The Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection Essay

PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE VOCATION OF THE BUSINESS LEADER A REFLECTION FOREWORD From the 24th to 26th of February 2011 a seminar entitled “Caritas in Veritate: The Logic of Gift and the Meaning of Business” was held at the Ponti?cal Council for Justice and Peace (PCJP), in collaboration with the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas and the Ecophilos Foundation. The meeting followed the October 2010 conference “Caritas in Veritate and the USA”, which the PCJP held in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies of Los Angeles, and continued its study of business organizations in light of Pope Benedict XVI’s social …show more content…

The transformative developments of our era — globalisation, communications technologies, and ?nancialisation — produce problems alongside their bene?ts: inequality, economic dislocation, information overload, ?nancial instability and many other pressures leading away from serving the common good.

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Business leaders who are guided by ethical social principles, lived through virtues and illuminated for Christians by the Gospel, can, nonetheless, succeed and contribute to the common good. Obstacles to serving the common good come in many forms — lack of rule of law, corruption, tendencies towards greed, poor stewardship of resources — but the most signi?cant for a business leader on a personal level is leading a “divided” life. This split between faith and daily business practice can lead to imbalances and misplaced devotion to worldly success. The alternative path of faith-based “servant leadership” provides business leaders with a larger perspective and helps to balance the demands of the business world with those of ethical social principles, illumined for Christians by the Gospel. This is explored through three stages: seeing, judging, and acting, even though it is clear that these three aspects are deeply interconnected. SEEING the challenges and opportunities in the world of business is complicated by factors both good and evil, including four major “signs of the .

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