I just finished reading Jeff Benedict’s "The Mormon Way of Doing Business" What a misnomer! It should be “The Mormon Way to Success” because Benedict discusses not just the business successes of “Nine Western Boys (who) Reach the Top of Corporate America“, but also the success in their family life and spiritual life.
But the title did catch my eye. I’ve been active in Petersburg Lutheran Church for the last two decades, but before I lived in Utah for three years. If you want to go to church in Deseret there’s only one church to attend.
Now I’m a safety officer in the federal government. A few years back while I attended a leadership program my beloved son began a management internship in the fishing industry. We were both reading a lot of management books and swapping them. So, as I began Benedict’s book I had my career and my son’s in mind as I read.
In Chapter 1, On a Mission. After graduating from high school most Mormon boys become missionaries. They are as Genesis 15:13 says “strangers in a strange land” for two long years. Missionary work ain’t easy regardless of where the church assigns you. It’ s foreign, exhausting and heart breaking; sort of like when I fought forest fires. I read about these boys on their mission acquiring leadership skills, self-confidence, interpersonal skills and the ability to deal with reality. I recognized how my post high school adventures as a hotshot benefited me the same. At the same time I could see how my son and his buddies had the same set of experiences and hard lessons as commercial fisherman. Only, they started at 14. The clincher to this line of thought was watching a Face Book video one of his friends posted of a holiday crabbing trip. There they were casually driving a commercial fishing boat, hustling commercial crab and shrimp pots on and off the deck, cracking crab , popping shrimp head and then cooking dinner with military precision.
- As the guy with the pen, you are managing…the room…the action and the follow through…after the meeting.
- Then one day (the) mission president handed him and all the other missionaries business cards bearing the name of the Church. The reverse side of the card said: Expect a Miracle.
- A middle-aged man standing at the head of the cabin, wearing a flight attendant’s apron and a name tag. “Hi…I’m the CEO of (this airline). I’m here to serve you today and I’m looking forward to meeting each of you before we land.”
- His company and all of America had been dealt a bitter defeat by terrorist.