There are business leaders in the world who believe greed is good, that it drives capitalism.
I beg to differ.
Protestors are right. Greed poisons the economy and destroys prosperity in every society. I believe the best catalyst for business success is not avarice but a philosophy of abundance, where everyone wins.
I learned a long time ago that God is the source of all spiritual and temporal blessings. In fact, all that I have, whether it is health or wealth, has come from a God who I believe loves us. In every business I've been involved with I look for and value leaders who have incorporated specific values into the way they run and operate their business. Many of these values come from principles found in scripture and in that sense can be viewed as coming from God.
With that in mind, I have concluded that there are four God-inspired pillars for success:
Prayer: We learn from the scriptures that we can ask God to bless us in any area of our lives and that he will answer our sincere prayers. In fact, that means we can ask God to help us with our business and that he will do so. Based on this premise we should be comfortable inviting God to watch over and provide us with direction and inspiration in our business endeavors.
Put God first: God will bless our enterprises if we put him first in our lives and use our wealth to help those in need. I interpret this to mean that we should develop a company budget to help the less fortunate. I have always felt we don't have to wait until we sell our businesses to start helping the less fortunate.
Build upon talents: The New Testament contains the parable of the talents. Do you recall the story of the master who rewards his exemplary workers with more talents for having increased what they had been previously given? I conclude from this scripture that an entrepreneur who is a faithful and a self-reliant steward of assets is rewarded for exceptional performance and is given more authority, responsibility and greater resources to manage.
Maximize opportunity: I believe we're all born with and given skills and talents. I maintain that we should use these skills to be industrious, and gain knowledge, experience and other skills. I note that we are required to be honest, thoughtful, to prepare well and to execute our plans with faith and excellence. These attributes are at the core of a successful company.
As business owners incorporate these four pillars into their company and business strategy, I believe success will follow with prosperity for all.
Alan E. Hall is a co-founding managing director of Mercato Partners, a regionally focused growth capital investment firm. He founded Grow Utah Ventures, is the founder of MarketStar Corp. and is the chairman of the Utah Technology Council.