Boaz possessed more than just a cool name. Boaz had earned an incredible reputation as a man who understood the keys to success and significance.
Boaz was a man of wealth and influence. It is a rare feat to accomplish one or the other but to be recognized for both is very rare indeed.
What was it about this man that allowed him to operate with such success in life and work?
We gain insight to his modus operandi as we catch up with him at the beginning of his work day. We don’t find Boaz high in an ivory tower or tucked away in his corner office hiding behind a computer screen. No, we find Boaz up early greeting his team in the field.
No doubt, Boaz cared about profit but he also cared about people. He realized that when work has meaning, people stop working for a paycheck and start working on purpose.
It is clear that Boaz loved his team and they loved him. He started the day not by running to the coffee pot or jumping head long into spreadsheets. He realized people really were his greatest asset and he wanted them to know he knew the reason for his success. No wonder he greeted them first thing with a blessing and they responded to him with more of the same. He wanted results but he knew results were better when rooted in meaningful relationships.
Boaz was observant. If he had been a shepherd he would have smelt like sheep. He tended to his flock and he was aware of their needs. There is no surprise that he would recognize a new face in a crowd of day laborers. When he did, he turned to the team leader and inquired about the new hire. Boaz soon learned the pretty girl, named Ruth, was a hard worker who had survived incredibly hard times. Despite her personal challenges, she also possessed a heart to serve others. Her values lined up with his values. He knew instantly that she had come to the right place and was meant for more.
Looking beyond the working relationship, Boaz sensed a deeper need in the life of Ruth. He turned to his team and they knew what he was about to say. They had gotten use to using their work to make a difference in the lives of others. Keeping to script, Boaz told his team, “You know what to do. Let’s share what we have with those in need. Leave some of the harvest behind for those who have fallen on hard times.”
No one complained. No one wondered if Boaz was cutting into their incentive plan. It is fair to say they were eager and excited to help. They had learned how to live and work on purpose from the best of the best. Boaz set the example and his team willingly followed. Boaz wouldn’t forget them when it came time to hand out bonuses.
It is important to note that Boaz wasn’t into handouts. He was careful not to rob Ruth of her dignity. She still had to do her part. She had to pick up on the opportunity that was provided. Boaz understood the difference in a hand up and a handout. As a result, Ruth returned home with excitement. She was energized by how God had orchestrated her entire day. God had used a gracious and kind business man to meet her needs. She had no idea how God was about to turn her trail of tragedy into unexpected triumph!
As she shared highlights from her day with her dead husband’s mother, we gain a key insight as to why Boaz was so successful. Upon hearing the news, Naomi proclaimed, “May the Lord bless the one who helped you! May the Lord bless him for his kindness.”
Clearly, Boaz was a living testimony to the fact that those who bless others will themselves be blessed. By blessing others the Lord poured out blessings on Boaz. You can’t out give God and he certainly has a soft spot for widows and orphans.
Boaz had learned to find the one the Lord would have bless on a daily basis. On this day he scored double “BOAZ” points. He gained two blessings for the price of one!
Modern business leaders can learn a lot from Boaz. At the core, Boaz serves as a model for how to live and work on purpose. His life and work had meaning. His business was focused on the triple bottom line; profits, people and purpose.
Certainly, profit is essential for any business. But when a business truly recognizes people are its greatest asset and when those people find purpose in their work, profits have a way of exceeding expectations. Simply put, take care of people and profits will take care of themselves.
We need only to look to Boaz to discover that success and significance are possible. When we get it right, success and significance lead to great satisfaction in life and work.
Top 10 insights from the Boaz Business Model as presented in the book of Ruth, chapter two.
- Walk among them
- Be an encourager
- Be observant
- Ask questions
- Be kind and caring
- Give back
- Recognize the good in others
- Find the one everyday
- Know the difference between a handout and a hand up
- Live and work on purpose