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Preface to the Third Edition

Charles C. Manz Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

As I prepare this preface for the third edition of The Leadership Wisdom of Jesus I can’t help reflecting on how much has changed since the book was first published. Issues of spirituality and religion in the workplace are no longer topics of questionable relevance for business and leadership practice. In fact, spirituality at work has become a widely considered topic for many business and management researchers and educators, as well as a significant concern for many executives and managers. When I wrote the first edition, this was not the case. In fact, writing the book as a business professor, consultant, and author was quite notable, and for many it was perceived as a rather bold undertaking, at the time.

Yes, many things have changed, yet paradoxically, many things have stayed largely the same. In fact, I believe much of what I wrote in the preface to the first edition still applies. Jesus taught timeless wisdom that transcends the ups and downs and ebbs and flows of years, decades, centuries and even millennia. Consequently, while the emergence of spirituality as a legitimate concern for the study and practice of leadership would seem to make this book even more relevant now as the third edition is released, the timeless wisdom it is based on has always been relevant, and I believe it always will be. Indeed, looking to the teachings of Jesus as a potential source of practical lessons for leading today remains a wise thing to do. Following is some of the original message I wrote in the Preface to the first edition:

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CHAPTER 1: Covert Dimensions and Change

Robert J. Marshak Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Have you ever sat through a business meeting, thinking “Something is going on here that is really getting in the way, but I can’t put my finger on it.” You were probably sensing covert processes at work. Covert processes are hidden dynamics that routinely impact human interactions and can confound our most diligent efforts to accomplish our goals. When we try to effect organizational change, these hidden factors impact our ability to recognize the need for change, plan appropriate responses, align people and resources, and successfully implement new initiatives. In short, covert processes are a crucial aspect of organizational change and, when not made explicit, they can block even the best of intentions.

The term covert processes is used here to mean any hidden or unconscious dynamic. In every culture there are unspoken beliefs and assumptions underlying people’s behavior. They affect what we say and do even though we may not be aware of them. From a psychological viewpoint, covert processes include the unspoken mental models and unconscious dynamics of individuals and groups. In everyday usage, the term covert tends to evoke images of spies, intrigue, and secret deals. For our purposes we define covert more neutrally as “out-of-everyday awareness.” Covert processes include all out-of-awareness dynamics that occur in human systems, for whatever reasons.

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CHAPTER 7: Producing Powerful Products

Robert B. Tucker Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

People don’t pay for technology. They pay for a solution
to their problem or for something they enjoy.

Dean Kamen, Founder, DEKA Research
and Development Corporation

Last year, consumer-products makers churned out more than 31,000 new products, including multiple varieties of everything from tomato sauce to garbage bags to iPod cases.

Few of these products will survive. And fewer yet will become breakthroughs. The most optimistic estimate is that only one in five launches will succeed; the most pessimistic, one out of 671. Many failures result from basic miscalculations about what customers need. The product is developed for all the wrong reasons. It was the CEO’s pet project. The engineers fell in love with the “really neat” technology and assumed buyers would too.

Among the more egregious examples:

Consumer products makers aren’t alone in introducing such a high percentage of failures. Many firms today, both in the manufacturing and services arenas, struggle with developing new products that drive top- and bottom-line growth. The pressure to produce more new products with shorter time to market intervals and bigger payoffs is enormous. Attempts at product innovation by many companies bring to mind Samuel Johnson’s description of a dog walking on its hind legs. “It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.”

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STEP FOUR: DANCING: Keeping the Magic in Motion

Chip R. Bell Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF




hat is world-class partnering “magic in motion”? It encompasses that state of ecstasy when partners find themselves so completely “in the groove” their ideas blend without stirring. It is a oneness so pure that partners complete each other’s sentences and seem able to almost read each other’s minds. It is rare, it is distinctive, and it is an unmistakable, exhilarating high.

There are many ways to label this special feeling.

Athletes call it “playing over your head,” dancers refer to it as being “hot” or “on,” artists call it “flow” or being in sync with the muses. We call it

“partnership squared”! To the outside observer, it truly is

“magic in motion.”


Regardless of the label, the feeling is an energetic, sparkly magical current of energy which propels you to your highest levels of excellence.

And the output of “partnership squared” is generally the

stuff of which broken records, new standards, and bar-raising are made.

“Partnership squared” in action yields a state of tingly exultation and blissful joy. As the president of a prominent

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Medium 9781609945176

Seven Who Cares about Quality?

Phillip Longman Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Medical economist J.D. Kleinke makes a revealing comparison between casinos and hospitals. Suppose you go to Las Vegas and after winning a few bets get hooked. When you start losing, you find yourself going to the cage and converting all the money in your wallet into chips. Next you max out your credit cards. Later that night, with Lady Luck still flirting but denying you the big score, you convert your checking and savings accounts into still more chips. When these are gone twenty-four hours later, the casino happily lends you another $25,000 worth of chips, which represents 40 percent of your retirement account and 30 percent of the equity in your home. Then, sipping on yet another free scotch, you make one big last bet at the craps table and are suddenly struck by a massive heart attack.

An ambulance rushes you to the nearest hospital. What’s different about your new location? For one, you’ve gone from an institution that knows lots about you and your past to one that knows practically, or maybe even literally, nothing. The casino, before it processed your credit cards or lent you money, used advanced but routine information technology to discover details about your life, such as your current employer, whether you’ve been caught at or suspected of cheating in another casino, your bank account balances, whether there are liens on your house, and whether your life insurance is paid up. All it needed to retrieve these details was your name, Social Security number, and a modest investment in information technology.

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