Kingdom and Company – An Owners Calling

Image

We recently considered a personal calling to serve the Lord within the workplace.  By sharing the gospel in words, decisions, and deeds we fulfill a call to be a light in the city of commerce.

But how does this call morph as we move into ownership?  Is our stewardship of the gospel expressed differently as an owner?

As owner, the company is under our authority.  Though leadership must be collaborative, it must  at times part the crowd and lead in a distinct direction.  Expressing vision is one of these leadership moments; it is at first singular than collaborative.

What responsibility does a leader have to express faith to the organization?  That depends on who the owner is and of what kingdom he hails.

A kingdom is described as a region under the control of a particular person;  the kings domain.  There are many kingdoms that control business;  each having a particular domain.  A board may control the assets of a corporation.  Government controls business law.  Professional societies control technical standards and professional conduct.

The kingdom of God pertains to the regions under control of the Lord.  A follower of Christ is part of the kingdom of God because he is under the control or influence of Christ. Everything under Christ’s domain is Christ’s Kingdom.

Should a business owner who knows the Lord bring the business within the domain of the Kingdom of God?  If so, it would mean the decisions of the business would be placed before the Lord for His direct influence.  Psalm 24:1 speaks to this ownership question:

The earth is the Lord’s and all it’s fullness.  The world and those who dwell therein.

The earth and the family of man is intended to be within domain of the Lord.  The degree of the Lord’s influence in the earth and the family of man is dependent upon the degree of man’s relationship and obedience to Him.

What extent should your business recognize the kingdom of God and be subject to it?  Other businesses in your market may not recognize His domain.  Why should you?

This situation has a parallel with each soul on the planet.  Though he died for us all, not all have believed in Him.  Though many company’s are owned by followers of Christ there are few examples to showcase.

It can be difficult to express faith in the marketplace yet we must.  There is pressure to keep faith speech from business so others are not offended; yet we know the gospel will offend some.  Not all our customers share our faith; yet many silently do.  Company’s are publicly harassed for biblically influenced policies; yet these companies stand out in the marketplace as an alternative to policies that are destructive to the soul.

We are expected to be bold for Christ.  Whether first century or 21st century Christian.  We are not to compromise the testimony of Christ to make peace.  We are to fully witness what He has done for us everywhere we go.

Have you been entrusted with a business?  Have you given it back to him in your heart?

A businesses culture reflects the values of its founder and current leader.  Are you a follower of Christ and a business owner?  If so, His worldview should be evident in your culture.  Indeed, His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding should be apparent in the business vision, mission, and purpose.

The assets of a business are under control of the owner, it’s a part of an owners kingdom.  If your business is the Lords, then He should have access to the operations, assets, alliances, ownership, and products to achieve His purposes.  If so, it is a part of His Kingdom.  If He has no influence then it is of the world and its kingdoms.

The Lord waits on each of us to place all we have into His hands, for His Kingdom’s purpose.  In return is access to His assets, alliances, and wisdom.  Placing our businesses in His hands allows us to stop serving Mammon in our workplace and instead seek the kingdom in our workplace:

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”  (Matthew 6:33)

How are others seeking the kingdom first as business owners?

  • Tyson Foods offers employees chaplain services at plants across America
  • Interstate Batteries owner encourages employees to receive Christ right on the company website
  • In and Out Burger places John 3:16 on the bottom of their cups.

Each are examples of owners operating their company within the  Kingdom of Christ.  What are your examples?  How can you as an owner give your company to the Lord to be directed for His purpose?

Trust Releases Control – 5 Steps to Victory

Trust requires releasing control to another

I prepared.  I opened my heart to constructive criticism and opened the door to the performance review. It had been 7 years of trying to get along with a boss that clearly did not like me.  Sure, I had a lot to learn when I first joined the company but after several years there just seemed to be nothing I could do to grow the professional relationship.  First, I was too maverick.  Then, later, as I gave my life to Christ, and learned to submit wholly to authority, it was something much deeper that made this boss angry with me.

The performance review suddenly turned an ugly corner.  “You’re just a maverick Dave”.  It was followed by a 10 minute emotional rant.  I am not even sure of the words anymore but I do remember the viper eyes and the curl on her upper lip as she spewed venom and ripped me.  I was floored.  I was in total submission to her authority, was making my utilization goals, and just brought a half million dollar account in the door.  I will be honest with you.  I opened up my heart thinking it would help me learn.  Instead, it made me extraordinarily vulnerable and I was completely undone. How should I now respond?

Still emotional, I prayed, “Lord, I have done well and supported the leadership.  I will not get angry with her.  Instead, I give this situation to you.  I trust you to deal with this”.  Soon after, my family and I began to pray 2 Thessalonians 3:2, “that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men”.  I was shaken for weeks not really sure where I stood at my job.  Wondering if I would be released.

The breakthrough came suddenly one morning 7 weeks later.  Someone from the corporate office flew into town.  Within hours, even though I had not said one word to anyone in the company, my boss was let go and I was given the leadership position.  Our office moved locations too, from skanky to swanky. It would be the beginning of turning the  office around and tripling revenue and profit.  It taught me that relinquishing control to the Lord is a powerful response to injustice.  David wrote in Psalm 37, ” And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them; he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him“.

Something powerful happens when we fully trust the Lord.  There seems to be a line in the sand when we encounter a situation in which we are helpless.  We must cross the line and come to a place where we say, “I give this situation to You”.

Is there an injustice in your life that is beyond your control?  Here are some steps that have helped me trust, step back, and relax while the Lord moves:

1.  Stop Trying To Fix It:  You must cease from your laboring and worrying.  It is evidence that you are not trusting but rather controlling.

