Years ago, I lost a good friend and exceptional employee. He was 46 years old and died of a heart attack in front of me at work. Shortly after that, I lost another friend and employee of another dealership at age 42. He was in a motorcycle accident. We lost another great employee the next year. He would have turned 22 years old the next day, but he committed suicide. Sadly, these situations are not all that uncommon.
I regularly get the privilege of welcoming new employees into our company. As part of our orientation and new hire training process, I go over our company history (three generations!) along with a deep dive of our company’s mission, vision, and core values statements.
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?
I know you have experienced this before. You are knee-deep in a project, thought, or even a day dream and someone knocks on your office door. Startled, you curtly ask what the offender wants or needs from you. They sheepishly respond that it was nothing important and say they will come back later. Maybe they are bold enough to say they wanted to talk with you about a subject, but you tell them it is not a good time. You will get back to them later…but you don’t.
Can you imagine a world where employers everywhere are asking the heads of their HR departments the following question – “Where can we find more Christians to hire? They make the best employees and leaders!” Is that so far fetched? Should it be? What would have to change in order for that to be possible?
Too many Christians see their work as a prison. It is a required part of their week, but it is not something they enjoy. When asked for their reasons, the answers vary, but there is a recurring theme. Most view their work as a necessary evil instead of a source of joy and an opportunity for impact. Very few would consider their work as a platform.
I recently had an extended conversation with a business professor at Point University, a local Christian university, about what makes their program different from other business programs. Of course, one obvious difference is the Christian perspective that is central to their mission. However, he went into more detail about another attribute that addresses the gap between knowledge and experience in business.
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!
I experienced one of my proudest moments as a parent this past week. In fact, I almost did not make it through the full experience without breaking down from the immense swelling of my heart! As I reflected on it, I realized that this experience was also a perfect reflection of what our goals should be when hiring new members for our team.