Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Book Review: Clout by Jenni Catron

I received a free copy of Clout by Jenni Catron from the publisher through the BookLookBloggers program.

To get to the point, I think any Christian leader would benefit from reading this book, so go buy it.  

In Clout, Jenni Catron encourages people to "discover and unleash [their] god-given influence.  Part II of the book is dedicated to cultivating what makes one influential:
  • Discovering Your Identity
  • Discovering Your Confidence
  • Defining Your Mission
  • Determining Your Passion
However, Part I of the book is so incredibly important because even if you can master Part II, there are what Catron calls "Clout Killers", those things that will stunt one's influence and leadership and will pop up at any time.  They are:
  • Fear
  • Comparison
  • Jealousy
  • Scarcity
  • Insecurity
  • Pride
  • Control
These "clout killers" can be insidious, sneaking into our lives without us really being very aware of it, and Catron gives us ways to think about how they might be affecting us.  The questions at the end of each chapter are very introspective and practical.  For example, at the end of chapter 1 she asks "What fears make you think that you can't handle it? Take a few minutes to write them down."  Facing our fears is scary business, because we don't want to admit we have them; we think we will be seen as weak or ineffective.  Catron writes in that chapter that "fear tends to coerce its tentacles into all our issues" (5).  And it does, doesn't it?  Catron writes that fear hides, isolates, and paralyzes.  It is scary how much control fear can have over our lives, and I think that by putting this chapter first, she helps us to face it head on and keep thinking about it throughout the rest of the book.  

Fear has far-reaching repercussions, and Christian leaders and organizations are not immune from it.  For anyone who is struggling with it, or any of the other clout killers mentioned, this book will help one find healing and encouragement.  It could help people who are struggling with their leadership get on a more clear path, and it can help people who may not even know they are struggling or have problems with fear or insecurity or pride.  Those clout killers will affect others in your organization, so it would be good to be prepared to know what they are and how to face them.

If you plan on reading the book, I'd love to discuss it with you, and even post your story of how you have benefited from reading it.  Please contact me if you've got something to share.  

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