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The Mormon Way of Doing Business: Leadership and Success Through Faith and Family [Hardcover]

Jeff Benedict


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Book Description

Jan. 3 2007
Jeff Benedict examines the lives & careers of devout Mormons who have risen to the very top in American business circles, to show how the strongest Christian values can go hand in hand with a successful business career.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Business Plus; 1 edition (Jan. 3 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446578592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446578592
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 422 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,389,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Honesty, integrity and dedication to family and church may be old-fashioned values, but Benedict shows here that they jibe with tremendous success in the cutthroat world of business. In a conversational narrative, Benedict relates the stories of seven Mormon business leaders-five CEOs (including those of Dell Computers, JetBlue and Deloitte & Touche), one CFO (of American Express), and the former dean of Harvard Business School-to discover how these devout professionals tackle modern workplace problems. In order to meet the challenge of "winning and winning cleanly," Benedict doesn't proselytize, but rather draws practical rules from his subjects' stories and actions, such as "Compete within your power alley," "Own the high ground" and "Don't put yourself in a position to be tempted." He also shows what advantages stem from the tenants of a Mormon lifestyle, such as tithing, abstaining from drugs, avoiding work on the weekend, volunteering for Church leadership positions and raising large families. With the exception of a late chapter collecting his subjects' 9/11 experiences (which includes the unfortunate section title, "Losing $150 Million in One Day"), Benedict's point is clearly and entertainingly explicated: do you need to be Mormon to succeed in business? No, but it doesn't hurt.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The picture that comes to mind when you think about devout Mormons may seem diametrically opposed to the idea of the ruthless and powerful corporate CEO, so it may come as some surprise that the heads of many leading corporations and organizations such as Dell, Deloitte & Touche USA, American Express, Black & Decker, JetBlue Airways, and Harvard Business School are Mormons. Investigative journalist Benedict (a Mormon himself) examines the lives of eight Mormon business executives, focusing on how their core values influence the way they do business. Flying in the face of the absolute pursuit of power and money, these execs put an emphasis on placing family first, keeping Sunday exclusively work-free, and not placing themselves above others or above their God. Not surprisingly, Benedict finds that the corporate environment and success rate under these leaders is outstanding. Religious beliefs notwithstanding, the examples here prove that leadership that values the human element and does not compromise integrity and the environment does not equate to a competitive disadvantage but rather the opposite. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  74 reviews
44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How faith and values can provide a healthy focus on what really matters about work and family Feb. 13 2007
By Craig Matteson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I like business and enjoy the company of most of the business people I know. Most of them are honest, hardworking, and have a competitive toughness that usually benefits the lives of many others. This is not the way they are portrayed in the popular media, which tends to focus on the awful exceptions and then smear all businessmen and women with the egregious behavior of the few.

Of course, no one is perfect, and many an honest person has missed the correct choice in a close call. Sometimes the shades of gray are quite hard to distinguish. Others suffer a moral collapse under tremendous pressure and give in to something they think will make things better, but it doesn't. However, let me stress again, these are the exceptions rather than the rule. This is true of business people regardless of their religious faith, if they have no faith, if they are tough negotiators, or if they have a softer style. People have to behave according to who they really are. Some folks mistake personal style for integrity or morality. This is an important distinction.

I say this to preface my review of a very good book because I want to be clear that I do not think that only Mormons are honest businesspeople or that they have some special lock on morality. This book has a contribution to make because what it shows is how these CEOs and top businesspeople have a somewhat different focus on business than one might usually find (but probably not exclusive to them) because of their faith and the experiences they had living that faith.

Jeff Benedict shows how service on a full time mission for the Church at 19-21 years old (or thereabouts) was foundational for these men. While there was some variation in what was learned, they all learned about study, perseverance, hard work, and the importance of their faith in their life. Most married young and none have divorced. Most have what nowadays would pass for a large family.

Do you recall the old saying that behind every successful man is a great woman? Benedict shows how each of these executives have benefited from a true partnership with his wife. He has to put bounds on his work, and his faith helps him do that, to focus on what all the work is for; their family! She has usually foregone working in a career outside the home for money (all volunteer and do much good work in their church and community) to care for the home and the children.

It is quite moving to see the pressure put on these men early in their careers to violate their commitment to their family, to keeping the Sabbath holy (particularly by not working on Sunday, as a rule), to violate their commitment to not drink alcohol, smoke, or drink coffee or tea. Some have experienced serious financial hardship, particularly when young and in college, and they still paid their tithing and describe the blessings of doing so.

