Title: God Is My CEO: Following God’s Principles in a Bottom-Line World
Author: Larry Julian
Published: 2001
Genre: Discipleship/Spiritual development
Ratings: 4.3 out of 5 stars

This is one of the rare Christian books that has been well-written. It communicates God’s principles in such a relevant and contemporary manner without being so “spiritual” or “Christian”.

I personally like the way the author writes without using any spiritual jargons or terms that even a non-Christian reader can enjoy and relate with.

In this book, the author presents ten common challenges that most Christians in the marketplace are confronted with. Some examples are leadership by example, purpose, courage and yielding control.

This is a very readable and riveting book that any working professional can get their hands on to be inspired and empowered by true accounts of business leaders who share their struggles in a bottom-line world and how God helped them.

This book is very close to perfection which includes questions for reflection and discussions. If I need to find any flaws, it would be a couple of grammatical mistakes that I had spotted.

Who should read it: Any working professional in the corporate world

Character: The Key to True Success

Everybody is in a natural pursuit of success and never failure in life.

But what exactly is success? And how do we measure it?

These are personal and fundamental questions that each of us need to constantly discover and define in any phase of our life.

Building a foundation for success

Our world mainly defines success by measuring it in terms of power, position, recognition, material possessions and wealth.

And most of us (consciously or unconsciously) make this our life-long mission to attain all of these. However, in that pursuit, one key aspect of success is grossly overlooked- Character.

As much as  these (power, position, recognition, material possessions and wealth) are important, one should never neglect the development of one’s character.

Character should measure up as equally if not more important then all the rest. In my opinion, character serves as the foundational pillar that holds everything else together in one’s life.

Try not to become a person of success, but rather a person of value.

Albert Einstein

When we have character, we become a person of value and influence; not just with our ability, but with our reliability.

In other words, having character not only attracts success towards us, but also sustains success in our lives.

Measuring character

If character is that much important, why are most of us not actively analysing and developing it in the same manner we do with our wealth, material possessions and etc…?

In my opinion, one of the main reasons is because character is neither quantifiable nor it is easily measured like how wealth, position or material possessions are.

For what we cannot measure, we cannot manage. And what we cannot manage, we cannot develop or grow.

Moreover, there is no recognised standard of measurement for good character for us to measure up against.

For instance, it may be easy to measure wealth or position against others around us like Warren Buffett or Barrack Obama.

But not so for character, where is a standard or example of a good character that all of us can measure up to without any dispute?

The standard of success

Personally, I discovered that standard of good character in the person named Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God.

I also think He is the best existing standard cos He is morally perfect and widely known. But of cos, I’m aware that not everyone is willing to readily acknowledge or accept Him as that standard.

Nonetheless, I look to Him as my standard of good character.

With Him, I am able to measure my character against His. This I do by reading the Bible as illustrated in the scripture below:

“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this will be blessed in what he does.”

James 1:23-25

Make no mistake that success is incomplete and never lasting without being backed by a character that is strong and good.

The Bible with its principalities and statutes serves as a credible mirror to reflect and measure our level of character. In this way, we are able to identity and manage areas of our character that requires development.

For this reason, if we do not read and study the Bible regularly, its probably time for us to do so.

And if we have not been upclose and personal with Jesus enough to be convinced if He is of a good character worthy to follow, then we should do so.

For with Him and in Him, the door of true success opens to us.


Apart from Him, I am Nothing

“Keep me safe, O God,
for in you I take refuge.

I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”

Psalm 16:1-2 (NIV)

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.
Separated, you can’t produce a thing.”

John 15:5 (The Message)

The Balancing Act for 2009

At the beginning of this year, there were two areas- practical and financial that I felt led to prioritise on in regards to my walk with God.

There was a need to experience more of God’s promises and power in taking these two areas to the next level.

Two areas of growth

Growing practically meant that I needed to grow in my stature with my work towards being a person of value in the marketplace.

Simply because our work is also our God-given ministry and when we excel, God is made illustrious.

In terms of growing financially, I desire to be a better steward with what God has entrusted me with.

I believe as Christ-followers, we need not only need to adopt a kingdom mentality, but be faithful with our finances.

This does not mean we merely hoard or maintain our finances at a certain level, but we need to be actively mulitplying our resources.

With more, we are able to do more. We are able to readily invest and give towards worthy causes that addresses the practical needs of people around us in extending God’s love.

A shift in priorities of growth

After crossing the first-half of this year, upon evaluating, I can gratefully say that these two areas have met their set goals in an unprecedented manner with His divine and undeserving favour upon my life.

Upon evaluating, I sensed that the next course of His direction for me will be to balance the other aspects of my life by prioritising the spiritual and physical areas.

In regards to my spiritual growth, I have made a firm decision to start serving more regularly in my cellgroup’s worship team.

I believe this will further anchor my spiritual roots and keep me under His divine covering as He launches me deeper into the marketplace.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Mahatma Gandhi

I also believe that servant leadership is only best cultivated and understood  by actually doing it.

No amount of reading or knowledge of servant leadership can transform you into a servant leader. You must just do (serve) it.

Racing towards the end

Physically, let’s just say that I recently discovered that I am in bad shape.

