Book Review: "The Pope and the CEO"

Let's face it:  sometimes our spiritual reading is a bit like eating our vegetables.  We do it because we know we should, it's good for us, and we might even like it.  We even acknowledge,  "I like peas" and really mean it.  But it's still veggies;  it's not a plate of warm chocolate chips cookies.

The Pope and the CEO, by Andreas Widmer, IS a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies.  It's a true delight and still good for you - what could be better?  Widmer, a former Swiss Guard and now co-founder of the Seven Fund, offers up tasty lessons learned at the service of Blessed John Paul II.  Each lesson is bolstered with insights from inside the Vatican along with Widmer's own extensive business experience.  The lessons are both practical and spiritual:  meant to be used by those in leadership position, but also designed to deepen one's relationship with God.  In fact, Widmer insists that one without the other will leave both personal and business lives empty.

I don't want to give too much away, since the stories of the great former Pope are so delightful.  Suffice it to say that Widmer learned about everything from ethics to "people skills" to using humor to treating your team like family during his tenure at the Vatican.  Each lesson/chapter asks the reader some penetrating questions at the conclusion, in order that the reader might apply the lessons to his/her own life.

Clearly, Widmer's focus is business, but the lessons in The Pope and the CEO are applicable to anyone in leadership:  a parent, a coach, an office manager.  You don't have to be running the Catholic Church or a Fortune 500 company to utilize what Pope John Paul and Widmer offer here.

Grab some cookies and a glass of milk, and settle down with this book.  You'll really enjoy it.

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