This past weekend I attended the Atlanta Catholic Business Conference. After having lived and worked in Atlanta for a few years, a lot of my work still comes from my connections there, even though I moved to California (by the way, if you need the help of a marketing research firm, check out my company). So I planned my trip to visit partners, clients and friends to coincide with the conference – and I am glad that I did. If you get a chance to go next year, do so. It was incredible with three exceptional speakers and 250 like-minded Catholics in attendance.
While there, I was given Faith at Work: Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck by Kevin Lowry. I am grateful for the unexpected chance to meet Kevin at the event and to have received this book from him. This is a book that I wish someone had given to me 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Hey, I am glad I got to read it now.
I read Faith at Work in 3 hours on the plane back to Los Angeles, and it was incredible: incredibly easy to ready, incredibly useful, and incredibly powerful. So many talk about work/life balance, but what we really mean is getting our priorities in order and living an integrated (as opposed to compartmentalized) life. This book hits the integrated nail on the head with impact. I highly recommend this book and will be sharing my copy with others I know who won’t buy it on their own. If you work, at any level or business type, then you should buy this.
Three things made this book powerful: the humility of the author, the insights of how to be faithful at work, and the number of relevant examples and stories that made the ideas come alive. It is tying clear thinking and understanding of the faith to specific examples that really works in this book. I could see the situations, and put myself in them. For example, Kevin talks about his difficulty in dealing with Anthony, a client whom he found extremely difficult. After tolerating this client, while disliking him, he received a negative review for his attitude. Later he was placed into a close working engagement with Anthony. After listening to his mentor (and obeying him as his boss), Kevin swallowed his pride, prayed for Anthony’s good, and focused on serving him. Kevin was able to get past his issues, see Anthony’s strengths and actually develop a friendship. By applying the principles of faith, Kevin came to love his “enemy.” It is the humility and willingness of the author to share his stories that make the entire book come alive. As I read the chapters, I anted go out and improve how I am living my Faith in my work right away.
At the end of each of the thirteen chapters, Kevin provides Action Steps to practically apply the principles. I found these useful for getting to the implementation phase (as a good business person might). For example in the chapter with the example with Anthony, the actions included looking for talents in others; using hurdles as stepping stones; being humble; and praying for your teammates. Each action is explained and tied to the chapter. They provide clear links to the lessons and examples in each chapter so that you can make it “actionable” (to use a made-up business word).
Finally, I want to share just a bit more about Kevin Lowry. He is a Catholic husband and father of eight kids. He is a convert to the faith and heavily involved in the new evangelization. He is the COO for The Coming Home Network International, and he blogs at Grateful Convert.
In addition to Amazon.com, you can also find this book at The Catholic Company.