I think my body’s condition has dropped to a state of lethargic-ness or even ‘sloppiness’. Ha ha…

To get back in shape, I have signed up for the Singapore Marathon 21km run in December. Doing this, I’m now ‘forced’ to embark on my personal weekly running regime.

I’m confident with God, this year will end even more glorious than the previous year. And I’m going all the way!

My recent Family Trip Experience

My recent trip to Perth with my family was an answered prayer.

It was a fabulous and much needed platform for our family to bond.

And especially since we have never spent that much time together for more than 15 years.

Loving my family

Personally, this trip revealed more of my self-centredness.

Being in close proximity with my family helped me in measuring my level of love for them.

So I am grateful that the more than one week together in turn provided the opportunities for me to increase my love towards my family members by serving them.

And being the eldest of my siblings, I think had not much of a choice lar… Ha ha…

Proud of my family

Given our family’s past background and that of my two brothers having families of their own, the trip thrusted us into a situation where we had to be one BIG family.

But of cos, in such a situation, it could have either break us or make us. 

And I’m relieved and thankful to declare that we made it as a family by His grace! Ha ha ha…

Lastly, if I could give thanks for one takeaway from this trip, it would be how it has allowed me know my family members better and appreciate them even more.

For instance,  I was able to witness how my two younger brothers played their roles as a husband and father to their own families.

This has helped me developed a new found respect and love for them. As their elder brother, I’m really proud of them!


My Doodling:

I chanced upon this site- Called to Business which I believe would be useful for those of us who aspire to shine in the marketplace. Their purpose is to equip ‘Christian Business Leaders’ to be effective in the marketplace. May it bless you as we strive to be His vision carriers among the ‘lost’.

The Redemptive Nature of God

“How prosperous Israel is—
      a luxuriant vine loaded with fruit.
   But the richer the people get,
      the more pagan altars they build.
   The more bountiful their harvests,
      the more beautiful their sacred pillars.

The hearts of the people are fickle;
      they are guilty and must be punished.
   The Lord will break down their altars
      and smash their sacred pillars…..”

“…….Oh, how can I give you up, Israel?
      How can I let you go?
   How can I destroy you like Admah
      or demolish you like Zeboiim?

My heart is torn within me,
      and my compassion overflows.
No, I will not unleash my fierce anger.
      I will not completely destroy Israel,
   for I am God and not a mere mortal.
      I am the Holy One living among you,
      and I will not come to destroy.”

Hosea 10:1-2, 11:8-10 (New Living Translation)

Vision and Purpose in the Marketplace

Being in the marketplace, I’ve observed one prevailing breakdown among organisations that hinders true sustainable growth or success- the lack of vision and purpose.

Having a vision and purpose

In the marketplace, growth or success is generally defined in terms of power, position, recognition, material possessions and wealth.

However, if we truly put things in the right (godly) perspective, all these are merely short-term achievements or temporal.

Though I do not play down their pragmatic importance of survival in the marketplace, but there’s more to life than just surviving.

That’s why I believe a vision and purpose (ideally God-inspired) is of fundamental importance in differentiating an organisation from the rest.

More importantly, having a vision and purpose will expand an organisation’s definition of growth or success to significance; from making money to making difference.

Therefore, when rightly prioritised, these (power, recognition, material possessions and wealth) are, should be and will be the “by-products” of a compelling vision and purpose.

Transforming the marketplace

Albeit most organisations may have their “vision and purpose or mission statement” proudly emblazoned on walls or on their websites, but in reality they’re at most serving as decorative or cosmetic measures.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…”

Proverbs 29:18

At present, there is a pressing need for leadership in organisations to have depth and foresight in their vision and purpose. Especially during this slowdown of the economy, this poses as good opportunity to reflect, re-visit or even re-align focus and priorities.

As leadership determines the rise or fall of an organisation, so leaders have to be clear about their vision and purpose as that would determine the business sustainability.

Leaders have to communicate it constantly and consistently. And not just communicating with nice superficial words, but also with action through their exemplenary leadership.

As an employee, besides earning an income, I believe people are looking for more meaning and purpose in their work. This is most natural and expected as we spend the most time of our days at work.

But unfortunately, the reality remains for bottom-line pressure for profitability taking precedence over meaning and purpose in the marketplace.

As a result, it also remains a challenge for us to either choose to conform to this pressure or to be strong and choose to transform the marketplace towards true sustainable growth that makes a difference.

Performance-related Pay doesn’t encourage Performance

The clue ought to be in the name. Performance-related pay is pay for performance, and the better performance you turn in and the harder you work the more you will get to take home. Except, academics are now suggesting, more often than not the opposite may be the case.

New research by the London School of Economics has argued that, far from encouraging people to strive to reach the heights, performance-related pay often does the opposite and encourages people to work less hard.

The findings are, of course, deeply controversial, given the depths of anger still felt by many over the role of performance-related pay in causing or contributing to the current economic crisis.

“We find that financial incentives may indeed reduce intrinsic motivation and diminish ethical or other reasons for complying with workplace social norms such as fairness,” argued Dr Bernd Irlenbusch, from the LSE’s Department of Management.

“As a consequence, the provision of incentives can result in a negative impact on overall performance,” he added.

Companies therefore needed to be aware that the provision of performance-related pay could result in a net reduction of motivation across a team or organisation, he suggested.

Read the full article here>>>