Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space and Influence, By MaryKate Morse

Making Room for Leadership

Power, Space and Influence

by MaryKate Morse
Foreword by Leonard Sweet

Making Room for Leadership
  • Length: 215 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: October 27, 2008
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3448
  • ISBN: 9780830834488

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You don't just lead with your voice and your decisions. You lead with your body.

The way you take up space in a room, the way you use or don't use your body in group settings, influences others. And all of us hold power to lead in our bodies.

Yet, pastor and spiritual director MaryKate Morse contends, most of us are unaware of the ways we do or can use our bodies to influence others. Some of us cower in the corner, trying to hide. Others try to speak but are never heard. Still others are the focal point as soon as they walk in a room. What makes the difference? And how can we learn to lead in our own individual way with confidence?

In Making Room for Leadership Morse

  • explores different types of power in the body, delineating how each type can be used for good or for harm
  • highlights how people gain and give leadership in group settings
  • helps you identify the kind of power you as a unique individual hold

Throughout, Christ's use of power serves as the guide for how to lead in ways that are life-giving and empowering to others.

We all can lead. We all have some kind of power in us. Once we become aware of our influence, we can direct it toward good, toward building others up. Doing just that in these pages, Morse helps you learn to do the same in the places you live, move and have your being.

"Making Room for Leadership is both practical and a superb study of the gift of power for leaders. Read it slowly and prayerfully. It will transform the way you lead."

Peter Scazzero, author of The Emotionally Healthy Church

"I haven't read any other book which talks more openly and realistically about the honest, raw, wondrous complexities of leadership today as Making Room for Leadership."

Dan Kimball, author of They Like Jesus but Not the Church

"Although I have read many books on leadership, this is the first I've seen that spells out servant leadership in such fresh and down-to-earth terms. So I commend this book to all would-be leaders, and especially those who teach leadership, not only because it's new and groundbreaking, but because it's based on a very old truth. For when God modeled leadership for us he did it by sending his Son in the flesh, coming into space and time in an embodied way. If we are going to lead like Jesus, then we too must know how to use the power of space and body in a way that empowers others. This is an important book, breaking new ground and speaking biblically and practically to a blind spot in our leadership. In every chapter I have learned something valuable. Most of all I commend it because I know how Dr. Morse embodies in her own leadership what she has written for us."

Leighton Ford, president, Leighton Ford Ministries, author of Transforming Leadership and The Attentive Life

"MaryKate Morse has written a marvelous book which forces us to take a fresh look and a fresh listen at the visual and verbal markers we exchange on a daily basis. . . . [She] most importantly draws back the curtains to reveal the smoke and mirrors behind the machines of 'power' and the machinations of communication. . . . Thank you, MaryKate, for writing a book like none out there."

from the foreword by Leonard Sweet, author of The Church of the Perfect Storm

"Morse's ability to discuss bot the physical and spiritual realities for Christian leaders in a manner that refuses to settle for trite statements (all too common in much of the popular literature on Christian leadership) makes her worth reading. Recommended for thoughtful readers who are interested in connections between faith and leadership."

Stan Word, Idea Leaders, December 20, 2008

"A detailed look at the nuanced ways in which power is ascribed and utilized. A good peek behind the curtain for those in any leadership position."

Luke Trouten, Youth Worker Journal, July/August 2009

"A teacher and retreat leader contends that all of us have the power to lead confidently, enabling us to use our influence for greater good. Filled with many tips and thought questions to evalutate your own effectiveness in ministry, with suggestions for making improvements that help you succeed and empower others."

The Living Church, January 4, 2009

"An original and insightful book about the use of power in relationships within the body of Christ."

Whit G., Book Bargains and Previews (, May 2009

"Making Room for Leadership explores an interpersonal side of leading, specifically addressing a person's ability to have "presence" and how a grasp of spatial issues, body language and communication can create a more effective leader."

Adam Griffin, YouthWorker Journal, May/June 2009

"Saying that leadership is a universal trait that anyone can use, MaryKate Morse hopes to push today's business leaders to embrace God, grow closer to Him, and to their co-workers as well. A unique and impressive dive into the mix of religion and business."

James A. Cox, The Bookwatch, April 2009


Foreword by Leonard Sweet
Introduction: A Leadership Journey
1. Bodied Influence: Leadership and the Body
2. Holding the Dynamite: The Ethics of Power
3. Simon and the Sinner Woman: Jesus' Use of Power
4. The Epicenter: How Leaders Take Up Space
5. The "It" Factor: Power in Presence
6. The Law of the Jungle: Visual Marks of Presence
7. Second Impressions: Visceral Marks of Presence
8. Bean-Counting Social Space: The Economics of Power
9. Space-Taking and Space-Hiding: Using Power Well
10. Open Space: Managing Our Own Souls
11. Getting in the Sandbox: Practical Strategies
12. The Guardians: Overseeing a Leader?s Use of Power
Conclusion: One Leader Makes Room


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MaryKate Morse

MaryKate Morse is the executive dean of Portland Seminary at George Fox University in Portland, Oregon, and a professor of leadership and spiritual formation. She is also the lead mentor in the Doctor of Ministry program in Leadership & Spiritual Formation. The author of Making Room for Leadership, A Guidebook to Prayer, and Lifelong Leadership, she is passionate about companioning and resourcing people on the front lines of ministry. She holds an MA in biblical studies and an MDiv from Western Evangelical Seminary (now Portland Seminary), as well as a PhD in leadership from Gonzaga University. She has planted two churches, is a Quaker minister, and a trained spiritual director. She also does conference and retreat ministries and mentors leaders.