Business as a Calling. A book by Michael Novak (1996)

I felt this was a good one to start with because it sets the framework for what I am striving for in creating Conceptual MindWorks, Inc. and Sevocity.

You know, there was a time when one would most likely not justify going into business as one’s “calling”.  Needless to say, that is what made the title of this book quite intriguing to me, because I wanted this to be a different kind of company; something meaningful.

The author talks about all the good a business can do; from making a positive difference to customers, to employing people with good jobs and wages, to connecting a global community through commerce.  It is possible to have a business as a calling.  To truly be a “calling” it must be a different kind of “business”; it must a business focused on meeting the needs of people through a product or service and meeting the needs of those who deliver them.

Ironically enough, Ken Lay was one of the people quoted in the book.  As it turns out, what happened at Enron is diametrically opposed to what this book is all about.  And their story further perpetuates the stigma “business” has; especially those “at the top”; one of selfishness and making short term decisions to make more “profit” no matter the cost to customers or team members (employees).

The book makes the case business has a worthy role to play if done right and for the right reasons.  (Another interesting note, Novak further points out the delicate linkage between democracy and capitalism although each not a necessary condition for the other.)

And so Conceptual MindWorks, Inc. and Sevocity are my calling; and I believe it is “our” calling as a team.  Making decisions for the long term and delivering through our actions the commitment we have to customers, team members and our community are cornerstones of our growth to date and in the future.   In order to keep it as such, we must make a positive difference to our customers, team members and our community.

– Elaine Mendoza, Founder of Conceptual MindWorks, Inc. and Sevocity