Doing Virtuous Business (Thomas Nelson, 2011)
Profit doesn’t appear as the goal but as a side effect of pursuing motivating principles.
An exercise of moral imagination helps companies further goals of its members.
The free economy is not the enemy but the friend of social capital.
Long-term success depends upon trust.
Myth: There’s conflict between selfish free markets and a benevolent world of human sympathy.
The moral sentiments that constrain economic life also promote it.
There’s such a thing as spiritual capital that has economic function and potential.
Business is the real test of the moral life.
We prepare for success by acquiring virtues.
The business virtue par excellence is honesty—without it markets can’t long survive.
When all benefits are promised by the state, nobody need feel grateful for them.
Capitalism is about the mutual creation of wealth rather than the pillaging of it.
Attempts to secure an equal outcome always require unequal treatment of individuals.
Discipline is the virtue that begins in obedience and flowers in self-control.
Caring for God’s endowment in a thrifty fashion is a form of biblical obedience.
Three cardinal virtues of business: creativity, building community, practical realism.
The laws of economic life are subject to the eternal laws of spiritual capital.
Spiritual entrepreneurship is the unsung route to growth in the modern economy.
When people freely identify with their work and find themselves through it, excellence follows.
Profitability is the consequence of doing business in the right way, to honor God.
And the first question for a leader is: "Who do we intend to be?" not “What are we going to do?”
Leadership, in other words, is a matter of character, not goals.
Perhaps the most eloquent of the hard virtues is courage, the disposition to encounter adversity head-on and strive to overcome it.
Courage… is not a selfish attribute: it is only possible if you are pursuing a wider and more worthy goal.
Faith engenders courage; and also requires it.
Success comes because you have found your ecological niche and can flourish by doing your own valuable thing.
The humble person who confesses his faults and duly atones for them is the one best equipped to manage defeat, accept his own losses, and to overcome the setbacks that are the routine cost of doing business.
But we should see gratitude in the whole context of life, and ask ourselves that life is changed and empowered by it.
Taking faith seriously leads to the utility of altruistic behavior.
One runs a business ultimately to do well so you can do good for everyone.
Adam Smith’s image of competition in the marketplace was intended as an adjunct to his detailed description of human motivation in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, in which the pursuit of profit is tempered at every juncture by sympathy and benevolence, and by the posture of the “impartial spectator” which is forced on us by our moral nature.
In the new conditions created by the global economy, the information revolution and the growth of smart technologies, it is more necessary than ever for all companies to be guided by their rich spiritual inheritance, as spiritual enterprises.