“I was a person full of arrogance, hate, greed, jealousy and such…I was on my way up in every way, making a great achievement in the company. As I was promoted, I caused pain for numerous subordinates to achieve business results. If anybody did something wrong, I let them go. I acted in a charismatic way—for better business results. My arrogance and vigorous mind were so severe. I am a bit relaxed nowadays, whereas before I only thought about work. I thought I could do anything by myself if I was determined. Recently, I’ve been realizing once again that nothing can be done without God’s support.”
I met Young-Koo Kang in Seoul and was taken aback by his very polished “top management” dress and demeanor. As Yong-Koo’s story unfolded, I was deeply touched with his insights of working in a big corporate culture and how it can bring out the worst in us until we change.
He was on his way up to become the CEO of a major cosmetics company in South Korea. He describes himself as arrogant, greedy—truly intoxicated by power and thinking about work only.
Then, he was pushed out in a power shuffle. Determined to continue his path to success, he bought a company but it was in an industry he did not understand sufficiently—and he lost that company. For what seemed unrelated at the time, he was hospitalized for a severe stomach ailment and was told that he was dying. A friend of his came to the hospital to see him and prayed for him. Young-Koo healed, and he was never the same again. He began reading the Bible and going to church every day. Young-Koo Kang traded in his corporate life for a life in ministry to lead a Christian organization that serves the needs of families in the military (the same job his friend who came to pray for him once held).
Young-Koo’s story reminds me that my own struggle with ‘the need to be right’ and ‘the need to be important’ is something that I must work to overcome every day—and that faith in others and in God, not just my own will, is how that comes about.