Saturday, September 18, 2010

Key to Business Success by Gerald Chester

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”  Proverbs 9:10 NIV
According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, success is “achieving a favorable or desired outcome.” 

All organizations—for profit and not for profit—desire to achieve success. The former generally define success in terms of financial profit and the latter define success in terms of social profit. 

Regardless of your specific definition, to achieve success requires C4 people—C4 stands for calling, character, capability, and commissioning. C4 people are those who are fulfilling the purpose of God for their lives. These people are working in concert with God’s design. (For more information on C4, see my Strategic Life Alignment product.) 

Many times organizational leaders recognize the efficacy of C4, but their understanding of it is nascent. Specifically and most often, they fail to understand how to discern good character. Leaders commonly judge character based on brief interactions with people and perhaps a few reference checks. But this gives only a glimpse into a person’s true character. 

To gain an accurate perspective of a person’s character requires much more careful analysis—something that, in my experience, few organizational leaders are willing to do. This is one of the reasons that so many organizations make frequent hiring errors. 

Unwittingly, organizational leaders hire people who are under curses, who lack divine favor, who don’t submit to authority, who are not teachable, who live in deep shame, who make excuses, who have a pattern of failure, who are void of divine help, who are not problem-solvers, who have marred judgment, etc. The list of undesirable character traits is long. 

The way to discern good character is to become a student of the Bible. The Bible reveals God’s standard of righteous living. One of the biblical concepts that encompasses God’s righteousness is the term “the fear of the Lord.” This concept is widely used in Scripture and has many facets to it. Those who seek to understand and live in the fear of the Lord display—among many things—wisdom, knowledge, discernment, insight, understanding, and sound judgment. And they enjoy favor, success, blessings, guidance, wealth, honor, and protection. Clearly these traits are wonderful qualities that we want both in ourselves and in our workers. 

To ignore the standard of biblical character in yourself and others is fatal. Just as the fear of the Lord leads to all the wonderful things that you want in life, failing to live in the fear of the Lord leads to everything that you don’t want—confusion, poor judgment, ignorance, folly, poverty, failure, death, and so forth. 

Organizational leaders who fail to learn how to develop sound biblical character in both themselves and others will struggle with organizational success. No organization can truly succeed unless its workers succeed. And workers cannot succeed unless they develop godly character, that is, learn to live in the fear of the Lord. 

Here is your business tip. Learn how to live in the fear of the Lord and to recognize others who do as well. Train your management team and workers to live in the fear of the Lord. Don't take this casually. If you really want to achieve enduring success and excellence in your organization, you must be vigilant about learning to live in the fear of the Lord. This will release wisdom, knowledge, divine guidance, protection, blessings, favor, wealth, and success in both your workers and your organization. The fear of the Lord is in the beginning of wisdom and knowledge and is therefore the foundational key to your success.


  1. I am founder of a local Christian community based organization working to provide opportunity to the most less-fortunate rural communities. I have for quit some time been praying to God for the right people to help into my organization. But the selection has always been hard. I think I can use these principles to achieve our objectives. Thank you for these principles

    Ps. Mark

  2. The bible is a incredible barometer for character. I agree with the need to measure capability, calling and commissioning....but I would add a 5th "commitment". The problem with most business and ministry leaders is that they are not trained nor do they have the necessary tools to make these assessments nor are they willing to spend the time and resources to execute this process properly and prayerfully. In our ministry to business owners and ministry leaders we provide tools, training, coaching and support to business leaders who want to acquire the skills of measuring and understanding character, capability, calling, commisioning and commitment.

  3. Very good analysis! I strongly disagree, however, with two of the proposed measures! Success & wealth. Our tendency is to define them in the world's terms, which are usually far from God's measures. If we were to use those two measures none of us would hire David (when he was hiding in caves), Joseph (while still in prison), or Jesus. Prayerfully, our perception, led by the Spirit, will lead us to select diamonds which are still not finished with the cutting & polishing yet are God's chosen tools. We also ere if we look only at a person's past failures and ignore the reality that God redeems broken people and turns a murderer into the deliver of a nation (Moses) and world changing voice for the Gospel (Paul). The real point .... cry out to God for insight & wisdom into HIS measure of the people we're looking at.

    Hank Tate, the Lord's servant by His mercy & grace


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