Friday, October 2, 2009
A CEO Who Had No Place To Lay His Head
Chief Executive Officers are paid a great deal of money to run their business enterprises and make money for the investors, pay the workers and sell a good product to the public. In the Catholic Times this week, we have a professor who teaches in the department of business administration with a proposal and example for the future.
The management of a business enterprise calls for the leadership to steer the actions of the investors, consumers and employees in a positive way to help the enterprise. Many of our companies have two keywords: competition and efficiency that gives meaning to all that is done. Greed is the motivation, anything that will benefit the company without pause. There is no responsibility for the consumer, little interest in the environment, the dignity of the person and the common good.
The author spends some time explaining the word behavior contrasting this with the word action in Korean. When the word behavior is used there is no force or control understood but a movement of free will , a personal value judgment, coming from one's own initiative. Since we are made to search for meaning, the key to the success of the enterprise will depend on the meaning found by the investors the employees and the consumer. The way that many of our companies are run there is little room for considering the common good and respecting the dignity of the employees. They are in a sense robots programed for the companies bottom line.
He tells us that we are all made to search for ultimate meaning : finding out who we are and giving ourselves to altruistic love. In conclusion looking over history we have few examples with companies that have put the person first over money that have succeeded. He concludes the article by giving us Jesus as the exemplary CEO, who 2000 years ago started his enterprise with some very common people . It was a monumental project that he began that changed the world. He did it with the cross the sign of his love. This is the the example that we have to take as the future of leadership.
The article did seem idealistic but coming from a business administration professor it did mean more than one written by one of us. There are many who are using the word servant leadership in the business world in recent years, a sign that this may be more than pie in the sky for the future.