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The Way of the Shepherd: 7 Ancient Secrets to Managing Productive People Hardcover – July 31, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 204 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The contrivance of this leadership handbook is a story-within-a-story: when a newbie business reporter snags an interview with a powerful CEO, the businessman takes the journalist under his wing and reveals the seven secrets he learned from his own mentor many years ago. These "secrets" turn out to be the very same principles that drive other leadership books: respect your employees and they will follow you; know their hopes and personalities; instill a sense of group identification and trust; give 100% from the heart at all times. What’s unique about this leadership manual is its view that "people are a lot like sheep," leading to an overarching sheep metaphor that drives the entire book. In the chapter on direction, for example, the mentor urges shepherd-managers to lead with gentle nudges of the staff before employing the heavy-handed, painful prodding of the rod. The chapter on company identification talks about the need for "tagging" the sheep so they are instantly recognizable as a cohesive flock. And who knew that the phrase "pull the wool over his eyes" originated in actual shepherding techniques?
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Back Cover

Find inspiration and a fresh perspective on the art of leadership in this account of a cub reporter who lands the interview of a lifetime and walks away with the keys to exceptional leadership. When the reporter meets with the most respected CEO in America, the businessman shares the seven secrets he learned long ago from his mentor---an eccentric but brilliant professor who taught him proven management principles that, while ancient in origin, are applicable in today's fast-paced, high-tech world. The Way of the Shepherd is a compact, heart-warming story dotted with humor. It will teach you how to lead the people close to you so they will view their work as a calling rather than merely a job, a place to belong rather than a place to work. It shows leaders how to infuse work with meaning and how to engage, energize, and ignite their workforce and gives employees a better understanding of what makes for a quality work experience. It is a powerful metaphor for leaders that reaches back 5,000 years. It is . . . The Way of the Shepherd.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; 1 edition (July 31, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310250978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310250975
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
More than just another management book, The Way of the Shepherd relates sound people management practices to shepherding. Basically it takes seven of the most important principles of shepherding and relates them to managing productive people who want to work for you. The seven principles are each set in their own chapter and covered in detail. of Know the Condition of Your Flock, Discover the Shape of Your Sheep, Help Your Sheep Identify with You, Make Your Pasture a Safe Place, The Staff of Direction, The Rod of Correction, The Heart of the Shepherd.

Basically by explaining various important aspects of good shepherding the authors provide solid object lessons in managing people. Each chapter ends with a short synopsis of the major points. There is a lot of wisdom concentrated in these seven principles and I found myself printing them out on a small card that I can carry with me. The Way of the Shepherd is a highly recommended purchase and can be applied to many different kings of "flocks" - family, church, service groups, or any other group you care about.
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Format: Hardcover
One of a manager's primary challenges is to maintain the talent that you have recruited, trained and made personal and corporate investment in development. You don't want this talent to walk or move to a competitor. We invest money in maintaining and upgrading our capital investments regularly. Way of the Shepherd tells you how to make human investment.

Pentak and Leman take lessons from an experienced shepherd, and translate good practice into human resource management. They take you through Management 101 to Human Resource Development at the post-graduate level in simple, but deep lessons about management's role in personnel maintenance.

Take a weekend and go to shepherding school, or take this on your next business flight and you'll have the tools to re-ignite your committment to your staff, from your stars to you marginal performers. It's an investment of time that will pay returns after each chapter, from knowing your sheep to making a safe pasture to providing correction and direction.

This is the best human resource management book I have ever read. It's insightful and practical. I am recommending it to my management team and to my boss. It will contribute to reaching our department goal - being the best place to work.

Jim Johns
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Format: Hardcover
Based on a friend's recommendation, I began using The Way of the Shepherd as a primer for new leaders in my organization. It uses a very simple construct for teaching-through-storytelling about how to be a "leader" and not a "boss". That construct is tending sheep.

It does not imply at all (as I was concerned about) that all of the front-line employees are rudimenatary herd animals... rather, it calls the leader to a higher level of personal responsibility for the well-being, safety, and activity of the workgroup.

I've read hundreds of leadership and business books over my career - many of which are outstanding - and this is the one I always start a new leader with. It's short, it's easy to read, and it communicates all the right things.
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Format: Hardcover
I read the book this weekend and thought it was great. I believe that the book has captured the essence of the vacuum we find in the business world today. Anyone aspiring to a position of leadership should commit the story and the principles to memory.

I'm thinking about reading it to my boys. Even though they are younger the story will captivate their minds and present me with the opportunity to discuss the underlying principles that the Way of the Shepherd communicates.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a pastor, I benefited greatly by reading this book. I have read many of Dr. Leman's books before, so I wasn't expecting this kind of format. This is a parable of a professor/shepherd who shares with one of his MBA students principles of managing people by introducing him to his flock of sheep. The principles in the parable will help those in leadership positions in business as well as in ministry. The book is quite short and can be read in several hours.

Principles in the parable include knowing your flock, engaging them on a regular basis, building trust with your followers, keeping your flock well informed, protecting them, using persuasion rather than coercision, helping them when they get in trouble, being willing to pay the price of leadership, and developing a heart for your flock.
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Format: Hardcover
The book is an easy read. I have spent the last 16 years managing people and clients; the last 12 years managing a family. The book provides the "secrets" plus "how to" implement them. Executives and families can use the book's principles to change the way we manage our load.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read many leadership books, this is one of the best in teaching how to lead with your heart. It's well-written, easy to read, and paints a challenging, yet rewarding picture of leadership that requires devotion and commitment of oneself above and beyond all else.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just left a job of many years to go to another company to manage a small group of people My management team were poor shepherds,I now know this and know why I left. I am going to use what i read in this book to be a great Shepherd to my people I highly recommend this book to all employees or managers who want to learn the way of treating your people properly.What a touching book this was I will read it again buy this if you want to learn how to take care of your herd.
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