137: The more business influence you have, the more you can shape the culture for Christ with Terence Chatmon

From soda bottle recycling entrepreneur at the age of six to senior executive leader responsible for billions of dollars for the Coca Cola Company, Terence Chatmon has served in senior executive leadership roles with Johnson & Johnson, Citibank and Coca Cola. He now serves as President and CEO of Fellowship of Companies for Christ International, (FCCI) a fellowship of executive leaders in 139 countries.  He has recently published a new book entitled Do Your Children Believe?

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • [2 min 15 sec] Tell us about your current vocation and how God has led you to this point in your career. President & CEO of FCCI, the Fellowship of Companies for Christ International. FCCI is about 38 years old. Work with Christian CEOs, executive leaders, and entrepreneurs to equip them to lead their companies and families by integrating biblical principles into those arenas. In about 139 countries around the world. Founded Do Your Children Believe? to help parents raise their kids in The Lord. Called into the non-profit world from the corporate world. His predecessor at FCCI was his prayer buddy. As he would talk about his upcoming transition, he asked Terence to lead FCCI. Terence was attracted to the peer-on-peer executive-level discipleship program. A product of discipleship himself, Terence felt The Lord burdening him to take the reigns. Been leading the organization for six years and has grown the reach from seven countries to 139.
  • [6 min 12 sec] What did you do to grow the reach from 7 countries to 139? Leveraged technology to reach people around the world. Provided value to target audience by making the FCCI library available to business leaders worldwide, which is one of the largest libraries of its kind in the world. This created awareness and connection with target audience, generating new memberships. FCCI website visits climbed from 2,500/month to 18,000 – 20,000 new users per month. Leaders then plug into the discipleship materials, which teaches the 3,200 biblical principles that apply to business.
  • [10 min 20 sec] Tell us about your book and about your family. Married 34 years. Three kids, all grown and married. Still doing their bi-weekly devotional studies with the family via cell phones and a conference line. This book outlines a step-by-step process to disciple your family. Do Your Children Believe? is a ministry that’s about ten years old. Have trained thousands of people through the ministry.
  • [12 min 06 sec] Biggest career challenge: Believes that everyone has intrinsic value and that his job as a leader is to help people discover and develop that value. There are some he feared that he did not invest in enough to help them reach their maximum potential. Lesson: Everyone is a leader at some level, but not everyone is designed to be a leader of an organization. No matter where you are as a leader, never settle for mediocrity. Always strive for excellence.


  • [21 min 32 sec] What was your biggest career success? Helping companies navigate crises. In 1982 joined McNeil Consumer Products, a Johnson & Johnson Company. Three months into the job the company was hit with the Tylenol Incident. Five people died as a result of taking cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules. That was in his territory of Chicago, Illinois. Terence watched Dr. James Burke lead and guide the company through this crisis. Joined Citibank in 1990 on the heels of a horrible country-wide financial crisis. Helped lead the Florida territory through it. Then moved on to Coca-Cola in 1995, just after the New Coke fiasco. Then moved into FCCI when it was faced with a crisis. God has sculpted Terence into a turnaround guy. His greatest success is being able to maneuver through crisis, particularly by identifying the right people for crucial roles in the turnaround process. Then motivating them in the direction of a clear vision for the company, executing the strategic plan with excellence.
  • [25 min 00 sec] Time where you were confused about which career path God wanted you to take. What a timely question! Today is Terence’s last day with FCCI. Was recruited to lead the new John Maxwell Foundation as well as Maxwell’s Equip Leadership, Inc. As you go through this process and pray, you look for The Lord’s leading. What he has been called to do is worldwide transformation through the marketplace, and the move to the Maxwell organization is the next step in that. His father taught him that business impacts nations. The more business influence you have, the more you can shape the culture. Terence is called to shape the culture for Christ through business. The Maxwell move gives him a different level of reach/impact, which is how The Lord showed him it was the next step.
  • [28 min 33 sec] Ever been faced with a challenge to your faith in the workplace? In the corporate world had to be discreet. Corporate world values Christian values, even though they don’t say so. Dr. James Burke modeled this during the Tylenol Incident. When asked about the cost of the recovery plan ($150 million), Dr. Burke responded, “Never again ask me about money when the souls of people, which are priceless, are at stake.” They set the standard from that point forward for safety seal packaging. Be who you are so that the people around you can catch it. Earn the respect of others by being a person of value first. Then, they will be more open to the Gospel.
  • [32 min 26 sec] #1 personal habit that drives career success. Get to know your people – their motivation, what drives them. Treat them as the people of worth that they are. Don’t treat people as tools to get to your desired end.
  • [34 min 16 sec] #1 business habit that drives career success. Reads a lot. Loves Proverbs. Reads strategy books.
  • [35 min 21 sec] #1 book (besides the Bible) that you would recommend. Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman. Good book on corporate strategy. Do Your Children Believe? by Terence Chatmon
  • [36 min 21 sec] Productivity tool. Hour of power. Conducting 1-hour power meetings. Discussed in Traction. Blue Sheet Process at Coca-Cola. Able to develop billion dollar corporate strategy in 45 minutes. Focused planning sessions.
  • [39 min 08 sec] What three things would you tell a new, start-up business owner to do to be successful? 1) Create a well-thought out business plan. 2) Hire the right people (the cornerstone to success). 3) Establish processes and procedures to measure performance (inspect what you expect).
  • [40 min 28 sec] Advice for high school seniors. Look at what you’ve done in the past. It’s a clue to what you are wired to do. His example: he created a bottle recycling business, which he later franchised to other kids.
  • [43 min 57 sec] Best way to connect with you. www.doyourchildrenbelieve.com. terence.dycb@gmail.com.

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imgRobbie Romeiser is a commercial real estate broker, real estate instructor, and author of the daily devotional Today’s Quote From God (www.TodaysQuoteFromGod.com). Desiring to help his own children follow God’s calling in their lives, Robbie founded Career Callings (www.CareerCallings.net) to help people find, prepare for, and pursue the work God has called them to do. To have Robbie speak at your church, business, professional association, or civic club, please email Robbie at robbie@careercallings.net.