...this is a two inch paperback book with 216 anecdotes, precepts and lessons from various Zen teachers of the Song Dynasty in China. Some interesting history and discussion appears in the 30-odd pages of the Translator's Introduction at the beginning of the book...Thomas Clary says of this period that Zen was "characterized by complexity of form and ingenious imagery with multiple meaning" and so, one finds many ambiguities in the lessons. And also there's much discussion on what the nature of Zen (Tang vs Song Dynasties) and what the way of the Sages should be. That should not, however, stop the modern day student (whether in business, politics or some other leadership position) from seeking some of the lessons offered in the book. In fact, Clary also translated Sun Tzu's "The Art of War", most recently found in corporate bookshelves.
It is said that there is nothing new under the sun. Certainly the issues facing leaders today are comparable to those that have faced leaders across cultures and throughout time. Human nature has not changed, and therefore the fundamentals of leadership -- the process of channeling human nature in a particular direction -- have not changed.
"Zen Lessons: The Art of Leadership" conveys this message in spades. In the format of a series of compact passages, it presents excerpts from the cumulative wisdom of thousands of years of experience with continual political society. The insights and lessons contained in this book are as poignant today as they were when they were first put forth; the reader will be astounded, gratified, and ideally energized to pursue a path of virtuous leadership in his or her personal and professional life.
This reviewer highly recommends this book for those in corporate, governmental, public or private positions of leadership, as! well as for the general reader. After all, it is the duty of the citizenry to expect great things from those it follows.