“The Mormon way of business”

I generally try to keep up with news items in the “big” mainstream media when the Church is mentioned. The May 5, 2012 print edition of The Economist had a pretty decent one-page article about the Church and how we may have an disproportionately large number of successful business people. The article talks off by talking about the “I’m a Mormon” campaign, and then says:

The snag is, not everyone will buy the idea that Mormons are just like the rest of us. They don’t get drunk. They have large families, stable marriages and a three-month supply of food in the larder in case of Armageddon. They are usually clean-cut and neatly dressed (the facial hair in the “I’m a Mormon” ads is thankfully atypical). And they have a passion for business.

Less than 2% of Americans are Mormons, yet their commercial prominence belies their numbers. Mitt Romney founded Bain Capital, a private-equity powerhouse. Jon Huntsman senior (the father of Mr Romney’s rival for the Republican crown) founded Huntsman Corporation, an $11 billion chemicals giant. David Neeleman has founded two cut-price airlines: JetBlue in America and Azul in Brazil. Ralph Atkin started a third: SkyWest Airlines. Eric Varvel is the boss of Credit Suisse’s investment bank, Harris Simmons heads Zions Bancorporation, a more local bank, and Allan O’Bryant runs the Japanese arm of Reinsurance Group of America. J.W. Marriott runs the hotel chain his father created. Had Max Weber lived a century later, he might have made sweeping generalisations about the “Mormon work ethic”.

There obviously isn’t really a spiritual slant to the article, but I always find it interesting to read what others think about us and how we are perceived.

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