The Genesis of Leadership: What the Bible Teaches Us about Vision, Values and Leading Change

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Press: Jewish Lights; 1 edition (March 10, 2008)
Author Name:Laufer, Nathan/ Lieberman, Joseph I. (FRW)/ Hammer, Michael (CON)


The rich lessons of the Bible can be your leadership guidebook. 
Successful leaders don't rely solely on natural charisma and organizational authority as their tickets to success.
Successful leadership is a learned art form and a developed discipline.
You can master the art of leadership by examining the pitfalls and achievements of past leaders and penetrating the stories of our cultural and religious heritage.
The Bible is the ultimate resource for learning by example: its stories of family relationships, political beginnings and even divine encounters provide valuable lessons about leading effectively.In this empowering guidebook, Nathan Laufer walks you through the stories at the very beginning of the Bible to examine the portraits of leadership success―and failure―they contain.
He reveals the life-affirming values that the Bible uses to measure its leaders beginning in the Garden of Eden; analyzes the ups and downs in Abraham’s, and later Joseph’s, leadership journeys; and scrutinizes the many challenges faced by Moses―and God―in the books of Exodus and Numbers.Laufer draws out from Bible stories the lessons we can use every day―lessons not only of exemplary leadership, but also of failing to lead, leading with no direction and leading in the wrong direction or to a destructive destination.
Through Laufer’s interpretive lenses, these ancient stories come alive to inform and inspire our leadership today and offer us direction for the future."Nathan Laufer helps us see the stories of the [Bible] in new ways, he turns them into universal paradigms that relate to situations we all face every day, and he distills his insights into practical and powerful guidelines.
There is no algorithm for leadership, no cookbook recipe, but it is hard to imagine a leader at any level of an enterprise whose capabilities will not be enhanced by studying this book."―from the Preface by Dr.
Michael Hammer

From the Inside Flap

We all know the Bible as a resource for spiritual growth and  moral lessons. 
But it can also be read as a profoundly instructive guide for leadership success in business, government and organizational life.
The Bible offers us many relevant examples of people who stepped up to lead and overcame the obstacles and hardships built into the leadership enterprise.
This insightful book identifies the important and readily applicable lessons in the stories of the Bible's first five books.
It highlights the: * Litmus tests of true leaders * Ten guiding principles for effective leadership * Eight recurring challenges that leaders face * Legacy of leadership succession Nathan Laufer fleshes out valuable examples that will resonate with anyone involved in corporate or organizational leadership today.
Find out which paths to take--and which to avoid--in these stories and more: * Authority and control: God, Adam and Eve * Heroes who fail to lead: Noah and the flood * Leaders are made, not born: The story of Abraham * Leadership by deceit: Jacob and Esau * The crucible of leadership: Joseph in Egypt * Leading change: The God and Moses leadership team

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Rabbi Nathan Laufer teaches and lectures across North America on issues of leadership. 
He is founding director of PELIE: Partnership for Effective Learning and Innovative Education, a new national initiative to improve Jewish supplemental education throughout the United States.
He received his leadership educator certification from Harvard University's John F.
Kennedy School of Government and his Juris Doctor from the Fordham University School of Law.
He is also an ordained rabbi.Dr.
Michael Hammer, president, Hammer and Company, is author of four books, including the international bestseller Reengineering the Corporation, the most important business book of the 1990s.
His work has been featured in every major business publication.
His latest book is The Agenda: What Every Business Must Do to Dominate the Decade.Senator Joseph I.
Lieberman has been representing the people of Connecticut in the United States Senate for eighteen years.


Religion & Spirituality,Judaism,Sacred Writings,Hebrew Bible (Old Testament),Christian Books & Bibles,Christian Living,Leadership,Bible Study & Reference,Commentaries,Old Testament

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Comment List (Total:4)

