HE was given a tough job: to turn around a moribund enterprise. When he began, he faced a cynical crowd. Sycophants and power-grabbers tried to sabotage his work. He recruited twelve uneducated and inexperienced staff and was given only three years to transform them into top caliber leaders who would carry on his work. His strategy was so radical that competitors nailed him down.
Two thousand years later, his management team continues his work despite tough competition and has put life and hope to an enterprise that at one time was nearly wiped out my blood.
Yet, no management association has named him as management man of the year. Founders of companies which have existed and survived in last century were given awards. This founder of an organization that has survived and grown despite unfair competition for close to two thousand years has no award to his name.
His management style is sometimes even considered not suitable to a business organization. However, he has exerted such influence in the word that we mark time based on his existence.
This leader without equal is Jesus Christ. In the book, “Jesus CEO,” author Laurie Beth Jones put the spotlight on Jesus as CEO or a chief executive officer of the world and shows how his leadership style can be adopted by any of us in any kind of organization.
Unfortunately, some business organizations and leaders think that the teachings of Jesus have no place in business where the rush to gain profit is priority. They serve god in church but mammon in their offices.
What business organization today is free of the so-called “pragmatism” that justifies their way of doing business which may or may not be at all ethical?
Following Jesus’ teachings is considered being “goody-goody” which some businessmen fear will only lead to the failure of their businesses in the marketplace.
Jones shows that Jesus’ leadership style is highly relevant to organizations of today.
Strengths of a Leader
Jones writes that Jesus had three categories of strengths which leaders should develop. These are the strength of self-mastery, the strength of action and the strength of relationship. Drawing from bible stories, she illustrates how Jesus showed this strengths and how one can draw one these strengths to achieve “divine excellence.”
Jones writes that Jesus had self-mastery. He knows who he was: “I am what I am.” He believed in his mission and stuck to it despite great temptations. He believed in himself, overcame his human fears and was confident that he was doing the right thing even though other people thought he was foolish.
Jones explains that Jesus expressed his strength in action. He unceasingly went about god’s work, teaching and healing. He was daring, highly visible to his followers, and determined to fulfill his mission. He trained and coached his successors and went out of his way for his people. He did not take short-cuts and gave excellent service to his people.
Jones discusses Jesus’ strength of relationship anchored on “a vision of something larger than them.” He believed in his people, was open to their ideas and empowered them. He was unstinting in his praises and generous in his forgiveness of their mistakes. Jesus treated them with dignity gave them authority and held them accountable. He motivated, served and spend fun time with them. Jesus loved them even beyond his death and took everyone to the top.
Reading Jones’ fluid prose that does away with preaching, one realizes that this ancient wisdom is of utmost relevance for leaders today.
Jones writes: “with the business world changing so rapidly and so drastically, it seemed to me that we need creative and innovative role models now more than over before. I believed the world is crying out for leaders whose goals are to build up, not to dear down; to nurture, not to exploit; to under gird and enhance, rather than to dominate. Jesus as a leader struck me as the noblest of them all.”
With such enlightenment, one notices the glaring disparity between Jesus’ way and the ways of man. However, Jones explains it in such a way as to show that any one can follow Jesus’ model for as long as he is determined to follow Jesus’ path. As the books preface states: “(the book) is a practical, step-by-step guide to communicating with the motivating people … it can be applied to any business, service or endeavor that depend on more than one person to accomplish a goal, and can be implemented by anyone who dares.”
This Christmas, the whole world will be celebrating the birth of the greatest leader of all time, Jesus Christ. Though his career ended on the cross, his light continues to guide millions through the ages.
For CEOs faced with the challenges of an unstable world economy, Laurie Beth Jones’ book shows how Jesus’ light can guide them in the dark times ahead. He is, after all, the best CEO of all time.
by Laurie Beth Jones Hyperion,
New York, USA 1995, 318 pages
Author: Regina Galang Reyes. First published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer December 22, 1997
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