Last week, I mentioned how shocked I was by a statement in an article at Catholic Culture with the top 10 business books that no Catholic titles were included “because so many Catholic business books are either junk or not very helpful.” I was sure this couldn’t be true. So I Twittered and Facebooked not once, but three times. I’ve been compiling a list of recommendations of Catholic business books.
Here seven of the finds that I can say come from reliable sources, meaning the people recommending them to me found them helpful and relevant to their lives as Catholics in the business world. My parameters at this point were that (a) the author be a practicing Catholic (insofar as that can be determined) and/or (b) the subject of the book include Catholic content (i.e. practicing your Catholic faith in the workforce, applying Catholic social teaching to your spending, etc.).
It’s a goal of mine (though admittedly low on the food chain right now) to read through the pile of recommendations and find some of my own and come up with a list that I can recommend. Until then, here’s a start:
Good Returns: Making Money by Morally Responsible Investing, by George Schwartz
This book shares the history and lessons of the Ave Maria Mutual Fund. It includes information that will help you screen your investments to be compatible with a clear set of faith-based criteria.
Time Management: A Catholic Approach, by Marshall Cook
This book combines spiritual and the practical in an approach to time management. Says the review at Amazon: “Whether you find yourself under the constant barrage of meetings, deadlines, and databases or cooking, childcare, and cleaning, time management is a skill that will help you determine how to manage the time with which God has gifted you.”
St. Benedict’s Rules for Business Success, by Quentin Skrabec, Jr.
Here’s what Amazon has to say:
St. Benedict’s Rule is one of a handful of documents, such as the Magna Carta and U.S. Constitution, that make up the foundation of Western civilization. Benedict’s Rule is an organizational blueprint for success and Benedict’s original organization is the oldest in the world (over 1500 years). The beauty of The Rule is its organizational genius, which has wide application beyond monastic groups.
The Rule is a basic textbook to create and maintain effective organizations. It offers today’s reader insights into some of the most difficult resource management in business. The Rule is a guide to success for entrepreneurs, managers, and everyone in the world of business. St. Benedict’s Rule for Business Success is must reading for entrepreneurs, managers, and business. Furthermore, it is great for anyone wanting to develop effective organizations, from church groups to Girl Scouts.
In addition, I’d like to note that the author has a degree from a fine, fine university (and yes, an alma mater of mine) (cue grins).
The Benedictine Rule of Leadership: Classic Management Secrets You Can Use Today, by Craig S. Galbraith and Oliver Galbraith, III
This looks like the kind of book I would buy my husband (a newly-minted middle manager) and my good friend the uber-business-book-consumer. I love the thought of applying St. Benedict’s Rule to management, and this looks different enough from the book above (and was, in fact, recommended together with the above book by person recommending) to make a fine companion. I found, thanks to my friends at Amazon, some of the chapters, including: The Rule of Managerial Improvisation, The Rule of Careful Counsel, The Rule of Merit and Seniority, The Rule of Innovation, and The Rule of Leading by Example.
Heroic Leadership, by Chris Lowney
This book uses the example of St. Ignatius of Loyola, who founded a 10-man “company” in 1540 and which is now known as the Jesuits, the world’s largest religious order. Author Chris Lowney left seven years of the Jesuit seminary to become a managing director at J.P. Morgan. He “explores how the Jesuits have successfully grappled with challenges that test great companies-forging seamless multinational teams, motivating performance, being open to change and staying adaptable.”
He’s written a variety of business fables (Getting Naked, Death by Meeting, and Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars, to name a few), at least one book of the business bookshelf variety (The Five Temptations of a CEO) even a book for families (The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family). From what I’ve found of him online (here, for example), I’m wondering why I have never delved into his work. Consider them added to my reading list!
Both of Catholic author Dave Durand’s books look like winners to me: Win the World (Without Losing Your Soul) and Perpetual Motivation. Win the World “challeng[es] the idea that morality is checked by the door at the workplace … uses 12 accessible lessons to help embrace both success and integrity in professional and personal life.” Perpetual Motivation posits “that the most important element of success is not putting in longer hours or expending more energy—it is keeping everything in balance.”
Care to contribute to my list? What’s your Catholic business book recommendation? And why do you recommend it?
I’m curious: what would (or do) you look for in a book labeled “Catholic business”? Would you be more likely to purchase it from a major bookstore or your local Catholic retailer? What have you looked for, and not found, in this market of books?
Nothing says “I love Quick Takes” like paying a visit to the lady who got it all started, Jen from Conversion Diary.