Ambrose professor tailors message for mass market

2012-10-19T17:08:00Z Ambrose professor tailors message for mass marketDeirdre Cox Baker The Quad-City Times
October 19, 2012 5:08 pm  • 

A new book intended to blend the words of Jesus with modern leadership goals was penned by a Davenport man.

Dan Ebener, a professor in the College of Business at St. Ambrose University, Davenport, had his second nonfiction book released this week: “Blessings for Leaders: Leadership Wisdom from the Beatitudes.”

It is intended for the mass market and is billed for individuals interested in greater insight or groups journeying to a deeper understanding of the leadership vision of Jesus Christ.

Ebener wrote his first book in 2010, titled “Servant Leadership Models for Your Parish.” That was geared to churches and support organizations.

The new book is for a wider audience, for “anyone who wants to be a leader or a manager and has a strong sense of faith,” he said. “This one takes religious principles, biblical in nature, to any business or organization.”

The idea for the book came after Ebener led a retreat for an Episcopal church in Cedar Rapids. He planned to reflect on the Beatitudes in the first part of the retreat, but ended up spending most of the time teaching and discussing the Beatitudes.

“I was able to address almost every topic I had wanted to bring up in the seminar,” he said. “I realized, driving home, that the Holy Spirit helped me to understand, there was a book in that experience.”

Eight blessings

Ebener weaves an understanding of the eight Bible verses — which, according to history, were first said by Jesus Christ at the Sermon on the Mount — into top challenges of leadership: mission, vision, core values, fellowship, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, communication and listening, team-building, meeting facilitation, innovation and dealing with change.

Each chapter begins with Scripture, reflects on how leadership virtues are associated with each of the eight Beatitudes, and suggests how they might be extended to leadership challenges such as conflict resolution.

It’s getting some buzz in the Quad-City area and beyond. For example, one review was authored by Ken Blanchard, best-selling author of “1-Minute Manager.”

“‘Blessings for Leaders’ offers profound spiritual inspiration for every aspect of leadership. With thoughtful and encouraging examples of how the teachings of Jesus can be applied in any work place, Dr. Dan Ebener has given a gift to leaders everywhere,” Blanchard wrote in an endorsement.

Quad-City reviewers included Cheryl Goodwin, president and chief executive at Family Resources Inc., and Clyde Mayfield, owner of Greatest Grains, Davenport. “‘Blessings for Leaders’ is an amazing book, written for everyone who wishes to energize their faith and practice real leadership,” Mayfield wrote. “Dan’s book makes leadership very doable!”

On the road

Ebener is taking his book on the road with speaking engagements, many of which, he noted with a laugh, are in U.S. cities that have NFL teams. These include Los Angeles, Chicago, Jacksonville and Green Bay. He’ll also visit and promote the book locally and in smaller locales such as Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Winona, Minn.

Now in his seventh year at St. Ambrose, Ebener spent more than 20 years working in the Catholic Diocese of Davenport. The new book is getting attention as it blends two goals, he said.

“You have people looking for ways to practice their faith in the context of their business,” he said, adding that’s not to say leaders and managers want to evangelize at the office. It’s more how a leader can model the Christian behavior in a fulfilling, personally nourishing way, he explained.

Mixing the two goals makes people become better, more effective leaders, Ebener said.

Find the book

- Online: blessingsforleaders.com or servantleadershipmodels.com.

- Phone: 800-858-5450.

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