The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Strategies for Managing Your Business and Your Life

Michael Roach, Author, Geshe Michael Roach, Author Doubleday Books $23.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-385-49790-9
In the vein of Richard D. Phillips's The Heart of an Executive: Lessons on Leadership from the Life of King David, this book offers a practical application of Buddhist teachings to managing business and life. A Buddhist monk and former diamond district executive, Roach says that the three Buddhist-inspired principles on which he built his success can be applied to other businesses and other circumstances. The principles stipulate that businesses should be profitable, that we should enjoy the money we earn, not working ourselves so hard earning it that we can't enjoy the nice home or relaxing trip it might provide, and that we should be able to claim, when all is said and done, that our years in business were meaningful. ""To summarize,"" writes Roach, ""the goal of business, and of ancient Tibetan wisdom... is to enrich ourselves."" Roach's uncritical tendency to marry Buddhism and capitalism without so much as a raised eyebrow might give readers pause. (In the end, Roach redeems himself a little by suggesting that the Buddhist teachings of Limitlessness imply that everyone could have enough wealth.) The principles he propounds are appealing, indeed, but they tell us much more about current-day attitudes toward work and money than they do about ""ancient Tibetan wisdom."" Entrepreneurs seeking solid advice for worldly success may find this book helpful, but those interested in Tibetan Buddhism will likely consider it superficial. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
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