Kraft


“Pity the Christian leader with no friends or coworkers who care enough to confront him, especially in the area of ministry idolatry”


“I need to be careful that my noble ambitions for the kingdom of God don’t degenerate into ignoble ambitions for my own kingdom”


“I used to think humility meant staying in the background, not saying much, being embarrassed when I was complimented, and regularly reminding myself that I was nothing.  I now realize that true humility is a strong sense of God-confidence, which interestingly enough can be confused with pride and self-confidence.  True humility should lead to a strong confidence in how God made me and to honestly living that out, not in a prideful way but in a grateful and honest way”


“The reason leaders do not repent of pride more often is because many are willing to overlook pride and self-centeredness in themselves and others as long as results are being achieved”


“It’s not what you know, but what you do, in dependence on the Holy Spirit, with what you know that makes the difference”



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