What recent leadership learnings have changed or will change the world? Elon Musk thought of an electric car with an iPad-like screen called a Tesla. How about the people or team that invented the idea of the world wide web? Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook and changed how we interact as a culture. What about remote diagnostic medicine or home security with no wires?
All of the above ideas require people to operate. Robots don’t invent new things, people make companies come to life. How do you think about and learn about the people in your company? To be sure, leadership learning or ideation sparks new companies and new corporate direction, and yet, at the end of the day, it’s people that have eternal value and meaning to God. People don’t just want money for their day at your workplace, they want meaning.
Author and Human Resource expert David Ulrich in his book The Why of Work, says that people come to work hoping to find meaning in the work environment. Have you considered how you might create such a place? Herman Miller furniture company CEO Max De Pree called that kind of place “a place of realized potential”.
At Convene, we don’t educate leaders so they can be “fat with knowledge”, rather we educate leaders so they can be activated to bring the Kingdom truths of love, hope, meaning and purpose into the walls of their company and into the lives of people. The story will always be told in the changed lives of people.
When Jesus was at the end of his life he was praying and talking to his father God in a garden – his prayer is stunning. He talks about his accomplishments in terms of people. Let’s peek in on the scene in John 17, 6-12. Jesus is talking to God:
Elyas Balta, CEO of Euroline Steel Windows and Doors, came to his Convene learning group to make more money. He saw his employees as a means to an end. Today he sees them the way Jesus saw the people in his prayer.
Tom Ferguson, CEO of AZZ Incorporated has created many employee focused initiatives since coming to his Convene learning group. He’s given back to employees from corporate profits, started using Marketplace Chaplains to care for employees and created an employee led foundation for giving.
Here’s just one leadership learning that could influence the people in the company God gave you to lead. Ready? God is creative. He created people in his image, therefore, the people he created are creative just like God is, and they have value to Him. That means you as a leader should value the creative nature of the people God created. That might mean letting them create without you having to have the last vote.
Questions to ponder:
- How do you create meaning for team members at your firm?
- When you retire or sell the firm, what will your legacy be?
- Have the curtains been pulled back on the kingdom because of your firm?
About the Author
Greg Leith is the CEO of Convene. He was born in Canada and lived in all four corners of North America. His career spans over 35 years of senior leadership roles in corporate, non-profit and academic sectors. Recently, he served as Director of Strategic Alliances for 13 years at Biola University in California.