In her book, 7 Deadly Sins of Women in Leadership, Kate Coleman outlines what she believes are the seven most destructive behaviors that women in leadership succumb to: limiting self-perceptions, failure to draw the line, inadequate personal vision, an unhealthy work-life rhythm, the ‘disease to please,’ colluding instead of confronting, and neglecting family matters. Writing from personal leadership experiences, Coleman offers this book as a tool for women to affirm what is good and unique about their leadership, to address potentially destructive behaviors, and to help them understand who God called them to be in order realize their full potential.
According to Coleman, the role of women in leadership in the church is often blurred because of tradition, beliefs, and the way in which we do things and understand ourselves. She writes from her belief that women who are in leadership positions have a responsibility to make way for other women coming behind them. Coleman states that her book is not an anti-men book. She wants men to be educated and encouraged, as all play a role in dealing with the issues that are hindering women.
Problems that Coleman highlights take root at a young age. It is her belief that the church needs to become more intentional in addressing the issues that arise from limited self-perceptions and inadequate personal vision. When we embrace Christ, we are a new creation, but we are also being recreated along the journey of the Christian life. Women often fail to see the need to also love themselves, to renew minds, and to deal with self-imposed and “others” imposed limits.
Coleman challenges that much of what the church has traditionally understood of what God is doing through women has been clouded. She points to the myriad of ways that God has always worked through women and in women, and where women have been given space to flourish very good things have come of that. Coleman asks if we have been guilty of sinning against the body and against the Lord by hindering women’s progress, and claims that questions like these need to be addressed so that what God wants to accomplish through women leaders can be accomplished.
This book is to be used as a tool for women to pause, to reflect, and to re-assess in order to allow real peace and confidence to flow in and through their leadership journey, “knowing that God can use us in extraordinary ways, if we are willing to respond” (Kay Chaldecott, back cover).