Tuesday 23 October 2018

Force For Good - Brian Engelland - The Catholic Guide to Business Integrity

Force For Good:
The Catholic Guide to Business Integrity
Brian Engelland
Sophia Institute Press
ISBN 9781622824786
eISBN 9781622824793


While reading this book, I could not help but think how the world would be transformed if all people who call themselves Christian, or even just Catholic lived the principals in this book. The world of business would be transformed and through that the world would be transformed. The main focus of the book is that if a business is ethical it will have a better chance for success. That success will come from better relationships between employees and with customers. The principals in this book is written for Catholics to help them live out their faith in business. But the principals could be applied by any Christian, and even non-Christians. Though the impetus to live and work in such a way would be different.

This year I have read three different books about work and faith. The other two were:

Working well, working for love: On the sanctification of work in the teachings of St Josemaría Escrivá by Javier López Díaz
Invest Yourself: Daring to Be Catholic in Today's Business World by John M. Abbate

But there are some very different focuses on the three books. The first focuses on the worker sanctifying what they do. The second on Catholic leadership and focusing on what is best for your people. This one focuses on Character and Integrity. The chapters in this volume are:

Doing Business the Right Way
A Firm Foundation for Right and Wrong
Finding Clarity in the Big Picture
Character Counts
Integrity-Infused Employee Relationships
Integrity-Infused Customer Relationships
Integrity, Regulation, and Society
Conditions that Lead to Good Decisions
Creating an Integrity-Infused Organization
This book is written from a place of personal experience. Brian shares in the introduction a venture he joined and was excited about but left because of ethical issues. He states:

“A Force for Good arises out of a career-long interest in doing the right thing and doing it in the right way.”

And this bookbuilds on that experience to share how we, no matter where we are in our career or at what level in a company can live out that same guiding principal. He also states in the introduction:

“I’ve written this book with both business practitioners and business students in mind, and I’ve tried to structure the writing so that I explain not only what works but why it works. Further, I’ve tried to keep the writing crisp and to the point, and I’ve added examples to illustrate the ideas presented. I hope you’ll agree that this makes the book readable and interesting.”

And I would say he roundly succeeds in that goal. I believe this book would be an excellent edition to a business ethics course in university. For a general business course in High School. Or like me, for the casual reader who just wants to be better at being. And considering we spend so much of our life at work, it is the place we need to focus on living integrity, honesty, and learning to be a force for good. Engelland declares:

“There’s a great need for integrity in business these days. Business leaders, employees, consumers, and the general public are tired of the old “business as usual” formula that pushes mediocre products to consumers at outlandish prices. Everyone is reaching the same conclusion. Trust is the glue that holds business together, and where there is no trust, there can be no business. Operating with integrity is the only way to develop and maintain trusting relationships over the long haul.”

This book is a how to guide. It is not just theory but practical Engelland states:

 “In this book, I explain how integrity is established so that every aspect of the business is conducted consistently using one set of standards. The first chapter sets forth necessary terminology. The second provides the natural law foundation that is required for establishing trusting relationships in business. Chapter 3 explains the four core principles from Catholic Social Doctrine (CSD) that allow human interaction in business to achieve its full potential. The fourth chapter describes the importance of virtue and in creating the proper environment for integrity. Chapters 5 through 7 provide guidance on achieving integrity-infused relationships with employees, customers, and the rest of society. Finally, chapters 8 and 9 provide a step-by-step approach for implementing integrity in one’s business.”

My personal email for years has had a tag line of ‘learning to be’ when asked about it, I state that I am working at being and being better at being. The principals in this book are written for business but can be applied on the personal level also. As such this is a great read and I highly recommend it.

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

No comments: