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The Pope & The CEO: John Paul II's Leadership Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard Paperback – September 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Emmaus Road Publishing (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931018766
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931018760
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

John Paul II's witness to the reality of God's grace in the life of man, as divine presence and guidance, so inspired and touched the life of one of his body guards, a Swiss guard, that when the latter became an entrepreneur and a CEO, he set himself to emulate the virtues of leadership of the Pope. In this book, the Swiss-Guard-turned-CEO gives a personal witness to the successful application of the Pope's leadership virtues in the life of a CEO and offers the same to CEOs and his readers. The book is thus an excellent tribute to the memory of the Pope and a commendable guide to successful entrepreneurship.

John Paul II's witness to the reality of God's grace in the life of man so inspired and touched the life of one Swiss guard, that when the latter became an entrepreneur and a CEO, he set himself to emulate the virtues of leadership of the Pope. In this book, the Swiss-Guard-turned-CEO gives a personal witness to the successful application of the Pope's leadership virtues and offers the same to other CEOs and all of his readers. The book is thus an excellent tribute to the memory of the Pope and a commendable guide to successful entrepreneurship. -- Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace


Andreas Widmer has given us a true gift by sharing his firsthand experience of Pope JPII's personal habits so that we can incorporate these in our own leadership journey. By making the Pope accessible and by appropriating the Pope's demeanor into his own personal and work lives, Andreas gave a us a role model who is truly worthy of the word and shows us that it is possible to achieve the sanctity of leadership even in the context of business.

Andreas Widmer gives us a true gift by sharing his firsthand experience of Pope JPII's personal habits so that we can incorporate these in our own leadership journey. By making the Pope accessible and by appropriating the Pope's demeanor into his own personal and work lives, Andreas gives a us a role model who is truly worthy of the word; he shows us that it is possible to achieve the sanctity of leadership even in the context of business. -- Carolyn Y. Woo, Dean, Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame; newly named President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services


Andreas Widmer is an honest man, a good man, and an insightful man. His reflections on what he learned from perhaps the greatest Christian of our time offer all of us a powerful example of leadership at work. -- George Weigel, Pope John Paul II s Biographer, Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington s Ethics and Public Policy Center


What we find in Andreas Widmer s book is the fruit, both of his own disciplined and [shrewdly perceptive] scrutiny of his life, and of the influence on that life of the years he spent, not only in close proximity to Blessed John Paul ll, but in what turned out to be a close friendship. It is a story suffused with the luminescence of wisdom and holiness. -- Thomas Howard, Author

--Endorsements

"Andreas Widmer has produced an excellent management tool for those of us who believe the teachings of the Church will enlighten our path and guide us to succeed in every endeavor.

John Paul II's relentless defense of freedom helped shape the XX Century. He was a living example of what can happen when the virtues of faith, hope and love merge with wisdom, a positive attitude and strategic thinking.

From the C-Suite of large corporations to the day-to- day small entrepreneur, the lessons of The Pope & The CEO are right on target." -- Juan J. Daboub, Ph.D. , Former Managing Director of the World Bank and Former Minister of Finance of El Salvador, entrepenuer and businessman. He is the Founding CEO of the Global Adaptation Institute.


--Endorsements

In The Pope and the CEO, Andreas Widmer gives a striking testimony to the heroic holiness of life of Blessed Pope John Paul II, which he, as a young Swiss Guard, was blessed to witness at close hand. He offers a most powerful testimony, showing how the holiness of Pope John Paul II inspired and continues to inspire him, also through some most difficult times in his life, to strive for what the saintly Pontiff aptly called the high standard of ordinary Christian living. It is my hope that Widmer s book will draw many, especially those engaged in business, closer to Blessed Pope John Paul II and, through him, to Christ to Whom, through the Blessed Virgin Mary, he gave his whole being, right up to the last moment of his life. -- Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura

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"In The Pope and the CEO, Andreas Widmer captures John Paul's deep commitment to the human person and provides an engaging and insightful look at how this understanding of the human person is necessary for personal and professional flourishing. The book captures the essence of the tradition and teachings on the human person and the good life, and provides compelling and clear guidelines for applying these ideas to current business and professional challenges." -- Anna Halpine, Founder of the World Youth Alliance


