When we think about using our businesses as a means to further God’s purposes and to extend His kingdom, we are often drawn toward conventional Christian expressions or techniques. We are all aware of companies that have used obvious ways of proclaiming a Christian message and focus. Anything from putting Bible verses on drink cups to copies of New Testaments in their packaging or closing for business on Sundays. These are all great things and done in the right spirit, they can have an impact but, I believe, there is a more subtle and organic way to use your business to extend God’s kingdom.
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”― Steve Jobs
Our world is increasing in complexity each day. Customer expectations are rising, social media creates greater risk but also potential reward, disruptive technologies are changing the face of industries, and innovators are likely planning something new right now to take business from you. Old business models are losing ground to business-model innovators, and government regulations are creating overload on already-burdened businesses. Sound familiar?
This battle with complexity and overload can be a curse or a blessing. Many businesses will be on life support soon or die. Others will courageously do what’s needed to simplify and thrive.
In this environment, many people try to ignore the changes needed, feel overwhelmed, hunker down, and stay in their comfort zone. Others choose to battle complexity head on with courage, perspective, and diligence. Which better describes your company culture?
While not easy, it’s a great time to be a business leader who trusts in God and works ON the business with other high-capacity leaders.
God commends us to gain wisdom, understanding, and strength from others:
To help you and your leadership team simplify your strategy and move mountains, check out this 3 minute video from the Harvard Business Review. Donald Sull is Professor of Management Practice at the London Business School, and a global expert on managing in turbulent markets.
One of the wisest things you can do is hire people who are better than you. This can be frightening because they could outshine you. But it’s no longer all about you. Are you secure enough with yourself to do this? A decision every entrepreneur needs to make is whether to manage tough or hire smart. For a Christian, this choice seems obvious, but fear and control issues can subconsciously cloud our judgment.
Managing tough limits business growth to your own personal capacity, while hiring smart and delegating effectively creates freedom and opportunity.
By hiring the right people, you can lead more and manage less. Does that sound appealing?
One entrepreneur studied the Bible to answer the question, “Who am I in Christ?” He came away with a much-improved self-image and more confidence. Another CEO had a breakthrough by surrounding himself with peers who saw his strengths more clearly and encouraged him.
If fear is a challenge for you, and you can’t get past it, you’re destined for a business career filled with managing tough, enduring high turnover, and living with a lack of joy and paralyzing insecurity. Instead, use your God-given abilities and hire people who match your values, fit your culture and have complementary natural talents and abilities. Work within your strengths and staff to your weaknesses—you, your family, your team members and the whole company will enjoy the benefits!