Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership, Revised Edition

How to Become an Effective Leader by Confronting Potential Failures

Cover Art

Where to Purchase

More Options


The Christian world has been rocked by the number of prominent leaders, in both church and parachurch organizations, who have been compromised by moral, ethical, and theological failures. Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership addresses this alarming problem and offers Christian leaders valuable guidance in dealing with the inherent risks of their work.

Using biblical and current examples, the authors describe the characteristics of five types of leaders and the problems they are most likely to have if their particular dysfunctions develop unrestrained. McIntosh and Rima offer a series of steps for leaders to consider so they can take control of their dark side and learn to harness its creative powers. This edition includes a new introduction, updated information throughout, a self-assessment tool, and more.


"Not all driving forces within a leader are positive. Becoming a strong leader requires not only the cultivation of God-given gifts, but the ability to overcome negative factors. I recommend Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership . . . to anyone striving to overcome obstacles in order to become a more effective leader."
John Maxwell, founder, Injoy
"Gary and Sam give leaders permission to confront the darkest battles within in order to serve others in life-transforming ways. For all who are bold enough to embark on this courageous journey, redemption, restoration, and renewal will be your rewards."
Dr. Stephen A. Macchia, founder and president, Leadership Transformations, Inc.; director, Pierce Center, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; author, Becoming a Healthy Team
"One of the most important qualities an effective leader must possess is often the most lacking: self-awareness. Effective leaders are acutely self-aware, knowing not only their strengths but also their weaknesses--the dark side of those strengths. And without this self-awareness, many leaders crash and burn without realizing their full potential for the kingdom of God. In Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership, Gary McIntosh and Sam Rima have done a masterful job of helping leaders avoid the pitfalls that have consumed far too many leaders. This is a must-read for any leader who is serious about taking his or her leadership to the next level."
Dr. Albert L. Winseman, global practice leader for faith communities, The Gallup Organization; author, Growing an Engaged Church: How to Stop "Doing Church" and Start Being the Church Again
"Every leader has a 'shadow' side, like the dark side of the moon--areas that are disguised or explored and unrecognized. I am convinced that our leadership will be stronger and the dangers of collapse lesser if we become aware of these dark areas and bring them into the light early."
Leighton Ford, president, Leighton Ford Ministries
"There is no question in my mind of the practicality, relevancy, and usefulness of this book. I have a difficult time thinking who would not be helped by reading it; seminarians, pastors, and denominational and parachurch leaders would all benefit. . . . Anyone who is serious about being a good leader will be helped by this book."
Robert Ricker, former president, Baptist General Conference
"This book will help you gain the insights necessary to protect yourself from significant failure."
Rob Angel, creator of Pictionary

The Authors

  1. Gary L. McIntosh

    Gary L. McIntosh

    Gary L. McIntosh (PhD, DMin, Fuller Theological Seminary) is president of the Church Growth Network and distinguished affiliate professor of Christian ministry and leadership at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. He is an internationally known...

    Continue reading about Gary L. McIntosh

  2. Samuel D. Rima

    Samuel D. Rima

    Samuel D. Rima is director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Bethel Seminary, where he is also a faculty member in the Center for Transformational Leadership. He is the author of Leading from the Inside Out and Rethinking the Successful Church.

    Continue reading about Samuel D. Rima