Business leaders often wonder where they can find the best business advice and counsel in order to build their business. Although good business counsel can be found in a plethora of books, there is only one book that contains all of the best business secrets that business leaders need to know to build a successful business and life. That sacred book is the Bible. I have studied the Bible for years and have often read the words for encouragement, consolation, improvement, and inspiration. I have also found that it contains the best principles in order to build a successful business.
Biblical Principles to Build a Successful Business
An important shift for Christian business owners is moving from ownership to stewardship. Jesus told a story in Matthew about a faithful servant. He ends the story in Matthew 25:23 with these words, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'” Well Done, those two words are two of the most powerful words in the English language. It should be the desire of every Christian business owner to hear these words at the end of their journey.
What Happens When A Leader Moves from Ownership to Stewardship:
1. The Steward Leader understands that God owns ALL of the Business.
Steward owners recognize that everything that they have comes from God. This fundamental shift releases the burdens of business. The steward owner no longer has to carry the weight of every decision, choice, and consequence. The steward owner is released to work with all of their might, but understands that the end result is left to the owner who owns all things. King David penned these words in Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” When the leader recognizes that it all belongs to God, then the leader can hold all things in proper perspective.
Experience Question: Do you fundamentally believe that it is your business or do you see it as God’s business?
2. The Steward Leader understands that God will hold ALL to Account.
Owners answer to no one, but stewards give account to the owner. The steward owner is challenged to make better decisions because they understand that someday they will have to give an account for all that they did as they stewarded the business that they were given to lead. This knowledge keeps the steward owner sharp and with the right perspective.
Experience Question: If you had to give an account to God today for your decisions and actions in the business that you steward, would he be pleased with you?
3. The Steward Leader understands that God wants ALL of to be Engaged.
The steward leader believes that they have been placed in the business with a purpose to accomplish. They are not satisfied with just doing a task, but instead, they want to use all of their gifts and abilities to accomplish the task with excellence. The steward leader wants to please their master. They understand precisely what the master wants, and they use all of their resources to complete the task before the master returns. They want to be seen as an excellent servant who does all things well. The steward leader treats every person with respect, and they utilize every talent that they have been given to produce results for the master.
Experience Question: Are you fully engaged in the business ready for the Master’s return?
Jesus told a story in the Bible about good stewards. It is a parable that Christian business owners talk a lot about in business circles. It is called the parable of the talents. It is found in Matthew 25:14-30.
14 “For it will be a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
In this story, the master who represents God gives good rewards to the faithful stewards of the business. When Christian CEOs and leaders listen to the words of this story a subtle shift takes place in how they lead and run their business. They move from pleasing themselves to pleasing the master. They move from making all the decisions about what is the right thing to do, to decisions about what is the right thing to do to please the owner of all things. Becoming a good steward is a good principle on which to build a great business.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ken Gosnell is the “go” leader. He serves leaders by helping them to have great experiences that both transform them and their organizations that enable to go further faster. He has worked with hundreds of CEOS and their leadership teams to enhance their strategic, operational and people accomplishments. He is an author, coach, and strategic partner with CEOs. He is married to Shonda, and they have four children. You can connect with him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/kengosnell/
He has also created the CEO Experience Impact Assessment. This assessment helps leaders learn the areas of their leader that they must improve to go forward. Get your score by taking the assessment here.