Book Review: Miracle Minded Manager

Author Information

John J. Murphy is a global business consultant, speaker, spiritual mystic, "zentrepreneur” and award-winning author. He is founder (1988) and CEO of Venture Management Consultants, Inc., a firm specializing in creating lean, high-performance work environments.

As a business consultant, Murphy has delivered services to some of the world’s leading organizations, including ADP, AlliedSignal (Honeywell), BMW, Chase, the CIA, GE, GM, GSK, Hilton, Lockheed Martin, Merck, the Michigan State Senate, Perrigo, Prudential, Raytheon, Spectrum Health, Target Stores, Teva and the US Navy.

As an educator and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Murphy has trained thousands of people from over fifty countries, including Fortune 500 executives, project leaders, military leaders, managers and black belts. He has mentored dozens of project teams in Organizational Development, Operational Excellence, Business Process Innovation and Lean Six Sigma applications.

As a speaker, Murphy has delivered keynotes and seminars worldwide. A critically-acclaimed authority on peak performance, transformational leadership and healthy mind-body-spirit, Murphy is a best-selling author who has published nineteen books and appeared on over 400 radio and television stations and his work has been featured in over fifty newspapers nationwide.

For more information, check out his website.


John says,

"My intention with this book is to share an entertaining and compelling story (a sequel to my book Agent of Change: Leading a Cultural Revolution), showing you how to apply lessons and insights from ACIM and other spiritual teachings through fictional characters in a common business setting." (Page 18)

In an attempt to learn the "secrets" of success, John studied and experimented with a wide variety of spiritual teachings. ACIM has a profound impact upon his life and the lives of the people with whom he works.

Intended Audience

If you are in a leadership role of any sort, whether it be big or small business, government, or even charitable work, Miracle Minded Manager may reveal that you are inadvertently encased in "the box," otherwise known as self-imposed limitations.

Organization of the Book

"Facts tell, stories sell." - Anonymous

Miracle Minded Manager is a perfect marriage between facts and story-telling that explains how to break free from "the box."

Join Jack MacDonald, president of a business unit at TYPCO (Typical Company), in his struggles to corral all aspects of his work life. Unlike what happens in Vegas, work does not just stay at work; it also impacts health and relationships.

Fortunately, Jack recognized that his current trajectory was not sustainable. He knew that he needed an organizational overhaul, so he called Jordan McKay, a business consultant who packs a briefcase full of practical, actionable wisdom.

"If you want to change the way you do things around here, you have to change the way you do things around here....In other words, if you want to change your culture - which is the way you do things - you must change your systems, policies, and structure - which is synonymous with the way you do things." (Page 8)

Grow with Jack as he learns how to apply the key principles of A Course in Miracles (ACIM), thus reinventing the organizational structure he leads. As a result of the planting of these new insights, he notices that his personal life also flourishes.


There are many take-aways in this book. Here are three that resonated with me:

  1. Page 15: In order to work smart, it's important to move faster and do less to accomplish more. Counterintuitive? Yes! Paradoxical? Yes! Learn to identify key strategic leverage points (root causes), then make the change at this level. It involves taking time to dig deep to explore ideas and processes that may ruffle feathers - "But, we've always done it this way!"
  2. Page 105: "Back at work, I can't help but witness a culture of fear, doubt, uncertainty, and stress." As sentient beings, you attune to the energy around you. A leader can initiate a culture change (field of energy change) by changing systems and structures. One expedient way to effect change is by hosting a Kaizen Event, which is a way a company or business can put together cross-functional teams to get out of "the box" and come up with innovative solutions that save energy, time, money, health, etc.
  3. Page 224: "I immediately felt my blood pressure rising. Breathe slow and deep, Jack. Relax. This is just one more opportunity in disguise. Let the situation teach you." Lesson: Stop. Listen. Act. Resolve. Before jumping to conclusions, get the facts. Rather than ascribing blame, take care of it. Then, correct the system so this doesn't reoccur.

The Stress Connection

Chronic stress is like a logjam, which can impact you emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Imagine that each log is a negative thought or and emotion. As they drift downriver, they get stuck - they are no longer freely floating downriver. Similarly, you become stuck, just like that logjam.

Your body responds to the threat of the "logjam."

Physiologically, not much has changed with the programming of your autonomic nervous system (ANS). It was designed to help you deal with the threats of life in those early days. For woolly mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers, scrounging for food and finding shelter were real threats that early man encountered. Today's "threats" may not actually be life-threatening (long line-ups, computer crashes, or too-much-to-do in too-little time); your body doesn't recognize the difference between what is real or imaginary, though. For example, the looping thoughts - the rehashed arguments, the "what ifs," the inability to make decisions - they can all take its toll and result in the release of stress hormones, which can lead to more of a "thinking and feeling logjam." It's an endless cycle that can worsen over time, unless you take steps to intervene.

Here's what Jack has to say on page 20:

"The heart and the gut and the hormonal system respond to whatever the mind is thinking rather than the other way around. When our mind wanders and holds on to ideas that are negative, we feel it in our bodies, even though they aren't real."

Start by becoming adept at recognizing how you think and feel. Often you can get swept away by errant thoughts and emotions. Practice allows you to choose a different tributary - one that doesn't leave you so blocked.

As reported in a study published on Science Daily:

"Creswell said Lieberman has now shown in a series of studies that simply labeling emotions turns down the amygdala alarm center response in the brain that triggers negative feelings."

Then, turn to the power of your heart to activate thoughts and feelings that can move you out of those logjamming/mindjamming situations. This is a process that can be learned. Contact me to find out more.

What Others Are Saying

"It really changes your way of thinking. A freeing experience that gently challenges your hardwired assumptions." - Sam Santschi on Amazon

"Through his gifted storytelling, John Murphy describes how to achieve peace and happiness outside the office, and at the same time, he artfully explains how to take those concepts into the work-place to build a stronger, more collaborative culture and team that achieves great results with reduced stress....I know from personal experience, a leader who is at peace and empowers his team as Miracle-Minded Manager teaches, also empowers his team to achieve great things." - Gary Garfield, Keynote Speaker and retired Chairman, President and CEO of Bridgestone Americas, Inc.

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