  •     This book is full of Biblical inaccuracy, opinion, and private interpretation. Many of the statements that this author makes are in complete contradiction with Biblical truths that are plain to see when one reads and studies the scriptures. This author states plainly that God makes mistakes, God had to 'learn to be a leader' by trial and error, that God is vicious, moody and driven by emotions, and that God fails time and time again. The author negates simple Biblical concepts like God being perfect, God being omniscient, and God being all light in whom there is no darkness at all. The author obviously does not understand or apply simple Biblical research principles such as the Hebrew idiom of permission, Biblical dispensations, understanding verses in their context, free will,the difference between body,soul, and spirit, and difficult verses being understood in light of clear ones. The author attributes evil to God rather than to the devil. He makes God out to be a murderer, and an angry buffoon who bumbles His way through His dealings with mankind and the universe.If you have any knowledge of the scriptures, you will immediately be taken aback by the amateurish private interpretation that this author makes concerning Biblical accounts and the nature of God as they go completely against very clear verses describing God.He draws conclusions such as God's first attempt at leadership was by threatening Adam and Eve with the death penalty if they disobeyed. That is not true. God simply warned them of the consequences of their disobedience to His instruction that was meant to protect them.from the consequences of spiritual death (which for the author's edification is what died when they disobeyed). It is akin to me saying to my children to not touch a hot stove lest they get burned. Does that mean that I will burn them if they touch the stove? Of course not. I lovingly warn them of the consequences so that they can avoid injury, which is what God did for Adam and Eve. The author implies that God tried to threaten Adam and Eve and then didn't even come through on His threat, thus making God a liar. The author makes this implication because he thinks that God has an evil side, and because he doesn't understand that they died spiritually, not physically.The author further implies that Eve and Cain were actually good leaders, but were just a bit misguided. They knew better than God somehow and God learned leadership from them. Malarkey. Another implication is that Abraham was a greedy and selfish leader who only looked out for his own interests. Obviously untrue if you understand how to rightly divide the scriptures. The author also states that Ham sodomized his father, Noah. Again, a lack of understanding of Biblical research principles such as Orientalisms and figures of speech is what leads this author to this false conclusion. All of this is just in the first few chapters, mind you.Now...on the positive side, this book does give sound leadership principles, I grant the author that much. They are practical and effective, but to state that they are Biblically based is where it all falls apart for me. In case you are wondering why I am so down on this book.....I am a minister with degrees in Theology and Biblical Research, so I understand the Bible. I teach biblical research principles as well. In addition, I am the former CEO of several sizable corporations, and I teach leadership principles to executives in Fortune 500 corporations. I am also an executive adviser and coach, and I have lectured around the country on Project and Program Management and Team-building, and am certified in these fields.
  •     A book that is chock full of insights on leadership. A must read for those interested in what the Bible has to teach us about leadership today.
  •     Other than for academic reference, I wouldn't recommend this book for evangelical christians. Right from the start, the author believe that Bible is saying God and man are responsible for the fallen world. Since both God and man are responsible the mistakes and lack of self-reflective insight in their leadership, they both failed and suffer the same consequences as well. Such concept is consider to be misleading and contridicting with the Bible.In general, the intention of Bible was disregarded and replace with authors personal motives.
  •     When it comes to books on leadership, consider whether you are comfortable with a leadership book that is frequently critical of Biblical figures.This book really contains 2 major sections; one on biblical values in leadership which draws on many examples in Genesis, followed by a section called "The Ten Guiding Principles..." which moves to Exodus and onward. The following sections dealing with challenges and legacy, didn't have the quantity of material in the first two sections.In the author's own words "Sometimes God in the Bible...evinces the same failed pattern of leadership more than once." In fact, many of the examples are highly critical of Biblical figures, including God. While I can certainly appreciate the author's position that the Bible describes real people, with real failings, after a while, it implied - if only today's leadership and management guru's were there to tell them the right thing to do... Just one example is on page 80 "it was not wrong for Joseph to take responsibility for the welfare of his own family, it was wrong for him to do so while impoverishing and enslaving the people of Egypt." He does describe some very simple, positive lessons from Abraham for providing hospitality to strangers and for trying to save the people of Sodom and Gemorah.The second section of the book, with its 10 Guiding Principles draws mostly on the repeated mistakes that Moses and God make while trying to lead the Israelite nation from bondage to freedom. The principles themselves were fairly straightforward and are clearly presented. Still, I did not find them to be all that compelling, and would suggest that David Baron'sMoses on Management : 50 Leadership Lessons from the Greatest Manager of All Timemay be a better resource.The overall theme of leading change is dealt with in the book, but I found the examples of God making so many mistakes a bit disconcerting and distracting, and in the end, I think I would find other leadership books, such as Covey'sPrinciple-Centered Leadership (Your Coach in a Box)or Friedman'sA Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fixmay be more useful.For a more academic and thorough treatement of Jewish leadership, I would suggest Hal M. Lewis'sFrom Sanctuary to Boardroom: A Jewish Approach to Leadership

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