Andreas insights from daily life with a great man like John Paul II drives home the point that business decisions can be made from purely human motives OR with God's inspiration for us and for our work. The anecdotes and insights make The Pope & The CEO a worthwhile read" -- Claire Huang, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Bank of America Merrill Lynch


In a world which often sees the Gospel of Truth and the world of business as polar opposites, Andreas Widmer sees, understands, and develops the connections. As Benedict XVI has repeatedly reminded us, we are all called to be saints. In The Pope & the CEO, Widmer shows how the words and actions of Blessed John Paul II provide living guidance for all those charged with high responsibilities in the marketplace: guidance for prudent and morally-wise business decisions, and guidance about how to pursue holiness in our everyday lives. -- Samuel Gregg, Director of Research, Acton Institute


When I first met Andreas, he told me, I was converted to Christianity under the personal witness of Pope John Paul II. This claim was so unique and stunning, that I was immediately drawn to his testimony. Imagine learning under the tutelage of the CEO of Christianity, and allow yourself to learn how to be a CEO from the personal and deeply insightful comments by Andreas Widmer, a Former Swiss Guard of Pope John Paul II. -- Richard E. Omohundro


My friend, Andreas Widmer, found his faith while protecting Pope John Paul II as a member of the Vatican s legendary Swiss Guards. The experience changed his life and continues to guide his quest to integrate his faith into being a husband, father, CEO and marketplace leader. In The Pope & The CEO, Andreas shares with us his personal memories and the lessons learned from of one of the greatest leaders of the twentieth century. John Paul s powerful example of faith, humility and love will challenge you to discover your calling and put your faith into action. -- Dale Dawson , Founder & CEO. Bridge2Rwanda


Pope John Paul II will probably be best remembered for his role in overturning communism in Poland and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. Less well known are his many other achievements as a leader. As a former Swiss Guard at the Vatican, Andreas Widmer has given us a rare insight into the life of the Pope and his style of leadership. Observing the inspirational leadership of the Pope close up inspired Andreas --Endorsements

As the title suggests, The Pope and the CEO is an attempt really well done to articulate an account of the many connections between Christian faith and entrepreneurial-managerial activity. The key to Widmer s argument is the suggestion that the market, the business, the economy can themselves be the place for reciprocity, fraternity, civilization. Under one condition: that the enterprise is not seen only as a machine to make money. As John Paul II taught to the Author, money and profit are weak incentives if we want to move people at the level of their most noble and powerful energies. The narrative of the book is rather original. Between personal recollections of the two years spent as a Swiss guard and the accurate report of the multifarious activities undertaken since he left the Vatican, Widmer provides us with a useful guidebook for people who really desire to achieve successful leadership.

The Pope and the CEO is a beautifully written book that ought to be read by all those who realize that our time is characterized by a deep crisis, that is not simply economic and financial, but also cultural and ethical. Its reading will certainly contribute to the generation of new ideas and pave the way for new venues of research in managerial studies. -- Stefano Zamagni, Prof. of Economics, University of Bologna; Adjunct Prof. of Political Economy, Johns Hopkins University, Bologna Center; President of the Italian Agency for the Third Sector


Fascinating, intimate, inside stories of one Swiss Guard s personal interactions with Blessed John Paul II captivates readers with a rare glimpse into the little known culture of the Pope and his guards. Those real-life encounters with the Pope formed Andreas Widmer s life and views on faith, family, and work from a young Swiss Guard to a corporate executive and CEO. Real leadership requires reconciling our spiritual lives with our work, and the Pope & The CEO are two Christian men that show us how to put that into practice every day. -- Immaculée Ilibagiza, Author


Reading this book and reflecting on the tremendous turmoil in our world today, I am reminded of the enduring importance of effective leadership. From my perspective, it is imperative that we rethink and rebuild our approaches to solving the big issues of the day and capturing the many emerging growth opportunities across the globe. These new organizations will require a new type of leader, or as is articulated in the book a return to the certain successful leadership traits of a great mentor. For current CEOs, this book will cause you to stop and contemplate your own unfolding legacy. For future CEOs, you are provided with some important discoveries for how to shape a better world and a more enjoyable life! -- Bob Keith, President & CEO, Catalyst Growth Partners


