What Is The Driving Force Behind Your Decisions?

Imagine for a moment that you and I are friends and have a fairly long history together.  Based on this history, you trust me and typically believe what I say.  Assume I have approached you about a business idea that I say will be very profitable for anyone involved.  Would you believe me?  What if I followed up with a request for you to invest your life savings in this business idea?  What now?  How would you respond?

How to Make These Most Difficult Decisions

During any given day in the course of business, we may face dozens of decisions.  Some are easy and others are more difficult.  While many of the decisions that we face might be categorized as multiple choice, I think the more difficult ones are those that fall under the True/False or Yes/No category.  If you are not careful with these decisions, you can get into trouble.  How are we supposed to make these decisions?

Employee decisions: Rigorous or Ruthless?

As Christian business owners and leaders, we are usually very involved in employee decisions on a consistent basis. In fact, that part of our job can absorb a majority of our time. Our ability to handle these employee decisions well can also be one of the biggest influences on the success of our company, as well as the ministry we desire.

employee decisions

Ruthless vs. Rigorous Employee Decisions

Assuming this is true, then it is clear that we must devote time to learning how to best handle these employee decisions. While we all agree that issues concerning people often account for the majority of the time and energy we spend in our jobs, many Christian business owners fail to spend much time thinking about their approach to this important subject.

Employee decisions: Rigorous or Ruthless?

Employee Decisions

As Christian business owners and leaders, we are usually very involved in employee decisions on a consistent basis. In fact, that part of our job can absorb a majority of our time. Our ability to handle these employee decisions well can also be one of the biggest influences on the success of our company, as well as the ministry we desire.

employee decisions

Assuming this is true, then it is clear that we must devote time to learning how to best handle these employee decisions. While we all agree that issues concerning people often account for the majority of the time and energy we spend in our jobs, many Christian business owners fail to spend much time thinking about their approach to this important subject.

Ruthless vs. Rigorous

As I have said before, I love to hear great quotes and can often have a hard time getting them out of my head. Last fall at Catalyst, Jim Collins had several meaningful quotes over the course of his presentation. Anyone who has read his books or heard him speak can likely attest to his ability to do this.

One of Collins’ quotes actually applies to employee decisions and can be supported with Scripture. Here it is…

There is a big difference between being rigorous and being ruthless in making and carrying out people decisions.

First, let’s look at the definitions of the two words.

    Rigorous: extremely thorough, exhaustive or accurate

    Ruthless: having or showing no pity or compassion for others

What Does Scripture Say?

While there are likely some business schools that teach the necessity of being ruthless, I think it is clear from the definition above that this is not a behavior that matches well with a Christian business – especially when applied to employee decisions. Just in case you are not certain, let’s look at some Scripture to back up that assertion.

Read Matthew 18:21-35. This quote captures the essence of the parable:

Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?” And his master got angry and handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he could pay everything that was owed.

On the other hand, I think we can make a great argument for being rigorous. Let’s take a look at some Scripture that can give us some clarity here.

The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit, but anyone who is reckless certainly becomes poor.Proverbs 21:5

Finalize plans with counsel, and wage war with sound guidance.
Proverbs 20:18

Differing weights and varying measures – both are detestable to the Lord.
Proverbs 20:10

So what exactly do these two ideas look like in action?

The Ruthless Leader

A ruthless manager or leader can face tough employee decisions just like anyone else, but the way they may approach these decisions is what sets them apart. A ruthless leader looks only to the bottom line and sees nothing else. Nothing gets in his way.

If someone makes a mistake, there is no second chance with the ruthless leader. If someone is not performing to standard, he cuts them from the team without mercy. If an employee needs time off for emergency family issues, this ruthless leader refuses the request. When goals are not met, heads roll.

The Rigorous Manager

On the other hand, the rigorous manager is different. Though she may also face difficult employee decisions, her approach is easily recognized to be different. Her view of the circumstances is not limited to the bottom line, but includes other factors.

A rigorous manager sees that an employee’s mistake may indicate poor working conditions or fatigue due to unusually long hours. She recognizes that substandard performance may show the need for more thorough training or upgraded tools. She is willing to consider a family emergency as a legitimate exception to the rule. She also looks further than the simple missed goals to determine if she has the right people in place.

Don’t misunderstand. The rigorous manager is anything but a pushover! She still sets clear expectations and holds her people accountable to those standards. She expects her people to stretch themselves to meet their targets. She does not tolerate patterns of variance from the standards. This manager can cut someone from the team just as quickly as the ruthless one, but she requires more information in order to make that decision.

Bible Calls For Excellence

Nowhere does the Bible tell us to be weak and spineless in our employee decisions. Instead, we are called to excellence and should not settle for less. The excuse that we should not push as hard for excellence because we are a Christian company is absolutely ridiculous!

However, pushing for excellence does not require ruthless behavior. It does require rigorous behavior.

We are called to serve Jesus. He is the King of kings and is not satisfied with our second best. We need to maintain our eternal perspective and do everything in our power to represent Him with our best!

Do you see any ruthless behavior in your employee decisions?

What would your employees say?

What steps can you take to become more rigorous?

Is It Ethical To Cheat On A Test?

In business, we are constantly being tested. Whether it is tough personnel decisions, investment opportunities, or even when hiring new team members, we are consistently challenged to have the right answer. For Christian business leaders, I think there might be more to each test than we realize.

Why Does Your Business Exist?

 

Do you know why your business exists?

If you feel like your business team lacks the clarity you want and the confidence they need, I know how you feel.

