Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World


Written by: on June 28, 2018

Deep Change by Robert E. Quinn is a phenomenal find and an excellent book to end our semester on. Although I was confused at first about why we were asked to purchase the field guide instead of the regular book, I quickly found out why. There is so much more here than just a regular book can deliver. That is because more is demanded from the reader. It’s much easier to be a passive viewer, silently consuming whatever the book serves at you. It’s much harder to actually respond intelligently about the subject.

In light of how impressed I was with this format as well as the material, I quickly decided to abandon the assigned reading speed. I elected to slow the pace of this reading down significantly and incorporate it into my reflection time. You almost could call it adding it to my devotional time, but of course, it is not as spiritual and does not point me to Jesus. Nonetheless, after my typical devotional time, I want to sit down and spend 30 minutes working through the book. Instead of dividing the reading up by chapters, I want to go through instead with a time allotment. And simply get through as much as I get through in the allotted 30 minutes. I believe this is the only way to have a true transformation. Most things transform by growth not sudden explosive change.

The first time I sat down to read this book I was forced to think back on my leadership experiences and successes with an appropriate amount of self-doubt. Quinn writes, “I hold the radical belief that many people do not know how to lead change, including people who think they already have.”[1] Uh oh! This is me. I feel like I have lead change. Am I sure I wasn’t just the leader by title, while I was just riding the wave of a change that was already inevitable. Did I really lead it? If so how much did I really did change? Were my changes simple a shifting of tasks and simple expectations, or was I able to actually sway a culture? It was here I was convinced that there was an untapped mine in this book, available for those who would put in the work.

In regards to my dissertation, this reinforced the importance of my thesis. Truer & better learning comes from engagement. Just reading and gathering more information is not enough. This is known. In fact, at times it is just lazy thinking. Transformative leadership growth doesn’t just happen. Quinn writes, “Because our cultures places great emphasis on hierarchy and expertise we assume that education is a process in which experts instill knowledge based on past experiences into passive recipients.” This is a model we have to break, while keeping in mind that one cannot go at it alone, but should always have a coach. For some, this field guide, might fill in as a make-shift coach.

For my dissertation, I am writing about how to increase practical application and hands-on learning in the online theological graduate school experience. the artifact of my research is to design a master’s degree that rewards significant credit for real ministry engagement. Of course, the key is to measure real engagement beyond just what someone does for their regular ministry job. The key, like Deep Change is suggesting through their field guide, is to give adequate reflection and response time. Quinn does that in multiple ways, as one can see in the “About This Field Guide” section. Quinn’s process involves, read, reflecting, watching a film, journaling, writing a memo (forcing the reader to begin teaching, which strengthens the learning process) and then apply by writing action steps. This application process could be strengthened some more if there was a review assignment to be done after the application attempt.

The seminary student must read, act, reflect, and then apply. Quinn calls this Field Guide a “self-teaching”[2] course, which although sounds like a cop-out for the teacher by putting even more responsibility on the student, it in the end can be better for the student. The student, of course still needs a guide, and that’s perhaps the only way this book could be improved if it the purchase of this guide somehow included a mentor attached to it ready to help you perceive how to read it for your own situation.

I think as I proceed through this material I will find more nuggets of how Robert E. Quinn designed reflection based leadership learning into this book. Maybe I even found the textbook that would be required as part of the reading of the leadership theory class.


Works Cited


Quinn, Robert E. The Deep Change Field Guide a Personal Course to Discovering the Leader within. Jossey-Bass, 2012.


[1] Robert E. Quinn, The Deep Change Field Guide a Personal Course to Discovering the Leader within(Jossey-Bass, 2012), 2.

[2] Robert E. Quinn, The Deep Change Field Guide a Personal Course to Discovering the Leader within(Jossey-Bass, 2012), 1.

About the Author

Kyle Chalko

5 responses to “Pause”

  1. M Webb says:

    I am glad this book inspired you for your dissertation work on your college credit for ministry experience artifact. When I read and analyzed Quinn’s DIY transformational guide I was flying. I liked his “make a journal entry” section best. His suggested comments for the reader to review and reflect on showed some good depth of knowledge and experience on his part.
    Hope to see you in HK!
    Stand firm,
    M. Webb

  2. Jay Forseth says:

    Hi Kyle,

    Happy to hear you enjoyed the field guide. I must have messed up and read the long version (grin). My book does not say field guide. Oops. Oh well, I too enjoyed it and agree with your statement, “I elected to slow the pace of this reading down significantly and incorporate it into my reflection time.”

    Well done Kyle. Talk to you again this Fall. Enjoy the rest of summer.

  3. Shawn Hart says:

    Kyle, I’m not much for self-teaching either, though there are times in my life where I definitely grew from some deep personal studies. I do feel that this book is better when crossed with the Biblical instruction that seem to have also put to practice. To be honest, when I first saw the title I was very excited that we were finally getting another “leadership” book, however, I was discouraged to see that it was not a Bible-based book. After working through the book though, I am thoroughly convinced that from connecting some of the thoughts in our reading to the some of the instruction given in Scripture, there is some great motivational potential here.

    I was curious though, did you find any particular Scripture in your study that connected with your reading? Myself, I was thinking about Paul’s instruction to Timothy, training him to truly see the potential in his own ministry.

  4. Greg says:

    Thanks Kyle for your insights. Finding ways to keep digging into your own leadership style in order to be more effective is an admirable goal. I didn’t have time to delve as deep as you did but will add it to the list of books I need to re-review…I am sure you have an ongoing list as well. Have a great summer.

  5. Jean Ollis says:

    Hi Kyle! Great to hear you are incorporating this text into your dissertation work. The way you are describing your plans for a master’s program sounds like competency based education. Are you familiar? It’s a big push in higher ed right now and very much on the cutting edge. I’m excited to hear more about your work on this!

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