"Must read for anyone in the business world. I know I talk about wanting to be a man of integrity and putting the interests of others above my own, but the Pope's actions and words reflected that he was a living definition of the word. Thank God, Andreas was present to capture the living witness and testimony of this Pope and share his wisdom to benefit all readers. This book has captivated and challenged me to become a man that pursues the heart and mind of Christ. Thank you for challenging us to become the men that God desires us all to become." -- David Howlett, Serial Entrepreneur


--Endorsements

More About the Author

Andreas Widmer is the cofounder of SEVEN Fund, a philanthropic organization run by entrepreneurs who invest in original research, books, films, and websites to further enterprise solutions to poverty.

Andreas and his business partner Michael Fairbanks initiated the Pioneers of Prosperity Awards, a first-of-its-kind industry program that finds and promotes the best entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Andreas works closely with top entrepreneurs, investors, and faith leaders around the world to foster enterprise solutions to poverty and promote virtuous business practices. He has developed entrepreneurial initiatives at the intersection of business and faith including his faith and prosperity blog, the Catholic Mental Models Project, the joint 2010 Essay Competition with the Center for Interfaith Action, and a partnership with the Carpenter's Fund.

Andreas is a Research Fellow in Entrepreneurship at the Acton Institute and an advisor to the Zermatt Summit, an annual business leadership event that strives to humanize globalization. He also serves as an advisor to Transforming Business, a research and development project at the University of Cambridge. He currently serves on the advisory boards of the Templeton Foundation, Global Adaptation Institute, Spring Hill Equity Partners, Karisimbi Business Partners, and Catholics Come Home. He is on the board of directors at the New Paradigm Research Fund, Virtual Research Associates and the World Youth Alliance, a global coalition of young people committed to promoting the dignity of the person and building solidarity among youth from developed and developing nations. He was appointed by the Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty as a member of the Task Force to Advance Multireligious Collaboration on Faith, Health and Development, which presented its findings at the White House in November 2010.

Andreas is a seasoned business executive with experience in high-tech and international business strategy consulting and economic development. He was an executive in residence at Highland Capital Partners, a venture capital firm. He served as CEO of OTF Group (formerly part of the Monitor Group) and helped lead Eprise Corporation, Dragon Systems and FTP Software. Widmer has worked extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, and has brought more than 100 leading-edge technology products to market.

An author on the connection between entrepreneurship, economic development and spirituality, Andreas blogs regularly at www.faithandprosperity.com. He contributed two chapters to the book In the River They Swim: Essays from Around the World on Enterprise Solutions to Poverty. His book on values and leadership will be released from Emmaus Road Press in Fall 2011. He has authored articles and been featured in various business and general interest media including the Financial Times, Bloomberg News, Sky TV, Kigali Times, FastCompany, Catholic TV, EWTN Radio and First Things.

Andreas served as a Pontifical Swiss Guard from 1986-1988, protecting Pope John Paul II. He holds two business degrees from Switzerland, plus a B.S. in International Business from Merrimack College and an M.A. in Ministry from St. John's Seminary in Boston. A citizen of Switzerland and the United States, he speaks English, German, Italian and French.

He was one of the founding members of the Catholic Men's and Women's Conferences in Boston and was recently knighted in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre and is a member of Legatus, the Catholic CEO organization.
Andreas loves to spend time with his wife and son. He is an eternal student of fly-fishing, enjoys skiing, and is an avid reader.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Of course, anyone from any profession could benefit from reading this book.
Paul Coppola, Washington, DC
He has given us a small insight on what we will be coming across in the book, and it sounds like it will be an interesting read.
CruzCruz
The Pope and the CEO gives us all a great insight into how we can bring some of these same virtues into our businesses each day.
AndyL

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Andreas Widmer, in his early 20s, spent two years protecting Blessed Pope John Paul II as a Pontifical Swiss Guard from 1986 to 1988. As a guard, he could not miss him as he saw and spent time with the Pope more times than he could count. And at 6'9", the Pope could not miss him ("my tallest guard," said John Paul) either. After leaving the Vatican, Widmer came to the U.S. to study international business, worked in several software start-ups, and led the Monitor Group's OTF group. Along the way, he lost the love for what he was doing and questioned the path he was on.

