Is There Room For Christian Business Leaders?

Is There Room For Christian Business Leaders? November 3, 2011

When we hear the phrase “business leaders” we tend to think of the ruthless, cut-throat men standing at the tops of skyscrapers shouting down. Images of Gordon Gekko are the sort that pass through our minds.

From an early age, we’re taught to idolize such people, read their books, watch their speeches, and learn from them. They are to be commended for their hard work, tenacity, and prowess. They are to be respected for their take-no-prisoners approach to business.

Where Do Christian Leaders Fit?

If the romanticized norm is a ruthless business man, who take-no-prisoners, then where does a true Christian leader fit in? Can a caring, empathetic, passionate leader really fit into today’s no-holds-barred business landscape? As a Christian starting a business how will your leadership style be perceived?

When you have one business leader screaming, and driving his employees to produce infinitely more, then you have a Christian business leader who is trying to encourage, and nourish, where is the competition? How can a Christian leader ever compete?

A Niche for Christian Leaders

Ironically enough, it is because there are so many ruthless leaders, that a niche has been created for the qualities that a true Christian leader can offer. Employees are tired of being yelled at, and they are tired of being used as the next rung in this leader’s ladder.

Ruthless leadership creates a toxic environment in which people will only work hard enough to not be fired, and will only work their hardest when the boss is around. In a way, ruthless leadership can create a lack of productivity versus an inclusive leadership which makes employees feel like they will benefit from success.

Confidence in Christ

The one misconception I want to tackle is the lack of confidence, and capability claims. We’ve been taught that ruthlessness equals confidence and capability. We are taught that a person who cares, and empathizes is perfect to be a guidance counselor, but is incapable of being an effective leader.

These misconceptions are completely false. Few can argue the confidence and sternness displayed by Jesus Christ throughout the chapters of the Bible. He accepted people as they were, but outlined strict rules in order to succeed.

He taught with authority, led with authority, challenged supposed experts, and still managed to do it with a loving heart that allowed His disciples to both follow Him and confide in Him. Being Christian doesn’t mean being spineless and Christian leaders know this.

Christian Business Leaders Abound

It’s not like Christian business leaders never existed, but we’re preparing for the next generation. If you’ve ever heard of:

  • Wendy’s Fast Food
  • J.C. Penney
  • Day’s Inn
  • Chik-Fil-A
  • Hobby Lobby
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • ServiceMaster
  • Tom’s of Maine
  • Interstate Batteries
  • Forever 21
  • Wal-Mart

Then you’ve encountered the fruits of Christian business leaders. Some companies on this list may have changed since being taken over by others that don’t share the same core beliefs as the original leaders, but this just goes to prove that your Christian faith, and your business prowess are not mutually exclusive.

The Desire For Different

What has worked in the past is no longer working. Companies are now beginning to realize that happy employees are more productive. Companies like Google & Zappos.com have figured this out and have built their entire company culture on this concept.

Not only have they built their culture around it, but they’ve built their hiring processes around finding employees who fit this culture!

The days of suits, ties, and desks are not gone, but tomorrow’s leaders will be far different than the leaders of yesterday and today. I believe that Christian leaders have a very bright future in the competitive worlds of business and finance.

What are your thoughts?  Meet you in the comments!

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