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HTS Theological Studies

Print version ISSN 0259-9422

Herv. teol. stud. vol.64 no.4 Pretoria Oct./Dec. 2008

 

BOEKBESPREKINGS / BOOK REVIEWS

 

 

Nel, G 2007 - The compassionate leader: Leading like Jesus did. How treating people properly can give you the corporate edge

ISBN: 978 0 620 39849 7, Pages i-150. Price: Unknown

Reviewer: Rev Frikkie J Labuschagne (Parys)

Dr Gerhard Nel is a minister in the Netherdutch Reformed Church in Arcadia, Pretoria. He obtained his doctorate in New Testament Studies from the University of Pretoria on the theme of Jesus' ethics.

The Compassionate leader follows a dialogical approach. The primary purpose of this book is to enable leaders or potential leaders to apply the Christian ethics outlined in their work environment.

"Leading like Jesus did" sets the tone for the author's approach to a highly debatable subject: leadership. Effective leadership happens when you as a leader have the ability to lead with compassion and to address the needs of people.

Potential readers are:

• Ministers
• Leaders and potential leaders
• Business people
• Members of congregations

The compassionate leader is a book on Jesus and a new way of leading people. Christians in the business world should apply a new ethics if they want to make a difference and lead people effectively.

"Research shows that spirituality in the work place enhances individual creativity, honesty and trust within companies. Employees also experience a sense of spiritual fulfillment and they are more committed to the organization's targets, goals and aspirations." Based on the life and work of Jesus, this book will help leaders to identify and associate with Jesus' leadership and "management style".

The following facets of Compassionate Leadership are addressed in this very practical and principle-based book:

• Leading with sensitivity leads to compassion with oneself and could extend to compassion towards others.
• Emotional intelligence enables compassionate leaders to manage their own emotions.
• Responsible corporate leadership should be based on sound moral values and principles.
• The "soft" leadership style that Jesus himself displayed, can be compared to the new and highly appreciated charismatic leadership style. Jesus replaced an autocratic management style with a sensitive approach.
• The book will help any leader in facilitating change. Change is a reality every leader has to deal with. Jesus taught his followers to have an attitude of life-long learning.
• A relational approach to leadership will bring compassionate relationships into focus again. Jesus displayed an emphatic approach towards everyone he encountered.

The compassionate leader is attractively presented and is easy to read .