When leaving the Swiss Guards, John Paul II told him to "Go and bring Christ into the world; once you go back and out into the world, it is understood that you will continue to shield Him, only this time with your persona, and how you live your life." And he has...having since founded SEVEN (Social Equity Venture Fund) which is a virtual non-profit entity run by entrepreneurs whose strategy is to markedly increase the rate of innovation and diffusion of enterprise-based solutions to poverty.

In the thoroughly enjoyable and memorable "The Pope & the CEO," Widmer shares his life story - his role as a Swiss Guard; his "hitting the wall" and resultant career transformation; and the impact, in later years, John Paul II had on his understanding of his true vocation, and the core beliefs of a leader. Each of the nine chapters is focused on a critical learning of Widmer's (e.g. Know Who You Are: The Importance of Vocation, Know What's Right: Ethics and the Human Person, Life as a Witness: The Testimony of Right Action) and ends with questions for reflection.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Don Alexander on September 20, 2011
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Well worth the read if only for the insights on Pope John Paul II. This book is so much more! This is a great read for anyone looking for direction in life, and a must for people with an Entrepreneurial spirit. Perfect timing, we need virtue in our business world to help us find lasting success. We need Entrepreneurs and Innovators in every generation, and those people need good, formed direction. This book gives direction. Oh, buy two copies because you are going to want to share one. (I did)
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By AndyL on September 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
We all know the impact that Pope John Paul has had on our world today. The Pope and the CEO gives us all a great insight into how we can bring some of these same virtues into our businesses each day. Be prepared to go out and buy some extra highlighters, because Andreas has given us the kind of reflections from each chapter that you will want to pass onto generations of entrepreneurs and businessmen to come.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By rgkennedy on November 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Andreas Widmer has written an unlikely but exceptionally moving book. At the age of 20, in 1986, he went to Rome to join the famous Swiss Guards in the Vatican. For two years he performed his duties and had an intimate view of the day-to-day activities of the man he was sworn to protect with his life, Pope John Paul II. Leaving the Guards, he went to college and then pursued a career in business, at which he had extraordinary success at an early age. But, as often happens, this success was followed by devastating reversals. These reversals prompted Widmer to step back and to evaluate where his life was headed and what sort of person he was becoming. He came to see that his observations of the pope's life and work could be a lens through which he could make sense of his own life and career. He shares what he learned in this book.
After many years of practical experience in management and more than 15 years of teaching the subject at the university level, I'm quite willing to concede that the world does not need yet one more book on how to manage well. Or so I thought. Widmer's short and very readable volume introduces us to a dimension of the life of a world leader that few people ever see and it offers the reflections of a seasoned executive on the lessons to be learned.
We do not often think that bishops and popes are executives but they certainly are. Many perform this role at a mediocre level at best--perhaps other functions are more important--but through Widmer's eyes we come to see that Pope John Paul II was an exceptional executive. The pope has been criticized for not managing the sprawling bureaucracy of the Vatican more tightly but Widmer helps us to see that this sort of criticism misses the point.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Scott Brimer,Scott Brimer on May 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading this book and enjoyed it! It offered great ideas and insights for daily life and peeks at the life of Blessed John Paul II. I plan on sharing this book with my parish's Men's Group.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Irene Moschetto on September 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is brilliantly written in such a format that it will appeal to all audiences from a student to an executive and from someone just beginning their spiritual journey to someone who is well on their way. With honesty, integrity and humility, Andreas invites the reader to journey through his business ethics and spiritual life always leaving the reader with something to take away from each chapter.

This book is full of virtue, moral values and beautiful insights to his personal relationship with our Beloved Pope John Paul II. The personal/business reflection questions at the end of each chapter are a bonus and very thought provoking!

A must read!
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