It is not often that I break a post into two parts. Occasionally, I will do a series of multiple posts, but even then each one is usually self-contained for the most part. However, my last post was not that way. It was clearly only part one of a two part story about doubt and frustration. If you have not read the last post, you must first go and do it now (click here). Trust me, it is necessary if you want to understand this post.
I have a confession to make. Most of you reading this have never met me, but I will tell you that I am highly competitive and hate to lose. I strive to win and succeed at everything I do. Obviously, I am not always good enough to do so! Even worse, I am able to quickly lose my footing and fall into a pit of despair if I see myself losing. Doubt and frustration can set in quickly if I am not careful.
Do you recognize the name Samuel Pierpont Langley? I am sure some of you do, but most people have never heard his name mentioned. Yet, if you lived at the beginning of the 20th century, his name would have been one you would quickly identify. Unfortunately for Langley, it was his “Why?” that is most likely responsible for his anonymity. The ideas in this post come largely from a TED talk by Simon Sinek in 2009.
I had dinner with a friend of mine recently and the story he shared with me was eye-opening! In fact, if you have ever experienced a drop in sales, reduced margins, increased turnover, and general frustration among the employees in your business, then his story could have an impact on you as well! It is a story of lost and restored vision.
Intuitively, we all know that our behaviors as leaders can have significant impact on those we work with every day as well as the results we desire for our business. These behaviors can drive forward, or significantly limit, our efforts. However, I am betting that the behaviors that first come to your mind as I start into this subject are most likely behaviors that we have all learned about in Business 101. Instead, I want to talk about a behavior that gets less attention – that of unbelief.
Have you ever done anything you are ashamed of? Are there stories from your past that you would not want as headlines in the news? If we are honest, I would bet that the vast majority (if not all) of you would have to say “Yes” to these questions. In light of that, let me ask another question. Are you ashamed of Jesus?
I hope I got your attention with that headline. I intended to! I did it because too often we are lulled to sleep by the world around us. When this happens, we need a wake-up call. We need to shake the cobwebs out of our head and begin thinking clearly again. In this case, I want to do it by telling you that I am glad they killed Jesus!
I know you have noticed it. There are words your parents use (or used) that no longer mean the same thing today as when they began using them. If you are a parent with teens, you are the one using the words that no longer mean what they meant when you were growing up. I believe the perceived meaning of the word “Christian” has changed as well.
As I have read the Bible over the years to find examples to follow and lessons to apply to our business, one particular character stands out. You are probably familiar with the story of the rich young ruler, but have you ever taken the time to apply that story to your life and business? Are you willing to let go of your possessions so that you can follow Jesus more fully?
When I mention the word competition, what comes to your mind? For most business leaders, thoughts of rival businesses are the first to appear. While this is not wrong at all, I think there is a competition that deserves more of our attention than these other businesses. It is this competition that renders many of us useless in God’s kingdom. It is this competition that we must destroy by every means necessary!