Monday, January 27, 2014

Ingredients for Success by Joseph Slawek

Slawek was surprised when he was told that God had something to say about business. He began studying the Bible. He kept coming back to Matthew 25. There he found ten principles that provide insight to those in the marketplace. Those principles changed his life and the way he did business.

He shares those principles in this book, as well as how to apply them to life and work. I'll cover just one of the principles: Aim For Excellence, Not Perfection. I would have thought perfection would be the target. But, Slawek says, perfection gets us in trouble. It is unrealistic and leads to procrastination. The other options are failure, mediocrity, and excellence. Many aim for mediocrity and that is the biggest threat to excellence. Failure is preferred over mediocrity. At least failure shows us what not to do. He shows how pursuing excellence comes from Matthew 25 and how he has put that in practice in his own life and business.

Slawek offers lots of personal examples from his life and his role as CEO of FONA (Flavors of North America). He has a good sense of responsibility to those who work with and for him. He clearly shows how he has put these principles into practice in his life, business, and leadership role. He shares the growth of FONA and the awards won (business excellence, contribution to nonprofits, etc.). FONA is a growing company, a result of putting these principles in practice, Slawek argues. (See the biographical note below to get an idea of the awards won.)

This is an excellent book for anyone who wants to understand the principles God has revealed in Matthew 25, principles for life and work. Slawek is clear in his writing and gives plenty of examples showing how he has put the principles into practice. He has added the vision, mission, and values of FONA in an appendix so readers can read how the principles can be incorporated into a business statement.

Joseph Slawek, founder and CEO of FONA International, is a 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner. He was inducted into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in recognition of the unique corporate culture he established and the dramatic year over year growth it was driving – five times the industry standard. FONA is the only full-service flavor company on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the United States, and has held a continuous spot on the National Association for Business Resources list of Chicago's 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. In 2011, FONA received the competition's top honor, Best of the Best in Chicago. In 2013, FONA also received the Elite Award for Compensation, Benefits and Employee Solutions. Joe and his wife have been married for 34 years and have three grown children.

Kickstand, 120 pages. You can buy a copy of the book here.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Handlebar Central for the purpose of this review.

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