I would reluctantly recommend Steven K. Scott‘s The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived: Secrets of Unparalleled Success and Unshakable Happiness from the Life of Jesus. I was fortunate enough to receive two copies in a special pre-release (which I shared with one of our ministry interns). Copies are available at Golden Gate Bookstores for under $13.00 a piece http://www.goldengatebookstore.com/rel/v2_viewupc.php?storenr=333&upc=1400074649&affnr=-2610).
Though the author might have good intentions and several solid bits of instruction, I have difficulty with the general premise of his book. Christ is not concerned with our success and happiness as much as with our trust and obedience. For works on Christian leadership, I would rather one read books like Andy Stanley’s Next Generation Leader or Reggie McNeal’s Practicing Greatness. They not only are more effective in calling leaders to have integrity and influence but also to exhibit those characteristics for the correct reasons.
Even so, many of his teachings and thoughts were helpful – especially his chapter on “Meaning that Motivates: Finding Your ‘Whys.'” The author proposes that “understanding changes minds – action changes lives.” He calls all Christ-followers to be intentional in identifying and deepening the reasons why they do what they do. Most people do what they do for one of the following reasons . . .
- Personal gratification, money, or material possessions
- Approval and applause of others
- Fear of failure, criticism, consequences, or loss
- Survival or significance
- Connection to God
I keep returning to the passage that reads, “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began'” (John 17:1-5).
Official Description: In The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived, Scott guides readers in a step-by-step application of the life-changing principles, skills, and methods that Jesus used throughout his earthly life. Although believers may spend a lifetime learning from Jesus’ teachings, it’s easy to overlook the powerful lessons demonstrated in His life. But when these incomparable lessons are learned and put to use, they enable ordinary people to achieve extraordinary success and happiness. From Jesus’ earthly life readers will learn: How to break through the barriers that prevent them from achieving extraordinary success at work and relational success at home. How to experience a level of happiness and fulfillment that nothing the world offers can duplicate. How to use adversity and opposition as a springboard for greater success. How to love others in a way that increases their love as well. No matter what a person’s area of expertise and in what setting a person influences others, living by the principles of Jesus’ life on earth produces extraordinary success, unprecedented achievements, personal fulfillment, and blessings for others.
Official Biography: Steven K. Scott is the best-selling author of The Richest Man Who Ever Lived, The Greatest Words Ever Spoken, and Mentored by a Millionaire. After failing in nine jobs, he started reading a chapter of Proverbs every day—and the wisdom of Scripture changed his life. Scott and his business partners have built more than a dozen multimillion-dollar companies from scratch, achieving billions of dollars in sales. He is the co-founder of Max International, Total Gym Fitness, and The American Telecast Corporation. He is a popular international speaker on the subjects of personal and professional achievement and the application of biblical wisdom to every area of life.