Faith Based Consulting: An Introduction
by Jonathan Roth Magidovitch
I am a rabbi and I have a priest. She keeps my head on straight. She is Episcopalian. I say, “everybody needs a Rabbi and every Rabbi needs a Priest.”
I work as a coach, mentor, consultant for businesses and nonprofits, individuals and families. Most of my clients are Christian. Some do not adhere to any faith. In Faith Based Consulting, the faith or lack of faith of the client does not matter except that they are open to having faith in themselves.
Faith Based Consulting is not religious even though the language comes from that world. Faith Based Consulting is not judgmental.
Faith Based Consulting is practical.
The tools of faith based consulting include Hebrew Scripture and New Testament. The stories in these books contain key guidance for a broad range of business and family situations. Below are examples of how these stories work as guidance.
Other Faith Based Consulting tools include rituals from various faiths. Mikvah, Jewish ritual immersion, (related to Baptism) is a powerful way to mark having finished with something in the past and gotten ready for a new start. Lighting a candle appears in Catholic, Protestant and Jewish ritual. The act of lighting a candle can bind your business, your family or you personally to a departed person’s vision and values that you want to maintain.
Also among the tools of Faith Based Consulting are the practices: “speaking truth to power” and “speaking truth to habits.” Truth to power means we will tell a leader who only has “yes” people around them what that actually costs in lost perspective and competitiveness. And, we will likewise speak truth to habits. Doing something today because it was done yesterday is poor practice. We will encourage more well thought out management process.
Here are examples of some scriptural tools at work:
Your goal is to find a good woman to marry and raise a family with her. Then, don’t date married women. Not just because its against commandment seven of the Ten Commandments. Don’t date a married woman because the woman you do want to marry will “see” that part of your personality even if you manage to cover your tracks and that “right woman” will avoid you.
This is the same for how you do business. If you want good companies to do business with you then be a good company. Operate by the practices of the companies you respect.
You are the head of a family business. You determine compensation and you say, “blood is thicker than water,” so you pay blood relatives twice as much as in-laws. This results in stress in every employee and their family. This reduces their sense of shared purpose at work. This opens your business to a world of risk.
Jesus’ first miracle, at Cana, was to turn water into wine. And, at the Last Supper He announced, “this wine is my blood.” Water becomes wine which becomes blood. Water and blood can become the other. Stranger can become family. Family can become stranger. Each and all are to be valued for what they are and for what they have made of themselves.
Compensation, therefore, is not to be determined by blood relationship. It is determined by skill and effort suited to the job. There are other tools for distributing money among family. Do not make the mistake of mixing family and business, especially in a family business.
Your business’ leader is approaching retirement. Time has come to determine a successor. From which pool of candidates might the successor come? Is your business going to be most successful as a dynasty or as a “best person gets the job” kind of business.
Moses’ son did not succeed him as leader. David’s son did succeed him. And, Zelophehad’s daughters succeeded him. Each of these stories is rich with detail that gives insight to your succession planning.
In Faith Based Consulting identifying goals focuses the work. The work includes:
- finding assets and deficits
- developing strategy and tactics to meet goals
In every step, the tools of Faith Based Consulting are applied.
We are usually called in at a point of transition. Perhaps this is the death of a key figure or the failure of a project. These are moments when you may have lost faith in yourself or your business. We help you restore that faith.
Yosef Meged is a business and personal coach working with individuals, families and businesses. Yosef lives and works in the United States and Israel. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the USA, Yosef works under his American name: Jonathan Roth Magidovitch.