|Awaken the Leader in You: 10 Life Essentials for Women in Leadership|
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Are you a woman and a leader in your workplace, community, church, or home? Trying to balance your obligations, needs, and dreams can seem impossible. But with Clark's scriptural, practical applications; and illustrative stories of biblical and modern-day women, you'll learn to become an effective leader and bring order to your life. Paperback.
Presently serving as the women’s ministries specialist for the California Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Linda M. Clark has been involved in directing activities related to women’s ministries and Woman’s Missionary Union for more than a decade. A native of Arizona, Linda is an accomplished writer who has contributed to numerous magazines. She earned both her master’s degree and doctorate in women’s studies from Trinity Theological Seminary in Indiana. Linda and her husband, Jan, have three married children and seven grandchildren and call California home.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I grew up in church as my father was a pastor for many years. Becoming a Christian at an early age meant that I have many wonderful childhood memories about serving Jesus. I watched as both my father and my mother served faithfully together. They were always supportive of anything I wanted to do and encouraged me to do my best academically and to develop my abilities. Although we moved a lot and the demands of ministry were great, our family was a close-knit family unit, and we had quality time together. I married just after college graduation, and my husband and I have three grown children, who live in Indiana and Oregon. Jan and I have always believed that involvement in a local church was a priority so that has been a large part of our married and family life.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: How did you become interested in writing?
I have always been an avid reader and that passion carried over into projects and writing assignments in school. I seemed to develop a creative bent for different ways of presenting information and that was encouraged by the examples I saw in my parents. My mother was always writing mission programs and my father’s sermons inspired me to write in a user-friendly way. My father’s positions with a state convention led him to write articles and emphases, which provided me with ideas and support for the same type of projects I had as a young adult and began writing for a large mission organization’s periodicals.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: What compelled you to write a book on this subject?
When I was elected to serve as the women’s specialist for a state convention, my work with women challenged me to develop training seminars and to develop supplemental materials to equip women to become more effective leaders. That part of my job moved me to begin reading everything I could find on the subject of leadership. When I decided to obtain my master’s degree and PhD, I felt I should pursue those studies in more depth. Both of these degrees were in women’s studies, and I related every course’s research papers to women and the issues they face in leadership. What I learned in my academic pursuits spurred me on to find other ways of imparting that information to a larger audience—hence this latest book. The success of 5 Leadership Essentials for Women demonstrated to me that women have a need for books that address leadership issues and that a woman writing for women is especially desirable.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book?
The main premise of the book is that if a woman desires to be an effective, balanced leader, she must exhibit that balance in various areas of her personal life. A woman will not have a balanced approach to leadership if her life is in shambles because of poor relationships, limited spiritual growth, ineffective communication, etc. I chose ten areas that I feel contribute to leading a balanced life, which in turn can help a woman approach her leadership roles with more confidence and success.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?
It is my hope that readers will be able to see the natural relationship between how they live life on a daily basis and the essentials they need to be effective leaders, whatever those roles may be.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: Do you have a favorite part of the book or a favorite chapter?
I especially enjoyed writing the chapter on the importance of having a well-developed sense of humor. Life is serious and circumstances can be overwhelming, but if we approach them with an ability to laugh and carry that into leadership, we will relieve stress and enjoy what God calls us to do.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: What makes your book different than any other books similar to yours that are in circulation today?
I have found many books on leadership; fewer written by women. Some have written on the characteristics a leader must possess to be successful, but there are limited resources for women that demonstrate the connection between one’s personal life and one’s effectivenss as a leader. I believe this will attract the attention of women seeking balance in all areas of their lives.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: How does the book intertwine with God’s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?
The content of this book has been lived out in what God has called me to do and how I serve Him as the women’s specialist. I am convinced that until we can equip women to be confident leaders in everyday life, they will continue to be reluctant to assume leadership roles in their communities, in their workplace, or in their churches. We must equip them to be insightful, informed, and confident to meet life’s challenges and in saying yes to God’s plan for their lives.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: Do you have a favorite Scripture verse? What is it and why is it important to you?
Jeremiah 29:11 is probably my favorite verse. As I have served God through the years, I have discovered that while I may not understand the why of situations, I am confident that His plan is the ultimate plan. If I want to have any peace, any sense of accomplishment, it will come only because His plan is being worked out in my life. And, that plan is only for my good!
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: Are there any authors that either influenced you personally or influenced your style of writing? Who are they and how did they influence you?
I have been told that my writing style is concise but interesting. The creativity I like to use and my way of stating things to the point have been influenced most heavily by my father’s preaching style. His messages always contained a “handle” and personal illustrations. I love to tell stories, and my speaking style has influenced how I write also. My father’s example of connecting with his congregations caused me to try to write in the same way.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?
As I mentioned, I love to read. I love to find a book that seemingly has no connection to my work with women and find unusual principles that I can use in developing seminars and speaking assignments.
I love to browse in shops that feature new uses for something old – old doors turned into bed headboards or an old wall telephone used as kitchen décor.
I don’t know whether it qualifies as a hobby, but in the heavy traveling I do, I love driving through different areas, looking for old structures (barns, houses) or signs along the road. I find some wonderful connections for writing and speaking from what I see!