I recently read the book Clout by Jenni Catron on a road trip. I caught up with Jenni and asked her questions about the book and why she wrote it. Here is the interview:
Greg: Why did you write Clout and what do you hope it accomplishes?
Jenni: I wrote this book out of the overflow of what God has been teaching me as a leader. I have a deep desire to lead well, but a few years ago I began to realize there were some things that were holding me back. These clout killers were sabotaging my influence and the more I talked with other leaders, the more I discovered that others were wrestling with these same issues as well. My hope is that this book provides a framework for others to discover and unleash their God-given influence.
Greg: Why is this book important and relevant in today’s culture?
Jenni: Our culture desperately needs strong, emotionally healthy leaders, but leaders can never lead well until they learn to lead themselves. I truly hope that Clout will be a resource that equips us to lead ourselves well so we can lead others well.
Greg: How is Clout different than other books on leadership?
Jenn: Most books on influence focus on what it takes to earn influence. They focus forward but they don’t take a look back. In Clout, I attempt to do both. I challenge us to reflect on what has been inhibiting our influence but then provide a framework to discover and unleash our influence moving forward.
Greg: Who do you think will benefit the most from Clout, and why?
Jenni: Anyone who struggles with finding clarity in their purpose will resonate with Clout. I wrote this book to provide a way for those who feel stuck in their leadership to reflect on what might be holding them back, yet give them some concrete steps to move forward confidently in their influence.
Greg: How does discovering your very own clout help you unleash your God-given influence?
Jenni: Understanding your clout positions you to live fully from the gifts, talents, experiences and opportunities that God has given to you, and ONLY to you. When you truly understand h ow uniquely God has designed you and how specifically he has equipped you, you will thrive.
Greg: As an experience church leader at a very active church, what is the 1 (or 2 or 3) pieces of advice you’d want most to share with fellow church leaders?
Jenni: For church leaders, I would encourage you to apply the principals of Clout to your church as well as yourself. God has given your church its very own clout. Rather than compare and compete with other churches, identify the unique influence that God has designed your church for and lead confidently in that way.
Additionally, as a church leader you are in a strategic place to encourage both the staff and your congregation to actively pursue their God-given influence. When people start to get a glimpse of the unique way that God has created and gifted them, you see them come alive. When an entire community of faith is operating from their clout, there is no limit to what God could do through you.
Greg: How can reading Clout help them increase the impact of their ministry?
Jenni: I truly believe God dreams big dreams for us, but I think we sabotage those dreams when we take our focus off of the unique way God has gifted us. When we as ministry leaders get clarity on our clout, it frees us from striving for things we’re not designed for and empowers us to maximize the influence we do have. When we’re living from our God-given influence we have the potential to make our greatest mark for the Kingdom of God.