Copyright © 1998 John D. Beckett, Loving Monday: 9-11.
Meeting John Beckett many years ago was no coincidence. At the time, I was heading up a major consumer products company in Colorado (you guessed it葉he one that bears my family name). My work, along with family, took all my waking hours. I was not aware of any particular lack in my life until Mike, an acquaintance I'd met through a church group, asked me an unexpected question. "How can I pray for you?" he asked.
The words "I need a friend" came tumbling out of my mouth.
I was surprised at my answer. To that point I had never thought about needing a friend. Later, Mike called me to suggest that I meet John Beckett, a businessman from Ohio. "I believe the two of you would hit it off," he said.
Shortly after, John and I arranged to get together for a day of skiing. Mike was right. We did hit it off, and from that point a wonderful friendship began to emerge. We had much in common容specially our desire to be good husbands and fathers葉he more so as we learned each of us had six children. But we also discovered a common heartbeat葉o run our businesses in an honorable, exemplary way.
A few years after we met, John invited me to speak at his company's fiftieth anniversary celebration. Little did I anticipate what I would find on that first visit to the R. W. Beckett Corporation. Here was a company tucked away in a beautiful, rural Ohio setting, manufacturing a needed but unglamorous product for home heating. Yet what I encountered in the spirit of their people葉heir excitement about their work and their zeal for excellence様eft a lasting impression. This company, I concluded, was a kind of model羊eflecting an extraordinary enthusiasm among its employees, unique approaches to manufacturing, and policies and practices which were not trendy but time-tested, durable and realistic. I saw much that I could learn and even import into our larger and more complex business.
Since meeting John, I've moved on to the leadership of ACX Technologies, a NYSE listed company. John is on our board, so he and I have frequent contact and good opportunities to share ideas, compare notes and encourage one another. Because of our friendship and similar heartbeat for business, we even talked from time to time about coauthoring a book on how to integrate our faith and our work. The press of my business involvements prevented a joint effort from happening. But John kept our mutual vision alive, and as the manuscript for Loving Monday took form, I was among the first he called on for review and comment. I knew from reading the first draft that this book would become a significant and unique addition to business literature.
In its few pages, John has captured the essence of what makes a company a principle-based business. He identifies the basis for such an approach, and he gives us hope that we can have great impact on the lives of many people through the realm of our work. Loving Monday is not written as a college professor, a theologian or a consultant might write. It is written from the trenches庸rom one who has experienced firsthand the enormous challenges and rewards that a life in business can bring. It is simple, direct, light-hearted and rich with insight. I kept wanting to turn the pages and discover more that I could apply in my own company. The book reveals the very heart of the man I know so well as my friend and encourager.
I believe you will find, as I have, that Loving Monday is a depository of the kind of practical and timely wisdom that will enable you to see your work in fresh ways. I trust it will also inspire you容ven as John has inspired me over the years葉o find new meaning and fulfillment in your work.
Jeffrey H. Coors
President, ACX Technologies