Following the Golden Rule

John D. Beckett, CEO of the RW Beckett Corporation

Many people assume that the only way to succeed in business is by following the “not so golden” rule: “Do unto others before they do unto you.”

Considering this, is it realistic to think a company can be successful by doing exactly the opposite?

John D. Beckett, chairman and CEO of the RW Beckett Corporation, thinks so.

Why? Because applying the “Golden Rule” and other biblical principles is exactly how he built his Elyria, Ohio-based company into one of the leading manufacturers of heating components in the world.

The Personal Dimension to Christ
After losing his father, almost losing his daughter in a car accident, and then having his manufacturing plant nearly burn down - all within the same year - John knew it was time to get more serious about his faith. “There was a point where I just had to let go and cast myself into the care of Almighty God,” he says. He credits his wife Wendy with showing him a new, personal dimension to Christianity that eventually changed his life. “When I engaged Jesus personally, I was able to look into his eyes by faith. I was able to hear his voice, by faith. I was encountering a real person; somebody who loved me and cared for me.”

As John’s relationship with Jesus began to change his personal life, he realized the need to forge a stronger connection between his faith and business. After successfully using some simple, biblical rules of conflict resolution to resolve a disagreement between two of his managers, John started to see other ways he could apply his faith to the business. This included everything from money and resource management, to business ethics and employee and customer relations.

Business Sales Skyrocket!
But perhaps the most profound way John’s faith has impacted his business is in his role as leader. Early on, he adopted a management style he calls “servant leadership,” which means putting the needs of his employees and customers before himself. To John, it just makes good business sense. “What customer doesn’t want to be well served? What employee doesn’t want to be in an environment where they’re respected and valued?” He says. The result has been an exponential growth in sales and an excellent employee retention record. Since inheriting the business from his father in the late 1930s, Beckett has grown the company from 12 employees and $1 million in sales, to three companies, 600 employees and approximately $100 million in sales.

Despite his success, John is quick to point out that business is about more than just this month’s bottom line. It’s about treating everyone with integrity, whether customers or employees, and making sure Jesus is always number one. Focus on these things, John says, and the bottom line will take care of itself.

If, like John, you are tired of running things on your own and would like Jesus to assume a greater role in your life, we encourage you to pray the following prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me be the person You want me to be. Amen.

Is it the desire of your heart to make this prayer yours?

If yes, pray now and according to his promise, Jesus Christ will come into your life.


John D. Beckett is the chairman of the Beckett Companies in Elyria, Ohio, and the author of Loving Monday: Succeeding in Business Without Selling Your Soul, published by InterVarsity Press. You are welcome to visit

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