  • What if you could lead your business in a distinctly Christian way that didn’t require you to be present 24/7 for every decision?   
  • Do you have the clarity you want in your business or do decisions often result in confusion, conflict, and resentment?
  • Is your team always on the same page or does it feel disconnected, disjointed, and out of control at times?

I’m Chris Patton. And I know what it’s like to long for clarity about the purpose of your business. I also know what it’s like to want to align your business direction with your Christian faith.

Since 2000, I have been the President/CEO and partner in our family’s group of automobile dealerships.  We employ roughly 100 people and represent seven new vehicle franchises.  Office002 copy

In addition to leading the company, I’m also a Christian trying my best to accomplish all that God has called me to do and become all that He has designed me to be.

For many years, it felt like the two couldn’t integrate. I wrestled with that tension a lot before discovering that I didn’t have to choose between the two—I could follow Biblical principles and get clarity on the purpose of our business.

Scripture says that “God is not the author of confusion.” I discovered a process that was consistent with my Christian faith and that gave us great clarity on our business purpose and direction. When my team used this process, we got focused. We got intentional. We felt more fulfilled. And the bottom line grew, as well.

That’s why I am I am excited to offer you my new eBook: Why Does Your Business Exist? A Christian Business Guide to Creating your Mission, Vision, and Values Statements.

3dbook

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Now You Can Get Everyone on the Same Page

You may have good and trustworthy key people on your team, but they will never get a clear purpose and shared sense of direction without intentional help from you.

Until you all get that clarity,  you’ll end up feeling like you have no grasp on all that is going on in your business.

And as you grow (and you do want to grow, right?) too many people will have to make too many decisions without you.

You simply cannot keep up with it all. workplace-1245776_1920

Here’s the deal: until you get everyone on the same page, this is your lot.

 You will never break out of this situation until you clarify the purpose of the company.  

Until everyone knows and understands the desired destination for the company, they will all imagine their own destinations.  And when that happens, chaos soon follows!

 I struggled with those same challenges over the course of that ten-year period, so I get it.

The good news?  There is a better way!

A Better Way to Do Business

There is a way to move to a place where everyone understands what to do and why they are to do it—without always having to ask you.

You can confidently create a clear purpose your business that is meaningful to all and that connects your faith with your company.

I made this journey with my team, and I would love to show you how to get there:

  • Our leadership team went through this process, and the clarity we achieved was game-changing.
  • Our decision-making process began to gel because we had a common framework to use.
  • Our previously difficult decisions became opportunities to advance our mission.startup-594090_1920

The process I am going to share with you is not complex.  It is not something that requires a specialized degree to execute.  Anyone can do this who has the desire.

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Once you have been through the proven process, you will be amazed at the simplicity.

However, just because it is simple does not mean it is not incredibly impactful!  

It is not necessarily easy. Nothing worth doing ever is. It requires both time and energy, but imagine what your business will experience if you do nothing?

Is it likely to become more or less chaotic if you don’t intentionally give your team the direction they desperately need?

How My Ebook Will Help You Get Clarity

In Why Does Your Business Exist: A Christian Business Guide to Creating your Mission, Vision, and Values Statement, I walk you through the proven process to create your mission vision and values statement for your company. 

Unlike some secular approaches, my advice is guided by a passion for seeing God’s will be done through my business. So you don’t have to worry about my dancing around the subject of your faith—it is front and center in Why Does Your business Exist? As it should be.

I give tips on including your team in prayer efforts and suggest Scripture passages to guide your time together.

I walk you through the process of creating your mission, vision, and values statement–in that order–with each building upon the other. 

I’ll walk you step-by-step through the straightforward process. Plus, I reveal the one step that is most often overlooked, yet can make all the difference.

In Why Does Your Business Exist? you will find:

  • The 5 qualities your mission statement must have to be effective.
  • Action-step checklists that make it easy to track your progress.
  • Practical tips on how to prepare for the process, conduct meetings with your team, and sell the rest of your team on the wisdom behind the process.
  • Real-world time estimates based on our experiences to help you plan the process.
  • The best way for your company to select the best people to work on the mission, vision, and values project.

Get Started Now

Imagine how much it would cost to bring in a consultant to guide your team through this process. It could take weeks, or even months. The price tag would be pretty steep.

But I want as many fellow Christian business people as possible to benefit from the process I learned.

My eBook will be Available on Amazon on October 27, 2017! Sign up below to take advantage of a special promotional period, during which the book will be available to you for FREE.

Stop letting your business drift. Get the clarity you want and confidence you need.

And do it all while fully integrating your Christian faith.

Sign up to be notified when the book is available on Amazon!




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4 Key Disciplines To Create The Right Culture

Have you ever been totally caught off guard by a speaker before?  Have you held certain expectations of their message, only to be shocked by their completely uncharacteristic approach?  This happened to me recently when our pastor addressed our church about our culture.  I have never been so fired up while at the same time being so convicted!

Proverbs 31 Advice For Men!

Rule #1 in writing a blog is to stay on topic. I am supposed to pick a category or fairly specific area and focus on it, not straying far from it much (if ever). Today, I am going to break Rule #1 (a little). With Mother’s Day just ahead of us, I want to take another look at Proverbs 31 [READ HERE].

Two Words That Will Change The Trajectory Of Your Life!

I should have your attention based on the title of this post. For some of you, my claim is not believable, and so you are reading just out of curiosity. Others of you are willing to consider the fact that two simple words can make a huge difference in your life. You are reading with genuine interest, but likely with some hesitation until you see how I plan to back up my claim.