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Zigarelli addresses living out faith in the marketplace

by Minden Press-Herald

Dr. Michael Zigarelli, a professor of leadership and strategy at Messiah University in Pennsylvania, spoke at Louisiana Christian University’s 9th Annual God in the Workplace series on Monday, addressing what makes companies stand out in the marketplace.

Offering numerous real-world examples from Chick-fil-A and other fast food chains to illustrate his points, Zigarelli said a company’s customer success and brand boils down to hiring people of integrity to be who they already are.

“There’s no company policy [at Chick-fil-A] making them go the extra mile,” Zigarelli said. “It’s from the employees, their world view, their core values. In the workplace, what’s on the inside of us will ultimately show up on the outside of us, guaranteed.”

He said the starting point for faith at work is faith within.

“That’s the real secret recipe for success at Chick-fil-A,” Zigarelli said. “We live from the inside out, so we work from the inside out.”

An employee’s behavior doesn’t happen out of nowhere.

“External behaviors are manifestations of an internal reality,” he said.

This is why it is paramount for companies to care about who they are hiring—and why headlines for companies like Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s—and customer expectations of the two—are vastly different, and why the public would never expect to read a headline of a Chick-fil-A employee attacking a customer but isn’t surprised when reading it about other chains.

“Being faithful at work is not behavior modification,” Zigarelli said. “It is believer sanctification. It’s not about trying harder. It’s what our faith looks like on Monday morning.”

It is living out the Great Commandment and the Great Commission—to love God, love people and make disciples, he said. 

“Followers of Jesus will excel in work, encourage and build up the people around them, and evangelize appropriately,” Zigarreli said.

Zigarelli is a nationally renowned expert in the fields of management, practical theology, law and ethics, whose research has appeared in numerous scholarly journals and magazines. He is the author of numerous books, including Influencing Like Jesus: 15 Biblical Principles of Persuasion, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Leaders, and Management by Proverbs.

“We use Dr. Zigarelli’s book, Christian-Owned Companies, in our Jonathan E. Martin MBA program and our Master of Strategic Leadership program,” said Dean of the Young School of Business Dr. Kenny Holt. “His book plays a critical role as we explore companies that are living out marketplace ministry and business as ministry through what they are doing.”

God in the Workplace is an annual series that brings speakers to campus to challenge students and the public to honor God through their businesses and occupations.  

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