Book Reviews, Leadership

Book Review: The Top Ten Leadership Commandments by Hans Finzel

October 18, 2013

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In his book, The Top Ten Leadership Commandments, Hans Finzel documents the leadership principles that are exhibited through and in the life of Moses.  The burning-bush believer seemed to experience every possible angle of leadership during his tenure.  From his failed attempts to his frustrating angst to his final admonishments, Moses was a man who knew the ups and downs of being out front.

Finzel cleverly engraves Moses’ experiences on tablets of stone, and lists the top ten “commandments” one might glean from observing his life and ministry.  Finzel does more than just offer another leadership list of qualities and characteristics.  He takes time-tested truths and shows how they biblically play out in the life of a scriptural leader.

I like Finzel’s honest and impudent style.  He is not afraid to confess his own faults and failures.  In this book, he reminds every leader that the wilderness experience should be expected, and that being in charge has just as many problems as it does perks.  Here is the short-list of his commandments:

1. Thou shalt cling to the vision

2. Thou shalt not serve thine own ego

3. Thou shalt practice servant-leadership

4. Thou shalt be opposed, resisted, and misunderstood

5. Thou shalt have a life

6. Thou shalt sweat the small stuff

7. Thou shalt spend time in the tent

8. Thou shalt lead to leave

9. Thou shalt never give up

10. Thou shalt keep thine eyes on the prize


Favorite quotes from the book include:

“In the absence of great dreams, pettiness prevails. A vision without passion is just another boring idea” –Hans Finzel


“We cannot allow the vocal minority to dominate the desired direction of the convinced majority”


“The best way to ensure that my contribution will last is to be part of a team that shares the leadership responsibility”


“If you can’t be silent, you will have nothing to say”


“I realized that as the leader, I have to be all in or all gone”


“Your last chapters can be your best. Your final song can be your greatest. It could be that all your life has prepared you for a grand exit”


“You should think about moving if what you see in the rearview mirror is greater than what’s in your view out of the front windshield”


“Making yourself impervious to pain means shutting yourself off from most of the nuances and intricacies of life”


“To me, a call is not an audible voice or some other direct communication from God. It’s more subjective and subtle. It is a drive to do something that you cannot get out of your heart”


“Effective leadership is about pursuing a higher purpose, not about pleasing people”


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