orbiting the giant hairball: a corporate fool’s guide to surviving with grace, by gordon mackenzie.
i read a decent amount of business books. but i’m not really a business book kind of guy (um, nor am i really much of a businessperson). mackenzie’s book goes to the top 5 of my favorite business books (that list would also include good to great, purple cow, free prize inside and others). mcnair, the super-creative consultant/disney emagineer/ex-wittenburg door guy/long time friend of ys, told me to buy it when i became the pres of ys. i did read it at that time, and was blow away. the title kind of says it all: it’s about maintaining a connecting to the organization and maintaining creativity, while not getting sucked into the beaucracy of the organization. and everything about the book is creative — from the writing, to the layout (lots of doodles, a couple chapters hand-written). really, it’s a book on creativity — anyone would enjoy this book, i’d think.
when ys got bought by z a few months ago, and we started experiencing a level of, well, ‘process’, that we hadn’t experienced before, the book suddenly popped back into my mind. i bought 15 copies and gave them out to everyone at ys who has regular interactions with harper collins and zondervan (god bless ’em). and i gave a copy to my new boss (at zondervan). he loved it. so, doing something i’ve hardly ever done in my life — i read it again.
the jesus creed: loving god, loving others, by scot mcknight.
funny, both of these books i read this week were on my book meme post 10 days ago: orbiting the giant hairball for “book you’ve read more than once” (i knew i was just about to read it for the 2nd time), and the jesus creed for “book you’ve been meaning to read”.
no more meaning to read. i read it. have you ever had a book you knew you would resonate with, knew you would love, and even started recommending it to people (i’ve recommended jesus creed to tons of people), but never quite got around to actually reading? that was the jesus creed for me. no good reason. i wasn’t afraid of it, or worried it would bore me. i read scot’s second book (embracing grace) and loved it.
but all that is past now. when the author (scot) and his wonderful wife kris stayed at our house a few weeks back, the book came up a few times, and i had to confess.
as one might expect me to say from that long-winded wind-up: fantastic book. it’s one of those “i’d like to orient my life around this book” kind of books. the jesus creed, btw, is:
hear, o israel, the lord our god, the lord is one.
love the lord your god with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind, and with all your strength.
the second is this: love your neighbor as yourself.
there is no commandment greater than these.
there’s a simplicity to the book, as mcknight unpacks some very simple, yet profound, truths — centering around the rooted-and-connected idea that the jesus creed is jesus’ update of the shemah, and the lord’s prayer is jesus’ update of a jewish prayer called the kaddish, and so on. all of these “updates” (my word, not scot’s) are rooted in the simple “love god, love others” message of the jesus creed. really, all followers of jesus christ should read this book (i’m not exaggerating). it’s likely to move to the “book you’ve read more than once” category for me.