Labor Day Weekend is upon us, and so I’d like to leave you with one of Blessed John Paul II’s thoughts on work and the human person: Work is a good thing for man-a good thing for his humanity-because through work man not only transforms nature, adapting it to his own needs, but he also achieves fulfilment as a human being and indeed, in a sense, becomes “more a human being.” Laborem Exercens no. 9 I hope all enjoy the weekend, and especially our readers in the United States who get to enjoy the extra day off!
I wanted to introduce all of our readers to an organization that a friend of mine has been instrumental in starting – Upaya Social Ventures. Upaya looks for enterprise-based solutions to poverty that focus not just on the enterprise, but on the community at large. Their model includes a deep consideration of the food, health, housing, and financial services in the area and how these various sectors are affected by the businesses that Upaya is supporting. It’s a very innovative idea and I am excited to see where their projects take them. Currently, they are working on fundraising and implementation of a community dairy project. The project will create dozens of new jobs in an impoverished community in India, provide technical training to many women in the community, and streamline the process of getting the dairy products to market. I encourage all of you to check out the website, and check out this particular project to see if you would like to get involved!
Steve Jobs’ resignation as CEO of Apple has been big news recently. This article, from the New York Times, is one example of the media coverage on this situation. One of the arguments being had is whether or not Apple can thrive, or at least compete as well as it has, without Jobs at the helm. The reason often given in the contrary argument? Jobs’ personality. His personality made Apple Apple. Some of the most recognizable brands or companies are often associated with their founder or their CEO, and it’s that leader’s vision that defines the company in people’s minds. When the leader is gone, those who followed the company feel that they have nothing left to follow – they find they followed the leader, not the company or brand. At least that is the thinking. And there is some truth to this. A leader’s personality sets the tone for the entire organization. This is something that I think Christian leaders should keep in mind. Their leadership, and exemplification of virtue through their actions, can be a wonderful form of apostolate, not just for their employees, but for everyone who admires and follows their company.