I don’t normally read my fellow Elite LGP8 Blogs before writing my own, but this week I confess, I did. I wish I had half of Dan’s courage–brutal honesty, open transparency, personally laying it out there like he did. His is an example of not just trying to get a degree, but actually striving to become a better person while earning his DMin. I am inspired by Dan and his willingness to talk about codependency and burnout. He has raised the bar for all of us and I would publicly like to thank him.
Once again, I was trying to use Adler’s strategy of seeking first to UNDERSTAND an author’s perspective (from How To Read A Book), so I was doing my homework and digesting as many outside sources as possible before actually reading every word of this week’s eye-poking book, Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: How to Become an Effective Leader by Confronting Potential Failures by Gary McIntosh and Samuel Rima .
I was impressed when respectful GIANTS like Andy Stanley, HB London, John Maxwell, Bill Hybels, Tim LaHaye and Jack Hayford referenced McIntosh in their own books . I also enjoyed excerpts from our book’s co-author, Rima, in another writing titled Leading from the Inside Out .
My first thought when I read our title and the words “the dark side”, of course I thought of Darth Vader. Probably all of our minds went that way. However, immediately following that, I remembered the Scripture, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  Mike will most certainly and appropriately talk more about this.
And when I read the words in our sub-title, “confronting potential failures”, I thought of this Scripture, “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power.” 
But alas, I am stalling. I should be open about what I feel the book exposed in me, which unfortunately was more than I want to admit. The words that haunted me the most centered around the paraphrased statement that said those things in us that have been used mightily to achieve great things, are probably the very same things that will overtake us from the dark side.
What are some of my strengths that have come in handy? Being driven, being aggressive, working harder and longer hours, goal oriented, having high standards…
How are these same traits dangerous from the dark side? Pride, selfishness, self-absorbed, wrong motives, perfectionism, approval seeking, people pleaser…
Guilty as charged! That’s me on both the good and the bad. Just being honest.
So, I took the inventories at the back of the chapters and cringed at the accuracies for my own persona–I have a little bit of every one of these starting five! Compulsive, narcissistic, paranoid, codependent and passive-aggressive.  My highest was being compulsive, tainted by wanting to maintain order and control at all costs, at the same time of repressing anger, while building up in resentment.  Ouch!
Thankfully, the book doesn’t end there. I was extremely grateful for that fact. Although I was not fully able to wrap my mind around the “spiritual composting” metaphor , I was able to latch onto a couple facets of REDEEMING and OVERCOMING the dark side (with the help of the Holy Spirit, thankfully):
Acknowledging my dark side 
Resisting the poison of expectations .
I now better understand how I am wired after reading this book. That I have a deep fear of disappointing God and others. That I have given myself over to the power and pain of trying to live up to other people’s expectations. I also want to thankfully admit that a bunch of Dark Siders made the Bible. I am extremely grateful knuckleheads were included, like Solomon, David, Samson, Jonah, Saul, and my favorite, the compulsive MOSES. 
Please don’t get me wrong, I understand my identity in Christ, I know God works in spite of us, I feel God’s love, but boy-Oh-boy did this book work me over, for the better, and for that I am appreciative.
 Adler, Mortimer Jerome, and Charles Van Doren. How to Read a Book. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014.
 McIntosh, Gary L., and Samuel D. Rima. Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: How to Become an Effective Leader by Confronting Potential Failures. New Dehli: Good Times Books, Kindle Edition, 2010.
 Macintosh, Gary, and Samuel Rima. “Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership.” Google Scholar. Accessed February 28, 2018. http://www.scholar.google.com/.
 Rima, Samuel D. Leading from the inside Out: The Art of Self-leadership. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000.
 Ephesians 6:12 (NIV).
 II Timothy 3:2-5 (NIV)
 McIntosh, Gary L., and Samuel D. Rima. Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: How to Become an Effective Leader by Confronting Potential Failures. New Dehli: Good Times Books, Kindle Edition, 2010. Loc., 1265, 1356, 1459, 1558, 1721.
 Ibid., Loc 1332.
 Ibid., Loc. 1949.
 Ibid., Loc. 2018.
 Ibid., Loc. 2215.
 Ibid., Loc. 1274.