The spiritual forecast for our world is rather cloudy.
Yet, regardless of the leader of your country, you’re still a leader in your company. The spiritual forecast for the world depends on you, and it starts in your business.
Leaders know how frustrating it can be when team members fail to follow what seem to be simple directions to complete a task. It’s tempting to attribute the glitch on the staff member, but wisdom instructs leaders to rethink this notion. Instead the leader should consider whether the source of the problem might be his/her leader’s failure to communicate their purpose. “Purpose” tells people how to interpret orders, execute procedures, solve problems, resolve conflicts, and overcome unexpected challenges; it informs their judgment and allows them to improvise. “Purpose” is also the power behind initiative, goal setting, and perseverance. So it is always wise to communicate the purpose of a task or project when you assign it.
A few years ago, I completed the 13-mile, 7,400-foot hike to the top of Pikes Peak. Once the strenuous trek was over, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment … and no desire to do it again any time soon!
20 times return on investment in less than a year; record retention of customers in a commodity business during a severe downturn; highest morale in the history of the company; and the best two quarters, ever, in terms of profitability. The key? An initiative called “Dream On.”
I was in India for a mission trip in 2009 and I was as sick as a dog. The long train ride to Nepal from Delhi was one where the clickety clack of the train coupled with the food I was not used to just about did me in. I ended up in a little tiny train bathroom turning green with people shaking the door trying to get in since I’d been there so long. Enough said.
I believe what people say. More than that, I believe the attitudes they express knowingly or unknowingly. When I enter an organization, I pay close attention to what managers say, and I have learned some of the telltale messages of managers who aren’t leading anyone anywhere. Among the worst messages are those that shut down communication. When communication is blocked, trust erodes and decisions go uninformed. After that, little else matters.
Leadership, in my view, consists of the merger of heart and science (in that order). Leadership in God’s Kingdom is learned, driven by character, and operated with excellence.
Heart generates vision statements, mission statements and values developed in relationship with the Holy Spirit living in and through us.
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.
Listen in as one of our Chairs, Dr. Tom Lutz of Peachtree Corners, GA, speaks on the theology of work. Dr. Lutz was featured on "One 4 The Road," a podcast produced by Perimeter Church in Johns Creek, GA.