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Catholic CEO

How Church teachings can help us build better organizations





Potential of a Business to do Harm (#4)

4. All of these potential benefits encourage the Church to take a lively interest in business. Where businesses succeed, people’s lives can be significantly improved; but where they fail, great harm can result. A market economy must be based on the pursuit of the common good in freedom, but freedom without truth leads to disorder, injustice and social fragmentation. Without guiding principles and virtuous leadership, businesses can be places in which expediency overcomes justice, power corrupts wisdom, technical instruments are detached from human dignity, and self-interest marginalises the common good. 

Commentary: The "Pursuit of the Common Good" is the self-examination we must apply in our businesses, and this a duty of the CEO.  He or she needs to provide "virtuous leadership" to guide the business towards this goal.  Alex Havard says this type of leadership is based on six virtues: humility, magnanimity, prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude.  To the extent these virtues can be learned by others in the organization, not only will they find it easier to pursue the common good, they will themselves develop into "virtuous leaders" who can influence others.