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The Bible On Leadership - Lorin Woolfe PDF

254 Pages·2003·0.83 MB·English
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The Bible on Leadership The Bible on Leadership From Moses to Matthew— Management Lessons for Contemporary Leaders Lorin Woolfe American Management Association NewYork•Atlanta•Brussels•BuenosAires•Chicago•London•MexicoCity SanFrancisco•Shanghai•Tokyo•Toronto•Washington,D.C. SpecialdiscountsonbulkquantitiesofAMACOMbooksare availabletocorporations,professionalassociations,andother organizations.Fordetails,contactSpecialSalesDepartment, AMACOM,adivisionofAmericanManagementAssociation, 1601Broadway,NewYork,NY10019. Tel.:212-903-8316.Fax:212-903-8083. Website:www.amacombooks.org Thispublicationisdesignedtoprovideaccurateandauthoritativeinfor- mationinregardtothesubjectmattercovered.Itissoldwiththeunder- standingthatthepublisherisnotengagedinrenderinglegal,accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required,theservicesofacompetentprofessionalpersonshouldbesought. LibraryofCongressCataloging-in-PublicationData Woolfe,Lorin. TheBibleonleadership:fromMosestoMatthew:managementlessons forcontemporaryleaders/LorinWoolfe. p. cm. Includesbibliographicalreferencesandindex. ISBN0-8144-0682-3(hardcover) 1.Leadership. 2.Executiveability. 3.Management. 4.Leadership intheBible. I.Title. HD57.7.W666 2002 658.4(cid:1)092—dc21 2002001991 (cid:1)2002LorinWoolfe Allrightsreserved. PrintedintheUnitedStatesofAmerica. Thispublicationmaynotbereproduced,storedinaretrievalsystem,ortransmittedinwholeorinpart, inanyformorbyanymeans,electronic,mechanical,photocopying,recording,orotherwise,without thepriorwrittenpermissionofAMACOM,adivisionofAmericanManagementAssociation, 1601Broadway,NewYork,NY10019. Printingnumber 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 This book is dedicated to Judy, Becca, Talia, and Sascha, who daily remind me of my true purpose and the divine in all of us. Contents Preface ix Acknowledgments xiii 1. Honesty and Integrity 1 Samuel,Paul,andIsaiahareamongmanybiblicalleaders demonstratingthisquality.JamesBurke,WarrenBuffett,and HerbKelleherofferbusinessmodels. 2. Purpose 24 BiblicalheroesincludeMoses,wholedhispeopletothePromisedLand, Hezekiah,andQueenEsther.Amongexemplarybusinessleadersare SteveJobs,FredSmith,andAnitaRoddick. 3. Kindness and Compassion 49 Jesus,whogaveustheGoldenRule,aswellasDavid,the GoodSamaritan,andothersarebiblicalmodels.Admirable businessleadersincludeHowardSchultz,AaronFeuerstein,andRoy Vagelos. 4. Humility 70 Peter,whosaid‘‘Iamonlyamanmyself,’’thelong-sufferingJob,and othersexemplifythistrait.ModernexamplesincludeLarryBossidy, RayGilmartin,andCharlesPollard. 5. Communication 87 Joshua(withhishornaswellashiswords),Ezra,andLukeweregreat communicators.ExamplesfromtheworldofbusinessincludeAndy Grove,SamWalton,andMaryKayAsh. vii viii Contents 6. Performance Management 109 Noah,Solomon,andJeremiahweremastersofencouragementand discipline.LouGerstner,GordonBethune,andJackStackareamong thebusinessleadersknownforbeingfirmbutfair. 7. Team Development 130 Biblicalleadersdidn’tusethetermteam,butNehemiahwasoneof manywhounderstoodthepowerofworkingingroups.Modern exemplarsincludeHalRosenbluth,MichaelEisner,andprofessional basketballcoachPhilJackson. 8. Courage 153 Courageisperhapsthemoststrikingcharacteristicofbiblicalleaders, withDanielandthetrioofShadrach,Meshach,andAbednegoamong manywhoovercamefeartoembraceriskforagreatergood.Among leadersofourtimeareRudolphGiuliani,SteveCase,andPeter Brabeck-Letmathe. 9. Justice and Fairness 175 JamesandJosephweregreatbelieversingivingotherstheir‘‘fairshare.’’ Inthebusinesscontext,leaderslikeWalterHaas,Jr.,MaxDePree, andPaulO’Neillhaveexhibitedthischaracteristic. 10. Leadership Development 195 Thegreatestleaders—JesusandMosesinbiblicaltimes,JackWelchand RogerEnricoinmoderntimes—ensuredthattheir‘‘organizations’’ wouldthrivelongafterthembytheircommitmenttodevelopingleaders whowouldrenewandcarryontheirmission. Notes 219 Index 229 Preface Whatin heavendoesthe Biblehave todowith leadership?Everything! The Bible is probably the most widely-read book in the world. It is revered for its religious precepts and guidance, its wisdom, and its liter- ary beauty. Read carefully and with another perspective, it is also the greatest collection of leadership case studies ever written, with tremen- dously useful and insightful lessons for today’s leaders and managers. Whatever our religious beliefs, most of us in the Western Hemisphere are familiar with the Bible’s stories and heroes. They form some of the major archetypes of our collective consciousness and can serve as uni- versal examples of leadership at its best (and