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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Invest Yourself: Daring to Be Catholic in Today's Business World - John M. Abbate

Invest Yourself:
Daring to Be Catholic in Today's Business World
John M. Abbate
Beacon Publishing for
Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781635820232
eISBN 9781942611875
ASIN B07B3GDB8D

 


I need to start by saying that I enjoyed this book. But I believe that some people will give up on it, or not engage because the examples so often come from McDonald's. John Abbate is an owner operator who has spent years investing in his business, and the people who work for him. There are some incredible stories in this book. So please if you give it a change I am sure you will be challenged, and inspired by this volume.

Lately I have come across a number of books on work and faith. In the last few months I have read this book and two others on similar topics. The books I have read recently are:

Working well, working for love: On the sanctification of work in the teachings of St Josemaría Escrivá by Javier López Díaz
Force for Good: The Catholic Guide to Business Integrity by  Brian Engelland

And my favourite book on the topic is from a few years back by Kevin Lowry called: 'Faith at Work: Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck' This book is a good read and really does approach it from a different perspective. This book was on my radar for a while. But because I had already picked up and read the two books above I hesitated investing in a third book on the same topic in such a short time. And yet I kept encountering this book, on Facebook, on twitter, and even a few friends mentioning it. So I decided to give it a chance. I am very thankful that I did.

The chapters in this volume are:
Choosing Prosperity
In the Beginning … There Was Economics
From "Me First" to "Daring to Be the First"
Pilgrimage: Who Do You Say That I Am?
Realizing Our Christian Identity
A Novel Perspective: Work as Vocation
Finding Our Strength in Humility
The Power of Christian Hope
A Journey toward Happiness
Discovering Joy in Sacrifice
Living a Legacy Today
Leadership at the Service of Life
Afterword

This book is part personal story but also includes stories from many people Joh, his wife and his organization have worked with. In the first chapter on prosperity John states:

"My experiences with Catholic conferences, pilgrimages, and professional business organizations such as Legatus have opened my eyes to the abundance of talented and faithful men and women who are willing and able to carry on the mission of the Church. These heroic people are the future of this great faith. Their enthusiasm, sacrifice, and talent are infectious."
Knowing Beacon Publishing I was not worried the book would begin with a 'Health and Wealth' gospel so popular with TV Evangelists.  But even so I was not sure exactly what to expect. From this chapter the above quote and this one below both really had an impact on me:
"We have all received an abundant inheritance from our forefathers. We stand on the shoulders of so many resilient and courageous figures of our past. Today we must choose to be the link that keeps our Catholic history alive in our families, our communities, and our culture. When we choose to learn about and share our own family history and embrace the richness of the tradition of our Catholic faith, we become the instrument that continues the mission of Matthew 28. We spread the Good News to all corners of the world."
John talks about his own failings in an open, honest and vulnerable way. He takes us through his own journey from being a business man, to his encounter with God in a new way, to being a Christian in business. He shares with us stories about working with his team members through difficult times. And he shares about what being an owner does in allowing him to give more flexibility and support to his people.

Nearly every business these days talks about employee engagement. John walks us through how his faith changed his management style and how employee's became the purpose and not the process. It is a great read and I highly recommend it. And if you do enjoy it I am sure will be engaged with the others listed above.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan


Books about Faith and Work:
Faith at Work: Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck - Kevin Lowry
Working well, working for love: On the sanctification of work in the teachings of St Josemaría Escrivá - Javier López Díaz
Force for Good: The Catholic Guide to Business Integrity -  Brian Engelland
Invest Yourself: Daring to Be Catholic in Today's Business World - John M Abbate



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