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Religion and Contemporary Management

Religion and Contemporary Management

Moses as a Model for Effective Leadership

By Arthur J. Wolak

Though few might think of Moses as a ‘leader’ or even a ‘manager’ in the contemporary sense, Moses –among the most significant leaders in Western civilization – is arguably the quintessential example of leadership from whom much can be learned by people entering and occupying leadership positions.

Hardback, 250 Pages

ISBN:9781783085996

November 2016

£70.00, $115.00

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  • About This Book
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About This Book

‘Leadership’ is crucial to contemporary business, politics, and organizations of every type, including the corporate, non-profit, educational, and government sectors. While modern leadership theorists suggest various models, traits, and approaches to leadership behavior that purport novelty, Ecclesiastes just may have been right that ‘There is nothing new under the sun’. The biblical figure of Moses – a familiar name both to adherents of the Western religious traditions and to people who are not – provides an exemplary model of effective leadership that is broadly applicable. Moses is depicted in the Bible as exhibiting ‘heroic’ and ‘charismatic’ tendencies. He was certainly empathic. Yet Moses also shows ‘transactional’, ‘transformational’ and ‘visionary’ leadership qualities. A leader of good character, Moses exhibits features similar to the Yiddish term, ‘mensch’ – someone showing responsibility and integrity, knowing right from wrong.

Though few might think of Moses as a ‘leader’ or a ‘manager’ in the contemporary sense, Moses not only holds a firm place among the most significant leaders in Western civilization but is arguably the quintessential example of leadership from whom much can be learned by people entering and occupying leadership positions. While current leadership and management vocabulary might differ from the Hebrew Bible, many of the traits, behaviors and actions advocated by modern leadership theorists appear to emulate those of Moses. Wolak contrasts contemporary leadership ideas with biblical and rabbinic sources that show Moses’ leadership qualities, Moses serves as an ancient model with current relevance for what modern leadership theorists argue make for an effective leader.

‘Religion and Contemporary Management’ discusses and compares original and critical biblical and rabbinic sources with current business leadership and management literature, revealing what leadership theorists’ advocate today largely emulates what the Bible depicts as effective leadership through Moses’ example. Hence, Moses’ influence on current leadership trends in Western culture appears pervasive, even if contemporary leadership theorists do not typically cite Moses as an important source for leadership precedent.

Reviews

“In his down-to-earth, accessible writing style, Wolak extracts key lessons from Moses and other Jewish leaders, and extrapolates those features of successful leadership that go beyond the religious context. Whether you are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or […] whether you are an organizational leader or are simply interested in ethical leadership, Religion and Contemporary Management serves as a model for people who want to become the kind of leaders that our modern world truly needs.”
—Traci Shoblom, Owner and Creative Director, Shoblom Productions, USA


"For any reader who aspires to change the landscape of modern society, whether in business, politics, religion, or any other area where leaders have power, Religion and Contemporary Management: Moses as a Model for Effective Leadership is a valuable resource. It’s time to free ourselves from the corruption that seems so rampant these days, and to follow in the footsteps of Moses."
—Larry Pate, Chief Learning Officer, Decision Systems International, and Adjunct Professor, California State University, Long Beach, USA


“Religion and Contemporary Management presents Moses, a hero to three religious traditions, as an exemplary leader whose blend of skill, character and vision defies easy categorization. Wolak’s analysis is informative, inspiring, interdisciplinary and integrative—an excellent read for both beginners and experts.”
—Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan, Director of Inter-Religious Studies, Vancouver School of Theology, Canada


“Moses is shown to be a mensch with a visionary tough empathy approach to empowerment of people that fits well with the needs and expectations of our time.”
—Charles Wankel, Professor of Management, St. John’s University, USA


"While we know that great historical figures such as Moses had a profound influence on our world, we often know much less about what they actually did to accomplish their impact. Wolak provides a revealing study of Moses’ key leadership attributes and, most importantly, how these are applicable today. This book is a compelling read on how we can become more reflective about what we need to do to develop ourselves and others to become the leaders we wish to be.” –John Milliman, Professor of Management & Organization, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, USA

Author Information

Dr. Arthur J. Wolak is President of CMI Chat Media Inc. He received his PhD in management from Macquarie University, Australia, and earned graduate degrees in comparative religion from Gratz College. Wolak has published articles in ‘The International Journal of Organizational Analysis’, ‘The Australasian Canadian Studies Journal’ and ‘The Jewish Bible Quarterly’.

Series

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Foreword by Ruth Sandberg; Foreword by Larry Pate; About the Author; Epigraph; Introduction; 1. Ancient Leadership for Present Times; 2. Defining Leadership; 3. Leaders and Managers; 4. Heroism, Charisma and Their Limitations; 5. Empathic Leadership; 6. Humility – the Antithesis of Arrogance; 7. Moses’ Essential Leadership Skills; 8. Assessing Moses’ Leadership Style; Glossary; Bibliography; Index

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