A Discernment Checklist for the Business Leader

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Discernment checklist
  • Do I see work as a gift from God?
  • Is my work as a “co-creator” truly a participation in God’s original creative act?
  • Do I promote a culture of life through my work?
  • Am I living an integrated life or is it divided, separating Gospel principles from my work?
  • Am I receiving the sacraments regularly and with attention to how they support and inform my business practices?
  • Am I reading the Scriptures and praying with the will to avoid the risk of a divided life?
  • Am I sharing my spiritual path with other Christian business practitioners (my peers)?
  • Am I seeking to nourish my business life by learning more about the Church’s social teaching?
  • Do I believe that taking the dignity of the person seriously in my business decision-making will promote integral human development while making my company more efficient, more agile and more profitable?


  • Do I see the responsibilities of my company as extending to all the participants and stakeholders who contribute to its life, not simply to the interests of the owners?
  • Am I creating wealth, or am I engaging in rent-seeking behaviour?
  • Do I truly accept the open market or am I engaging in anti-competitive practices?
  • Is my company making every reasonable effort to take responsibility for externalities and unintended consequences of its activities (such as environmental damage or other negative effects on suppliers, local communities, and even competitors)?
  • Do I recognise the importance of strong and lively “indirect employers” to ensure the right levels of labour protection and community dialogue?
  • Am I sensitive to the fact that if corporate decisions are not deeply grounded in the dignity of the human person, they will be prone to instrumentalist and utilitarian constructs that fail to promote integral human development within business?
  • Do I regularly assess the degree to which my company provides products or services that address genuine human needs and foster responsible consumption?


  • Do I provide working conditions that allow my employees appropriate autonomy at each level? In other words, when I organise human resources, am I mindful of the subsidiarity principle in my company management system?
  • Am I assuming the risk of lower level decisions to assure that this autonomy is genuine?
  • Are jobs and responsibilities in my company designed to draw upon the full talents and skills of those doing the jobs?
  • Have employees been selected and trained to be able to meet their responsibilities fully?
  • Have these responsibilities and their scope been clearly defined?
  • Am I making sure that the company provides safe working conditions, living wages, training, and the opportunity for employees to organise themselves?
  • Have I embedded a set of comprehensively defined principles and integrated them into my performance measurement process? Am I honest with my employees about their performance?
  • In all countries where my company is engaged, is it honouring the dignity of employees and of those indirectly employed? Is it contributing to the development of the communities hosting these operations? (Do I follow the same standard of morality in all geographic locations?)
  • Do I place the dignity of all workers above profit margins?


  • As a business leader, am I seeking ways to deliver fair returns to providers of capital, fair wages to employees, fair prices to customers and suppliers, and fair taxes to local communities?
  • Does my company honour all its fiduciary obligations to providers of capital and to local communities with regular and truthful financial reporting?
  • In anticipation of economic difficulties, is my company taking care that employees remain employable through appropriate training and variety in their work experiences?
  • When economic difficulties demand layoffs, is my company giving adequate notification, employee transition assistance and severance pay?
  • Does my company make every effort to reduce or eliminate waste in its operations, and in general to honour its responsibility for the natural environment?


  • As a Christian business leader, am I promoting human dignity and the common good in my sphere of influence?
  • Am I supporting the culture of life; justice; international regulations; transparency; civic, environmental, and labour standards; and the fight against corruption?
  • Am I promoting the integral development of the person in my workplace?