Negotiating the Doing to Being Boundary in J. Robert Clinton’s Leadership Emergence Theory

Abstract

dissertationCharlie Sattgast, Bethel Seminary, St. Paul, May 2015

According to the research of J. Robert Clinton only a third of leaders finish well. Clinton describes a developmental barrier he refers to as “the doing to being” boundary that many leaders face in their forties or fifties. This barrier requires leaders to undergo a paradigm shift from finding their meaning and fulfillment in achievement to ministry that flows out of being. According to Clinton many leaders fail to successfully negotiate this important transition which contributes to the alarming failure rate of leaders.

This research project addressed this problem by exploring the nature and meaning of doing and being and examining the critical factors related to the doing to being boundary and transition. This exploration began with a theological and biblical review of doing and being in Scripture followed by a literature review which compared Clinton’s description of this boundary and transition with two other spiritual development stage models and other pertinent literature. The researcher then conducted a grounded theory field study with leaders he determined to have successfully negotiated the doing to being boundary in order to gain further insight into the critical factors these leaders faced as they processed the doing to being boundary in their own lives. The researcher synthesized the results of the biblical review, literature review, and field study into a conceptual map of the doing to being boundary and transition, and developed a set of navigational aids to help leaders successfully negotiate this important transition.

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Negotiating the Doing to Being Boundary

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