cover image RUNNING WITH THE GIANTS: What Old Testament Heroes Want You to Know About Life and Leadership

RUNNING WITH THE GIANTS: What Old Testament Heroes Want You to Know About Life and Leadership

John C. Maxwell, . . Warner Faith, $12.95 (96pp) ISBN 978-0-446-53069-9

Leadership guru Maxwell, who successfully bridged secular and Christian markets with such motivational titles as The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and Developing the Leader Within You, draws on Old Testament paragons in this gifty inspirational hardback. Maxwell asks readers to envision the great "cloud of witnesses" (Heb. 12:1) said to surround us as we run the marathon of life, imagining that this cloud includes "the giants of the faith"—biblical heroes whose lives impart meaningful lessons. He includes the usual suspects: the David-tackles-Goliath tale demonstrates how people can rise above their limitations, while Noah exemplifies a willingness to take new risks (i.e., build a boat when no one had seen rain before). But there are bolder moments, too. Maxwell uses Rebekah as a model of generous giving (a welcome and underutilized virtue in business titles) and provides some gee-whiz facts to drive the point home: he estimates that to water Jacob's 10 camels, Rebekah needed about 200 gallons of water, requiring 40 trips to the well with a five-gallon jug. Such specificity helps to put a face on the virtues extolled here and offers readers a bit of insight into the Bible. Despite Maxwell's overarching metaphor of a marathon, though, the book as a whole feels more like a breathless sprint; intriguing points are raised throughout, but these promising gems lack development. (Sept. 25)

Forecast:Maxwell's most recent book, Your Road Map to Success, debuted in May in the number one spot on the Wall Street Journal business bestseller list. This tiny hardback has all the packaging of a certain recent blockbuster (can anyone say Jabez?) with the Maxwell imprimatur to spur sales. Expect big numbers, and not just in the Christian market.