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.
You Are God’s Marketing Vehicle
Fundamentally, marketing is a means for influencing others to buy into lifestyle enhancement regardless of whether the benefits take the form of a product or service. Similarly, as Christians we are also charged with reaching and encouraging others and influencing them to embrace a lifestyle enhancement—a spiritual lifestyle enhancement. We are living epistles and advertisements for God in the marketplace. Jesus didn’t demand that people come to Him in order to hear the gospel. He went to them. He went into the marketplace and through towns teaching the gospel.
Marketing is Fishing
Jesus gives us a great commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19, NKJV; 1 Timothy 2:3-4). Jesus tells us, “Follow Me and I will make you become fishers of men,” and, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men” (Mark 1:17, NKJV; Luke 5:10, NKJV).
As God’s ambassadors, we are charged with seeking, or fishing for, and catching individuals to bring into the kingdom of God for salvation (1 Corinthians 9:22). In this way, marketing is analogous to fishing.
Marketing is fishing from a kingdom perspective. For instance, both fishing and marketing involve skillfully and strategically:
Most of us are familiar with the infamous 4Ps of marketing: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. But I’d like to introduce you to a new one: the 5th “P” of marketing: your kingdom Platform.
The 5th “P” of Marketing: Your Platform
Your kingdom platform is defined as what you and your business stand for from a kingdom, or a godly, perspective, and it should always reinforce God’s principles such as the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (1 John 4:8; Galatians 5:22-23). Your kingdom platform should serve as the overarching theme from which your marketing strategies and tactics are spawn. Ultimately, your entire business culture and philosophy should be grounded in your kingdom platform.
Example: You might be an interior designer. Because for you, interior decorating is a Higher calling than just making a room look pleasant and inviting, your kingdom platform may be centered on creating joy and peace for people within their living spaces. In this way, your platform reinforces godly principles and, consequently, serves as a strong spiritual foundation for your marketing initiatives.
You don’t necessarily have to advertise your kingdom platform unless you feel led to do so. You just need to identify it, commit it to God, and ensure that the remaining 4Ps of your marketing plan align with it. Having a kingdom platform is just another way to bring your business plans and marketing programs to a Higher level of success and significance.