Andreas Widmer observed Pope John Paul II closely during the two years he served as a Swiss Guard. He writes in “The Pope & The CEO” that the lessons he learned watching the late Holy Father offer great suggestions for business. (Read a review.)
Here are a dozen slices of that advice pried from that Emmaus Road paperback:
1. Encourage employees by making them feel they matter and are valued.
2. Realize that it is the person, every specific human person, who counts in business. Business exists for the person, not the person for the business.
3. Know that your vocation is what God made you to do, it’s what you do for God, and it gives meaning to your life.
4. Be aware that work can be a holy thing. All work, not only that of priests and religious, can be holy when done as an act of love, service and sacrifice.
5. Understand that God made each person to do something unique, something that nobody else before or after us was made to do and that nobody else can do quite as well.
6. Pray because it is at the heart of everything you do. It shapes you, guides you and gives you the strength to lead and to inspire others.
7. Learn from God as you pray, hear God’s voice leading you, and be prepared to change and become the person God made you to be.
8. See prayer as a tool for justice and mercy that helps you to treat others with both.
9. Acknowledge your dependence on God and in doing so appreciate humility as a virtue.
10. Value business as life-giving when a group of individuals participate in God’s creative power, when people work together to pursue a common good by giving life to an idea, a product or a service.
11. Be fully present to anyone to whom you are with, keenly aware of what is going on in the heart and mind of that person, and far more interested in what that person has to say to you than what you have to say to them.
12. Help people understand that you want the truth, even when the truth is hard. Foster an atmosphere or culture where honesty is rewarded. Train yourself to discern fact from fiction.