Sunday, October 30, 2011

Up Close to the Pope - Review of "The Pope & The CEO" by Andreas Widmer

Andreas Widmer stands in a unique position to comment on the leadership lessons that can be gleaned from examining the life and vocation of Pope John Paul II. A young Widmer served in the Swiss Guard as one of the Pope's personal body guards. In that role, he saw the Pope in many "unguarded" and intimate moments, and came away deeply moved by this rare man of prayer and action. Later in his life, Widmer has had opportunities to experience success in the business world, including stints serving as a CEO. He thoughtfully and prayerfully distills his recollections of the wisdom of John Paul II and applies those lessons to his business life - and by extension offers advice to readers who seek to combine business with faith.

It makes sense that the book's priorities reflect those things that Pope John Paul II emphasized in his teaching and in his practice. Widmer gives his reader an extensive discussion of the concept of vocation. Those already familiar with the Roman Catholic theology of vocation will instantly relate to the ways in which the author discusses his own deepening understanding of his business career as an expression of his vocation from God. Those who come to the book from other faith traditions will have to work a bit harder to fully apprehend the threefold concept of vocation, but it is work well worth doing.

This book is a welcome addition to the small library of thoughtful works that seek to seamlessly weave together deep faith and a passion for business.

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