worst). Consider some of the managers and leaders of the Bible and the les- sons they can impart to today’s manager: ❖ Jacob, although inferior in strength to his macho brother Esau, was able to usurp his brother’s birthright by appealing to ‘‘the power behind the throne’’ (his mother) to deceive the CEO (his father). ❖ Joseph, cast into corporate exile because of his brothers’ jealousy of his close relationship with his father, Jacob, was forced to join the opposition, Egypt. There he was able to infiltrate the court, use his influencewithPharaoh,andultimatelybringhisfamilyandtribetolive with him, where they became a mighty force. However, the ‘‘merger’’ of the Israelites and Egyptians soon became extremely rocky, creating a whole new set of leadership problems. ❖ Moses, the man who inherited these problems, was a leader who spoke so poorly that his brother Aaron had to deliver most of his ix x Preface speeches for him. But the strength of his vision and his commitment to Israel’smissionmadehimtheultimatevisionaryandaleaderthepeople would follow through the most adverse circumstances. Many modern corporations experience adverse conditions, but few are condemned to wanderinadesert(realorallegorical)forfortyyears.TheBurningBush is a corporate vision par excellence, and the Ten Commandments are the ultimate mission statement. ❖ Joshua succeeded Moses, and that transfer of power is an example of thorough succession planning, assisted by divine intervention. It would take a great and inspiring leader to replace Moses and lead the IsraelitesintothePromisedLand.Joshua’s motivationalgeniusandstra- tegic planning helped the Israelites literally knock down impregnable fortresses. ❖ Samson is one of the best ‘‘negative case studies’’ in history. He possessed great physical strength, but had some tremendous ‘‘blind spots’’ in his interpersonal judgment. The person he most desired was actually the person he had most to fear and who brought about his downfall. Samson was literally ‘‘blindsided’’ by an enemy he thought was a friend, and who also happened to be a member of the opposite gender.Therearealotoflessonsinthisstoryfortoday’sbusinessleader. ❖ Job had more troubles than any modern corporate executive, yet he stuck to his faith and his vision. His ‘‘case study’’ can teach the modern executive a lot about sticking to your vision despite obstacles, suffering, and doubters. ❖ Jesus, the son of a carpenter and born in a manger, rose to found the most populous religion on earth. Jesus’ communication skills were consummate. He was able to cogently communicate new and revolu- tionary ideas using parables instead of direct explanation, and he was able to answer Pontius Pilate’s loaded questions without appearing a traitortoRomeoraposturertohisownpeople.(Pilate:‘‘AreyouKing of the Jews?’’ Jesus: ‘‘You say I am.’’) The Sermon on the Mount is a beautiful example of motivational communication, which influenced not just the small assembly there but millions of people in millions of assemblies since. His work with the disciples was some of the most Preface xi astute team-building ever accomplished. And his mastery of the sym- bolic act gained him the largest following of any leader before or after him. The Bible is full of these and other leaders—kings, prophets, war- riors, strategists, and visionaries. It is a story of prophets true and false, fortunesgainedandlost,organizationsascendingandcrashing.Itsliteral truth has been questioned, but its lessons and stories have been em- braced as universal archetypes that influence the way we live our lives on a deep psychological, spiritual, and symbolic level. So why shouldn’t this biblical wisdom on leadership be applied on a business level? This book attempts to do just that, reviewing the most inspiring biblical ‘‘case studies’’ and comparing them to the challenges facedandconqueredbysomeoftoday’smostsuccessfulbusinessleaders. It should come as no ‘‘revelation’’ that the traits and skills of successful Bible leaders are also those exhibited by the most successful modern leaders: ❖ Honesty and integrity ❖ Purpose ❖ Kindness and compassion ❖ Humility ❖ Communication ❖ Performance management ❖ Team development ❖ Courage ❖ Justice and fairness ❖ Leadership development The emphasis of this book is on business, and most of the modern case studies depict business situations. But the Bible also has lessons for leaders in politics, athletics, the arts, and yes, even religion. You should findthis bookuseful whetheryouare leadinga businessunit,a political committee or task force, an athletic team, a symphony orchestra, or a religiousinstitutionsuchasachurchorsynagogue(youhaveoneofthe

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