In the great Zen tradition of teaching stories, Marc Lesser relates his own personal and professional trials as he navigates the delicate path of managing a successful business while staying true to his spiritual roots. Struggling through a difficult economic climate, he also faces the usual challenges of running a growing company — meeting payroll, balancing cashflow, hiring and firing employees, and maintaining relationships with vendors and customers. Guiding him through these difficulties while providing strength and insight is the practice of Zen. Utilizing his training as a Zen practitioner, Lesser learns to apply specific teachings such as the eight-fold path directly to work and life. In chapters such as "Work: The Impossible Request," "Appreciating Uncertainty," and "Accomplishing More by Doing Less," ZBA: The Zen of Business Administration provides readers with intimate, helpful advice, while acknowledging the paradox of applying spiritual practice to the business world.
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"I love this book. It is profoundly simple. It is understandable and accessible — a powerful way to integrate life and work." — Eileen Fisher, clothing designer and president of Eileen Fisher, Inc.
"Marc Lesser's book illuminates his two-tiered life history — as Zen adept and business entrepreneur — with a skillfully woven fabric of Buddhist teachings and personal stories. I loved reading about his triumphs and tribulations in both spheres. This is how it really is, in Zen and in business. May his readers learn and prosper from Marc's hard-won wisdom!" — Lewis Richmond, author of Work as a Spiritual Practice
"ZBA is a wake-up call for any entrepreneur who seeks self-knowledge, life balance, and boundless vitality. You’ll save yourself years of practice just by contemplating the provocative questions at the end of every chapter." — Will Rosenzweig, former president and CEO of The Republic of Tea and coauthor of The Republic of Tea: How an Idea Becomes a Business
"I have long realized that among spiritual paths Zen is uniquely suited to application in the world of work. The way is right there at your fingertips, not complicated, but it does require a guide, someone who knows Zen practice — and the ins and outs of real-world business. In ZBA Marc Lesser has managed with elegant and honest lucidity to point to a Zen way of working. This book isn't Zen in ten easy steps: it's a reliable companion for the path." — Norman Fischer, former abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center and author of Taking Our Places
"There is an urgent need for all of us to walk our faith in the marketplace. Z.B.A. Zen of Business Administration by Marc Lesser will surely help. Read, rejoice, and start practicing." — Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager® and The Secret
"Marc does a brilliant job blending the spiritual and the practical in a likeable style of simplicity, genuineness, and self-deprecating humor. His book shows us how the philosophies and practices of Zen will give us resilience in the face of challenges, win the hearts and minds of employees, customers and business partners, and deliver a unique kind of competitive edge in the world of business." — Minh Le, president of The Wilfred Jarvis Institute
"In a world of intense competition and drive for short-term profits, Marc Lesser brings a new and vital message. The world of work is not about profits, promotions, bonuses, and self-interested behavior. True work is the art of living life—a life of vitality, of completeness, of interdependence with our fellow workers, our environment, our loved ones, and most important with ourselves." —John Oliver Wilson, retired executive vice president and chief economist of Bank of America
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