Business is a human adventure, say Christian leaders

“Humanize the company”,

Christian entrepreneurs and leaders, Mame, 240 p., €17

The president of Christian Entrepreneurs and Leaders (EDC), Philippe Royer, symbolically handed over this short essay on January 7 to the Pope during the “journey of the common good”. On this occasion, Francis urged the 80 French Catholic business leaders present in the Vatican’s Clementine room to reconcile “authority” and “service”.

→ THE FACTS. Pope Francis invites French entrepreneurs to reconcile “authority” and “service”

Reconciling service to man and the common good, while being fully invested in economic competition, is the common point of the 33 Christian business leaders who are brought together in this book, published by the EDC. All tell their story, from creation to, for the older ones, the transmission of their business: a “life”, in a way, like a child to whom they entrust the joy of seeing him born, grow up and succeed.

As its title reminds us, the objective of this book is to underline the human dimension of the company as well as to highlight the human wealth of bosses who have chosen to reconcile entrepreneurial adventure and life of faith, to show that ‘“it is possible to be a boss and a Christian”.

“Company is a path to holiness”

These are not, as Sophie Izoard-Allaux, lecturer in social ethics at the Catholic University of Lille, who coordinated the work, reminds us, nor “sweet dreamers, nor delighted with the crib”. Some do not hide the doubts or the difficulties encountered.

Thus this former buyer of a subsidiary of Bridgestone in Liège (Belgium), who admits his dismay in the face of the hard social conflict which destroyed the company. Or this young designer, who confides in the difficulty of upskilling her employees: “Some left us after having acquired know-how, and left to copy our concept and offer it to the competition. »

The successes are also there, and everyone tells how they managed them in the best way for everyone in the company. “None of them claim to be heroes, concludes Sophie Izoard-Allaux. They understood that if they were not going to change society immediately, it was up to them to create a better world. For them too, business is a path to holiness. »

“The life of an entrepreneur is rich and full. It is made of success, of course, but also of doubts, disappointments, failures, rebounds, insists in the introduction Pierre Guillet, president of the EDC in Île-de-France. What he lives is a permanent human adventure, and that fascinates. The entrepreneur takes risks where many give up. It is precisely in this that his adventure exists. »

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