The Pope & the CEO: John Paul II’s Leadership Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard is a guidebook for people seeking to integrate faith into all aspects of their lives—particularly their professional work. Inspired by the role Pope St. John Paul II played in the life of Andreas Widmer, a former Swiss Guard, The Pope & the CEO outlines key principles of successful leadership for executives, CEOs, entrepreneurs, small business owners, or any leader in the workplace.

The topics explored in The Pope & the CEO include:

  • The Importance of Vocation
  • The Power of Prayer
  • Ethics and the Human Person
  • Exercising Your Free Will
  • Bridging the Paradox of Planning for the Future yet Living in the Present
  • The Value of Cultivating and Synchronizing Talent
  • The Testimony of Right Action
  • All Things in Moderation
  • Intentional Humility and Poverty


About the Author

Andreas Widmer is a former Swiss Guard, an entrepreneur, and the co-founder of the SEVEN Fund, a philanthropic organization which promotes enterprise solutions to poverty. He is the author of The Pope & The CEO: John Paul II’s Leadership Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard. Widmer is a dedicated husband and father. He blogs at


“John Paul II’s witness to the reality of God’s grace in the life of man so inspired and touched the life of one Swiss guard, that when the latter became an entrepreneur and a CEO, he set himself to emulate the virtues of leadership of the Pope. In this book, the Swiss-Guard-turned-CEO gives a personal witness to the successful application of the Pope’s leadership virtues and offers the same to other CEOs and all of his readers. The book is thus an excellent tribute to the memory of the Pope and a commendable guide to successful entrepreneurship.”

Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

“Andreas Widmer gives us a true gift by sharing his firsthand experience of Pope JPII’s personal habits so that we can incorporate these in our own leadership journey. By making the Pope accessible and by appropriating the Pope’s demeanor into his own personal and work lives, Andreas gives us a role model who is truly worthy of the word; he shows us that it is possible to achieve the sanctity of leadership even in the context of business.”

—Carolyn Y. Woo, Dean, Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame; newly named President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services

“Andreas Widmer is an honest man, a good man, and an insightful man. His reflections on what he learned from perhaps the greatest Christian of our time offer all of us a powerful example of leadership at work.”

—George Weigel, Pope John Paul II’s Biographer, Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center

“What we find in Andreas Widmer’s book is the fruit, both of his own disciplined and [shrewdly perceptive] scrutiny of his life, and of the influence on that life of the years he spent, not only in close proximity to Blessed John Paul II, but in what turned out to be a close friendship. It is a story suffused with the luminescence of wisdom and holiness.”

Thomas Howard, Author

“Andreas Widmer has produced an excellent management tool for those of us who believe the teachings of the Church will enlighten our path and guide us to succeed in every endeavor. John Paul II’s relentless defense of freedom helped shape the twentieth century. He was a living example of what can happen when the virtues of faith, hope, and love merge with wisdom, a positive attitude and strategic thinking. From the C-Suite of large corporations to the day-to-day small entrepreneur, the lessons of The Pope & The CEO are right on target.”

—Juan J. Daboub, Ph.D., Former Managing Director of the World Bank and Former Minister of Finance of El Salvador, entrepenuer and businessman.

“A captivating book filled with many memorable images of Blessed John Paul II, as well as countless practical pointers. A must-read for any executive seeking to do well and do good.”

—Jo Tango, Kepha Partners

“In The Pope and the CEO, Andreas Widmer captures John Paul’s deep commitment to the human person and provides an engaging and insightful look at how this understanding of the human person is necessary for personal and professional flourishing. The book captures the essence of the tradition and teachings on the human person and the good life, and provides compelling and clear guidelines for applying these ideas to current business and professional challenges.”

—Anna Halpine, Founder of the World Youth Alliance

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The Pope & The CEO