Quality thinking is essential for excellence in work and business. Quality thinking is impacted greatly by quality books and materials. I know there are brilliant, creative thought leaders out there, but even those on the far right end of the bell curve are impacted by quality books. I cannot tell you how much my life has been enriched and my understanding expanded and strengthened through the writings of smart people.
Most of the top business owners, CEO’s, and pastors I know and am familiar with are serious readers themselves. Even those entrepreneurs who do not read much have some sources that have made and continue to make a major difference in their lives, leadership, and businesses.
As much as I love the writings of Peter Drucker, Seth Godin, Ken Blanchard, Jim Collins, Steven Covey, Dave Ramsey, Jonathan Fields, Michael Port, and so many others there is one book that has helped me more than any other. As a matter of fact, in all the books I have read over the years, each main principle shared by these great thought leaders has already been written in a foundational format. What is this book? The Bible.
If you are a Bible reader, you may have seen the same thing already. If not, please don’t shut me down. You do want the best materials available, right? Think about this: Peter Drucker’s “management by objectives” is in the Bible. Seth Godin’s, “permission marketing and build a tribe” concepts are there as well. Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy’s goal-setting emphasis are taught and practiced by Jesus and Paul. Jim Collin’s most recent book about thriving in times of uncertainty gives several key principles that make a leader and company 10x (ten times more profitable than peers). Every single one is clearly taught in the Bible (using older and different language, but the same concepts).
The difficulty in finding these principles in Scripture is that they are woven throughout the book. The book of Proverbs has the most concentrated business content, but many others are only seen in the context of other lessons. Perhaps that is why the writer of Proverbs tells us that finding knowledge and getting wisdom should be a top priority for all of us but only people who are willing to seek it like gold will find it. There’s one of those business leadership principles: commitment to growth and excellence are essential.
Part of my style and focus is helping leaders get the most bang for the buck and that includes getting the most out of the Bible when you have limited time.
Here are my suggestions:
- Get out a notebook and write down what stands out to you. As Benjamin Franklin said, “The weakest pencil is stronger than the best memory.”
- Read Proverbs, the life of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, Colossians 3-4, 1 Thessalonians 4-5, 1 Timothy 4, and the Book of Acts.
- Follow those with Exodus (Moses leadership journey), and 1 and 2nd Chronicles for examples of great, average, and terrible leadership.
As a Christ-follower I use the Bible as my continued source book and filter for other materials out there, but I have yet to find a major principle taught by these renowned authors than conflicts with major Bible principles.
What about you? If you are a Bible reader, what business and leadership principles have you discovered?