Since several of the executives had their offices near the World Trade Center, there a few chapters that describe what happened on 9/11/01. They all focused on their people and putting their safety above their own. It is also interesting to read how they recovered from the disaster. And yet, their duties at church still had to be done, and all were very focused on their families during this time. Several of them are very close friends and even attend the same congregation of the Church.

It is a very interesting book. If you are a Mormon, as I am, you will enjoy seeing how our faith can be lived with great success and without compromise. If you don't know much about Mormons, I believe you will find this book informative and you will admire the way these executives do their business well, but not as the center or the entire substance of their lives and how their faith helps them focus on business as something as a means rather than as an end. And in our time of astronomical CEO compensation, you will find what some of these CEOs do for pay quite refreshing.

I do think Benedict does need to do a book on Mormon Women who are successful in business and still live their faith successfully. I am sure it will have a different view of things than is shown in this book, but women do work successfully and still live their faith. Some are single, but I am sure there are those who are married and with long lasting marriages and children. Yes, there would be different and difficult pressures on such women, and most Mormon women would not choose it for a variety of reasons, yet it is a story that would be interesting to read and valuable to everyone.

But I don't want to be a grouse and reviewing a book that wasn't written. What is here is very good, interesting, and will be inspirational and valuable to a wide range of people for a variety of reasons.

Enjoy!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Inspiring ! Feb. 9 2009
By Kevin Quinley - Published on Amazon.com
I am not a Mormon. I have no interest in becoming a Mormon.

And yet ... there is much I find to admire about the Mormons, including the fact that I've never met a lazy one. "The Mormon Way of Doing Business" was for me a fascinating and laudatory profile of over a half dozen corporate execs who happen to be Mormon, how they order their lives and balance the prodigious commitments of work, family and faith.

The LDS Church places huge demands on its congregants - both monetary and time demands. These seem to be cheerfully shouldered by execs from the likes of Dell, Deloitte, JetBlue and others.

Mostly this is a man's story. Gender roles in the LDS Church are open for discussion. The wives are the subject of one chapter and pretty much all of them are stay at homes.

Do Mormons ever sleep? The schedules of these guys seem super-human, yet none of them are complaining.

To see how one group manages to balance the big roles in their lives, you may find "The Mormon Way of Doing Business" an inspiring example which you can adapt - as needed and desired - to your own non-Mormon life!
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book is not propaganda for the Mormon faith Aug. 24 2007
By Danny Chin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I like the book; it is not a book of propaganda for the Mormon church. It talks about how some sucessful Mormon businessmen and CEO operate in accordance with the values taught by their faith. It is a useful addition to management literature. The book does not go into management theories and successful business models. It does not give you much empirical data based on surveys or business ratios. The focus of the book is on the moral values that make a difference in the lives of these individuals who make contributions to the company they work for, care for the employees, and have their self identity rooted in things (such as family, a desire to serve) other than wealth, fame, and status.

Yes, it make a lot of refernces to the Mormon faith. The author says it as he sees it. This book is good addition to the study of business ethics.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insight Feb. 15 2007
By S. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Provides great insight to the lives of men who are successful at work and in thier religion. The book gives readers an opportunity to see how these men balance their business life with life at home and church. I enjoyed reading about much these leaders can accomplish without sacrificing their standars. I loved the final chapters that told the story how these Mormon leaders guided their companies through the September 11 attacks.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ideal Book for my MBA Students Jan. 1 2007
By Deen Kemsley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As an MBA professor at Tulane, I often deal students who are struggling to find a balance between family and spiritual life on the one hand and career success on the other. And frankly, as the father of nine children, I have personally struggled finding a way to invest adequately in family and worship while trying to financially support my family as well.

Jeff Benedict's "The Mormon Way of Doing Business" addresses this concern head on, providing real stories from the lives of very successful businessmen who have also found ways to foster successful families and close relationships with God. The book is uplifting, inspiring, and practical, providing a variety of very specific ideas my students and I can implement to both succeed at work and to draw closer to God.

I highly recommend the book to anyone who has struggled to find a balance between work, worship, and home, and to anyone who desires to more fully enjoy the redeeming grace of God. I can honestly say that this book and the lives of the individuals featured in the book have helped me find my way more clearly. I give the book a full 5 stars, and an extra star if I could, for addressing an issue of such vital importance to me and my students.

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