Christian CEOs are a unique group of people. Besides all the tasks inherent in running a business, they also take on the responsibility of living out their faith in the marketplace. Christian CEOs think and act differently. These leaders focus on building a great business because they have an eternal perspective. They know that one day they will be measured by all their actions and behaviors as they led a company embodying the values of Christ and His kingdom. These CEOs make several subtle shifts in their life and their leadership.
1. Christian leaders make the shift from ownership of the business to becoming a steward of the business.
Christian CEOs understand that God is the owner of the business and their responsibility is to do their best at stewarding the resources God provides. This shift can bring a significant blessing to the Christian leader. When leaders become aware that they are no longer the owner, they can release the burdens of ownership, decision making, and business responsibilities. They can shift their primary focus to what God is asking of them, meaning they work to bring glory to their Father who is in heaven. This shift to make decisions based on stewardship releases the human owner from the responsibilities of ownership.
2. Christian leaders make the shift from profiting from the business to investing in the business.
When a business owner starts to look at the business as an investment, it changes the way that they spend their time and resources. Christian leaders should be working “on” the business and “in” the business. These leaders invest in the business with their time, gifts, and resources as they use the company as an opportunity to share their faith with others. They build a business to create a platform of influence, not just to receive financial benefits.
3. Christian leaders make the shift from the leader of the business to a servant in the business.
Christian CEOs should practice servant leadership. These leaders don’t see themselves as the “boss” of the organization. Rather, they perceive themselves as a servant leader who embodies the values of Christ in all they say and do. They understand that second-mile service—doing more is than customarily expected—is a way of life because it is a way to honor God and provide for their customers. God is the ultimate leader, and everything these leaders do is seeking to follow in God’s footsteps.
4. Christian leaders make the shift from a marketer of the business to an ambassador for Christ in the business.
Every CEO should be a promoter of their business; they are often are the business’ best salespeople. But they should seek to do more. If a Christian CEO only promotes their business, they are missing a tremendous opportunity to promote that which matters most for eternity. Christian CEOs can also become ambassadors for Christ through their business. One example Christian leaders have used is adding the letters “AfC” behind their name on their email signature line, where they highlight their credentials. These letters serve as a reminder: they are an Ambassador for Christ. When someone notices these letters, it may prompt them to ask about their meaning, which provides an opportunity for the Christian leader to speak about their role in God’s kingdom.
5. Christian leaders make the shift from self-reliance to accountability.
Many business owners have a rugged individualism that helped them launch their business. However, that self-reliance can also lead to isolation and loneliness. Christian business owners understand the importance of being accountable to others. As it has often been said, “No one is as smart as all of us.” These leaders find way to help them overcome their blind spots and improve.
6. Christian leaders make the shift to being passionate about walking in their calling.
Entrepreneurs are often passionate. They spend hours, weeks and months growing their business because they believe in their product or company. Christian business owners make a shift from walking in their passions to excelling in their calling. When a leader embraces their calling, they can fully leverage their God-given gifts and talents.
To sum up, Christian CEOs are different. They think differently and act differently. They make changes and shift from an old way of doing business to a new way of doing business so they can honor God in all they do. These six shifts can transform a good leader into a great leader, and take a slow-moving business and help accelerate it to a new level of performance.