Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Religion and Business Part II

As promised, I’m continuing a 2-part series on the melding of religion and business, which was inspired in part by the many books that come across our desk written by authors who are upfront about their faith and its effect on their approach to business and life.

The perfect example of this is John Maxwell. Many of Maxwell’s books are listed in both business and Christian catalogs through his partnership with Thomas Nelson, due to the fact that he was a pastor for many years and uses examples from his ministry days in his leadership books. This includes books like The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader and Everyone Communicates, Few Connect. Maxwell draws many of his principles from the Bible, such as servant leadership and the priority of the family in business and life.

Most business people are also aware of Stephen Covey’s Mormon roots, which show up in his commitment to the family, the application of his 7 habits across books aimed at teens, families and more, and even within some of his 7 habits. In Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw, Covey encourages people to have a balanced program of self-renewal, and one if the items this includes is “Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer, or service.”

Patrick Lencioni is another great example. In the midst of writing several successful fables teaching key business principles, he also wrote a book for the family called The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family. In his Point of View blog on the subject, he refers several times to his leadership and experience in his church. It’s clear that his church experience shapes his business views and vice versa.

In the political and educational realms there has been this strong push to surgically remove all mentions of religion, with a constant cry for the separation of church and state. While in business the opposite is happening, to the benefit of business and its people. Perhaps there’s something that our other institutions can learn from the business world. Namely that it’s okay to look for applications from the spiritual into the physical world, as long as there is, to again quote from A Spiritual Audit of Corporate America, “no bully pulpit promotion of traditional religion.”

In the coming weeks we’ll be looking at some of the recent trends in business book topics. What are you seeing for trends?


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