Leadership in the Wilderness: Biblical Authority in Times of Uncertainty
By Erica Brown
OU Press, Maggid Books
Books that present leadership lessons derived from the Bible are all the rage these days. A whole industry has arisen in recent years to create books, aimed at CEOs and other business leaders, that are filled with leadership secrets of the great Biblical figures. One almost gets the distinct impression that the great men and women of the Bible would have used their leadership talents to preside over wildly successful IPOs and then fearlessly lead their companies on to the Fortune 500 list.
And those books on “leadership lessons from the Bible” often lose their way because they apply lessons and strategies where they don’t belong. And while there is nothing intrinsically wrong with running or building up a business, it’s hard to imagine that that activity would have engaged Moshe’s energies and passion the same way teaching Torah to the Jewish nation did.
And that’s one of the many features that distinguishes Erica Brown’s new book, Leadership in the Wilderness: Biblical Authority in Times of Uncertainty, from the rest of the books in this genre. Dr. Brown, renowned teacher, writer and educator, identifies lessons of leadership—some overt, many subtle—that emerge from the tumultuous period of the Jews’ journey through the desert, and she never divests those lessons of their religious and moral dimensions and underpinnings. As a result, the lessons are as honest as they are powerful.
Like her previous works, Leadership in the Wilderness serves up a blend of practical, spiritual and motivational insights, carefully designed to translate lofty theory into practical everyday behavior, growth and success.
Leadership in the Wilderness addresses topics such as “Preparing for Uncertainty,” “Transitions,” “The Breakdown of Authority” and “Re-establishing Trust,” which are also the names of the four sections into which the book is divided. Dr. Brown’s prose often reads like poetry; her command of the English language and her subject matter combine to create a text that is a pleasure to read.
Leadership in the Wilderness: Biblical Authority in Times of Uncertainty is a book about true leadership—Torah leadership. Every person in a position of authority—a parent, teacher, rabbi and CEO—will want to read this book and benefit tremendously from its lessons.