Coca-Cola Company


In 1997 one of the finest business leaders in the world died. His name was Roberto Goizueta, and he was the chairman and chief executive officer of the Coca-Cola Company. A few months before he died, he said, “A billion hours ago, human life appeared on Earth. A billion minutes ago, Christianity emerged. A billion seconds ago, the Beatles performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. And a billion Coca-Colas ago . . . was yesterday morning.” He told an Atlanta newspaper he had no plans for retirement. Six weeks later he was dead. And so was Coca-Cola. Or was it? Normally, when the CEO suddenly goes away, the company goes in the tank. But not Coke. Goizueta had grown Coke from a $4 billion company to a $150 billion company. But he did something more important than that. He groomed Douglas Ivester to take his place, if and when the need would arise. Goizueta taught Ivester everything he knew, just in case. And “in case” happened. It always does.

You see, the key to your success in any venture is not what you do, but what you prepare others to do. Paul mastered this concept, and he told Titus to do the same. He understood the importance of finding good men and training them to lead the next generation. To young Titus, Paul said, “An elder must be blameless, entrusted with God’s work” (Titus 1:6). You probably spend a lot of time working on doing things better. Start leading others to do things better. That is the secret of Coke. That is the secret of life.

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