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Open and Relational Leadership: Leading with Love

 

We’ve been thinking about leadership the wrong way.

What if good leaders lead like God? And what if God’s leading is open and relational?

Leadership studies have blossomed in recent decades. Many researchers take developments in science, economics, medicine, or politics as their guide when advancing theories in leadership. Others seek insights from great leaders of yesteryear, presidents and prime ministers, coaches, or titans of industry today. Some mine sacred scripture.

 


Open and Relational Leadership is unique among leadership books. It describes what good leadership looks like from an open and relational theological perspective.

Open and relational theology has many dimensions and facets. At its core are these ideas:

1. God is relational. God engages creation by giving love and receiving responses.
2. Creatures and creation are relational. We all affect one another; no one is isolated.
3. The future is open, not predetermined. Our choices and decisions really do matter.

Contributors to this book explore questions like, What would it mean to lead like a God who is open, relational, and loving? What does leadership look like in an open and relational world with open and relational people? What “style” of leadership fits this view? What common views of leadership present problems that the open and relational leadership model overcomes? And so on. These essays upend long-held views of hierarchy, tit-for-tat exchange, disconnected leaders, or controlling leadership.

Open and Relational Leadership leads with love, like a loving God leads.

 

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Reviews

“Short, well-crafted chapters together with deep theological insight – this book is a treasure, bringing creative resources to the study of leadership, theology, ministry, and citizenship. Highly recommended!” — Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration

“There are still too many people who think that leadership is deciding what other people should do and getting them to do it This book makes clear that often the leader’s task is to widen horizons and offer new possibilities. Those who read this book will understand more deeply how to lead and follow.” — John B. Cobb, Jr., Author of Jesus’ Abba

 

Thomas is also the Director for  The Center for Open and Relational Theology  which exists to promote:  open and relational thinking, networking among like-minded people, projects that build upon or advance open and relational ideas, announce news, and provide open and relational theology resources.

 

About the Author

Thomas Jay Oord is a theologian, philosopher, and scholar of multi-disciplinary studies. He is an award-winning author, and he has written or edited more than twenty-five books. Oord directs a doctoral program at Northwind Theological Seminary and The Center for Open and Relational Theology. He won the Outstanding Faculty Award twelve times as a full-time professor and now speaks at institutions across the globe. Oord is known for his contributions to research on love, open and relational theology, science and religion, and freedom and relationships for transformation.

Review & Commentary