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Congregational Libraries Today -The Genesis of Leadership: What the Bible Teaches Us about Vision, Values, and Leading Change - Laufer, Nathan. Jewish Lights, 2006. 259p. $24.99, Hardcover. ISBN-10: 1580232418. ISBN-13: 9781580232418. 296.6'1 Leadership-Biblical teaching. Leadership-Religious aspects-Judaism. Bible. O.T.- Criticism, interpretation, etc.. Bible. O.T.-Genesis-Criticism, interpretation, etc.
"Turn it and turn it again, for all things are found in it." The ancient sages who described the Torah with those words would not be surprised to see the Torah held up as a text for teaching leadership skills. Nathan Laufer applies his experience at the Wexner Heritage Foundation in New York to teaching leadership skills through the medium of the Torah's tales. His trenchant understanding of both the Torah and the art of leadership makes this book worthy of notice.
Laufer's telling stretches from the first days in the Garden of Eden to the last days of Moses. He suggests that the stories of Genesis demonstrate the importance of building relationships between leaders and followers, of taking responsibility for one another, and for rooting one's leadership in positive values. He describes the narrative of Exodus as modeling ten positive rules for good leadership, while Numbers highlights eight challenges that leaders face. In presenting the lessons of Deuteronomy, Laufer notes the importance of evaluating a leader's success, providing for succession and assuring continuity for the future.
Lovers of the Bible and aspiring leaders will benefit equally from Laufer's insight. Read it, learn from it, see the tales of the Torah in a new light, then read it again. Many lessons remain to be learned.