A debut business guide and memoir applies Judeo-Christian philosophy.
For the organizing focal point of his manual, small business owner Struble has chosen one of the least likely parts in the entire New Testament: the Galilean fisherman Zebedee. He’s mentioned glancingly in the Gospels of St. Mark and St. Matthew as, in Struble’s words, “the proud owner of a small fishing company that operated several fishing boats on the Sea of Galilee and employed at least four men.” Zebedee’s partners were Simon Peter and Andrew, and his fellow fishermen were his sons James and John—and all four of them left the business to follow Jesus, presumably leaving Zebedee high and dry. “I imagine him smelling of fish and sweat while staring off at the backs of five men walking away,” Struble writes, in the kind of charming detail that fills this book. The author muses that Zebedee was thus forced to rethink his careful business plans completely. On such a slender foundation, Struble manages to construct a dense and consistently thought-provoking treatise on team building, accountability, employee discipline, negotiation, and dozens of other aspects of the modern business world. The author has absorbed a wide variety of the most popular business books written in the last 20 or 30 years, but from the start, he stresses that the orientation of his own work stems from a far older source. “Instead of looking at Fortune 500 companies or other twenty-first-century business studies that evaluate employee impacts on business success,” he writes, “I will look at that twenty-first-century issue through the lens of the Bible.” He deftly examines a wide spectrum of Scripture to draw lessons that can be applied to contemporary businesses. But his emphasis always returns to poor Zebedee, suddenly left with no partners or employees, marvelously dramatized by Struble as a template for small business owners everywhere. “As employers and employees, we are first and foremost the children of a gracious and loving God,” the author reminds his Christian readers and fellow professionals.
A remarkable business manual that delivers useful advice based on biblical passages.