2.  Understand that Trust is more powerful than Control:  Realize that He is more powerful than you.  So, as you let go a more powerful Team is on the scene.

3.  Ask the Lord to Take Care of the Problem:   This is where it all begins.  Until you do this you still own the problem.

4.  Relinquish Control:  Tell yourself that you have drawn a line in the sand.  It is no longer your problem to fix.

5.  Stand in Faith:  It takes time to move mountains.  Spend the time waiting being more productive.

What things do you need in your life that are beyond your control?  What would be the result if you took your situation through these steps?  Would you add any other steps?

 

The World Needs Your Dream

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Identify Your Big Dream

A few weeks ago I was walking in downtown Nashville during a break from a training seminar. I was thinking about specific dreams that I had for the future. Some very big dreams and goals. In total they were more than I had the resources for, and that was just the beginning.

I was overwhelmed and said, “Lord, if you want me to do these things then I will need your help”.  Just then as I walked around a corner was a church with a sign that said – Don’t Stop Dreaming, God Provides the Way. I had to laugh.

Understand Why You Dream

Webster defines a dream as an aspiration or goal. Other dreams are images and emotions we have during sleep. But the dreams I am writing about are the ideas in the core of our being that we think of as we gaze out the window thinking of what could be. They are the answer to the question, “If I could do anything without respect to resources and without respect to time I would… (you fill in the blank). Why do we have aspirations and goals in life? Could they be a ladder connecting us to a fulfilled life? Could they be whispers of divine purpose?

Bill Johnson in his book, “Dreaming With God” tells the story of Matt McPherson. As a young man Matt McPherson had made a hobby of making and shooting compound bows. One day God spoke to him and said, I know every answer to every problem in the world. If men would only ask me, I would give them the answers. Matt was compelled to ask the Lord how to build a better archery bow. Several weeks later at three o’clock he woke up seeing a piece of paper suspended before his eyes. On it was a sketch of a compound bow revealing a new concept. When his wife, Sherry, asked him what he was doing he said, “I think I’m having a vision”. He was. In response to his prayer, God gave him the initial concept for what would become the Mathews Archery Company, changing the archery industry forever.

Compound bows have an intrinsic problem to them: they have two cams/pulleys that must be properly synchronized to get the bow to work correctly. The idea that God put on the suspended sheet of paper was a whole new concept in bow design. It was a single-cam bow that eliminated the synchronizing issues. This idea turned the archery industry upside down.

Bring It To Life

What dream do you have that can turn the world upside down? Is it a new kind of business idea that can add wealth to society? Is it an innovation to simplify our lives? Is it a charity to pull others up from poverty? Is it a church planted in an abandoned city? The world needs your dream.

What one thing can you do today to take one step toward the dream The Lord has placed within you?

10 Ways Baby Boomers Can Develop Generations X, Y, and Z

ImageThis is the first work place that is comprised of four generations.  The gaps in expectations and culture are great.  Below is a list of 10 ways Baby Boomers can develop the next generation in the work place, written from the perspective of Generation X.

  1. Delegate Relationships, Not Just Work.  Relationships take time to build.  Bring along younger leaders to learn the nuances of your client relationships.  They can be silent observers yet gain much from the experience of high level meetings.
  2. Stop Promising a Transition, “When You Retire”.  Oh my, if I had a dollar for every time a supervisor over the age of 60 promised he was going to retire and hand me the ropes.   Either go or get working, uh!
  3. Identify and Mentor Your Successors.  If you are retiring or winding down in the next 5 years and you haven’t identified and groomed the next leader you have failed in your CEO, COO, or C-Suite Position.  Ensuring long term success of the company is your job.  Do it.
  4. Realize it’s Not about You and Your Career Anymore.  I expect those in corporate and project leadership to be unselfish.  You were given opportunity to release the opportunity to others on your team.  That includes your leadership role.  Don’t hoard your leadership position and create an inner circle of management that is a club of near retirees.
  5. Speak Life and Expect Greatness.  As both leader and mentor you can dramatically shape the self-image of your staff.  Tell them they will be successful.  Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live”.  Choosing life applies to the words spoken and decisions made.  You affect two generations by your words and decisions.
  6. Help Remove the Old Walls.  No company is completely modern but rather a mix of the old and new.  The productivity of your young team may be hindered by ancient corporate walls such as profit-loss centers, cubicles, and bricks and mortar.   Productivity gains await the company that will allow younger workers to create an optimum environment for productivity.
  7. Teach Life Lessons.  Take the time to teach life lessons during the day.  We all can learn from each other and teaching personal life lessons during the work day folds life into work making it rich and enjoyable.  It will also bond you to your team.
  8. Teach the Business Model.  Unless you are GE there is no book your staff can read about how your business model really works.  Teach them the reason for the structure of your multipliers, your super value position, your overhead structure, and how the company will weather a recession.  Teach everything they will need to know to keep funding your retirement (J/K, sort of).
  9. Coach the Next Leader While You are Still Around.  Why not put someone in the leadership position before you leave and stick around for a few years as “CEO Emeritus”.  It works well in academia and we are “learning organizations”, aren’t we?
  10. Value the Intelligence of a Young Team.  When my daughter came home from kindergarten and began teaching me about Venn Diagrams I knew education had changed a lot in the last 30 years.  Today’s 20 and 30 something’s are not only fast and intelligent, but they have been educated to collaborate in groups from an early age.  They understand the systems Baby Boomers are stressed to even use, much less build.  Pull out of your team the ideas they have of the future and help them create it!

Regardless of your age, what are ways you have mentored and developed younger staff to bring out their best performance and most creative ideas?

%d bloggers like this: