We don’t have all the answers but we'll share some insights to give you a glimpse of our perspective and discernment on the subject:
Key from our perspective
It’s not just the strategy, goals, and ideas we employ. It’s their congruence with the principal of God––the more we follow them, the more we get blessed and in harmony with God. It’s not our will we pursue, but His––so as we do His will, the more blessed we become.
Tom Hill at Kimray Manufacturing in Oklahoma City struggled during recessionary times, faced tremendous turnover of people, foreign competition, lack of profitability, and low morale. Finally in frustration, prayer, and Bible Study, he realized he had a greater calling than these issues…to help his employees and their families to learn about the true values in life.
Today he teaches other companies how he recognizes his people for using the right Character on the job. He defines values through the 49 Character Traits of God. His has been a great turnaround story that affects families all over his community and now, the nation.
Reference True Wealth…By The Book for more information.
2. Counsel / Mentor
Mike Schneider owns a chain of 21 fast food restaurants in the Southeast. In seeking God to understand his ministry calling, he came to the realization that his ministry is his business. With 500+ employees and high turnover among teenagers they employ, they began hiring part time local youth pastors to be the chaplains for each store.
The chaplain is available to counsel, pray, befriend, or even invite kids to church. Once a week chaplains bus tables for a few hours to build rapport and relationship with the kids.
3. Time Management
You’ve probably heard the story (several authors and speakers have used it) about the young man working his way through the woods and came upon a lumberman sawing down a big tree. As he stops to notice, the sawing is getting tougher and tougher for him. Finally, he gets the attention of the lumberman, and says, “Why don’t you stop and sharpen your saw?” The lumberman says, “Nope, don’t have time!”
So it is with busy, activity-oriented Entrepreneurs. They don’t take time to stop, improve, find a better tool, reorganize, or invest in a better future. If they are making money, they must be doing things right and later discover God was using someone else to give them a warning or help to avoid disaster or a big wake up call.
Pat Morley, Entrepreneur, Author and founder of Man in the Mirror, is one of many leaders who claim to have personally taken one day a month to pray, study and seek God to know their future.
4. Problem Solving
Orville Redenbacher had a problem. He had his passion to find and sell the best popcorn in America. Yet his success was limited to roadside stands in Indiana. While teaching Sunday School, he was touched by Proverbs 24:6 "For waging war you need guidance, and for victory, many advisors" (NIV).
That scripture inspired him to find a group of advisors who led him to an advertising agency that eventually created the concept of Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popcorn, a concept that created a new industry.
Problem solving is dependent on two human factors:
|Openness to Others
(humility versus pride or ego)
|Ability to Listen
(about discernment and wisdom)
As Christians we are called to fellowship with others, find strength, confirmation, and wisdom through like believers. That’s why Wise Counsel was created through Prayer. Prayer for one another opens the possibilities through the group empowerment of the Holy Spirit to find God’s true calling.
In any group, look for a diversity of people, businesses, talents, and experiences. God loves diversity or he wouldn’t have created the differences in each of us.
Understand and teach your staff to know and appreciate the differences. Emphasize the talents and the strengths of each individual and their contribution to the company’s success. That will be your first step toward solving many problems. Use comparisons and list alternatives to aid in the decision making process. Review our notes on teamwork, because it influences every internal decision you make.
5. Resolving Conflict
Jackie Robinson faced more conflict than a small army of soldiers. Branch Rickey and he knew they had a calling and purpose far greater than themselves. His roommate and pitcher, Joe Black, said, “Jackie knew the difference between I and we.” His pain and suffering was a sacrifice, as Christ asks all of us to sacrifice, that ultimately would help to reduce the prejudice of all mankind.
Conflict between people is a result of a spiritual problem in the hearts of the people involved. Typically, it is from bitterness, envy, jealousy, pride, prejudice, resentment, or anger. Even with the typical psychological approaches in conflict resolution, nothing is stronger than prayer, forgiveness, and surrendering to Him.
Get an intercessory prayer team praying for the people involved and it will bring harmony within your organization.
Next make sure you have created the right culture, teamwork, esprit de corps, and passion to work together to accomplish a Vision greater than the individuals, a vision that does not create bitterness or jealousy, i.e., compensation, recognition, or favoritism.
6. Sharing Your Faith
Bobby Bowden may be the coach of the last decade in college football. His teams have been ranked in the top 5 nationally for 13 years. He has two outstanding qualities for any Christian to look up to:
He shares his faith by a plan & he walks his talk.
Each day at the coaches meeting, a coach rotates in sharing a five-minute inspirational message (Biblical or otherwise). Bowden says the daily devotional is the greatest decision he has ever made as a coach. It is inspiring and sets a tone and culture for his organization.
Each Friday night before the game, he shares a Christian message and “his rock of faith.” Anyone caught cursing is fined, including coaches. Bowden personally speaks to 35 churches each off season and gives his time to fund raisers, FCA events, has a chaplain available to pray, counsel, and lead Bible study, just to name a few.
He publicly says his number one job is to please God, not win football games.
If we are sincere about sharing our faith, equally important is to not be hypocritical (i.e., little lies, lose our temper, not pay on time). As a testimony to Christ, we must live the higher standard we claim as our own. Walk our talk. Apologize when we realize we haven’t.
Pray that God gives you the methods, strength, passion, and willingness to accept the criticism you will receive. Remember, every business is a ministry. You are teaching values; just make sure they are what you believe.
7. Team Work
Jim Brewer says, “The bottom line about life is it’s all about relationships. God is a relationship God and loves us and wants to be loved in return.” One of the key ways to love Him is by loving our neighbor (Golden Rule). So what’s the point? Teamwork starts with developing personal relationships with each other in the office, plant, store, etc.
Stop and think about the greatest friends you’ve ever had. Often you remember friends from high school, college, armed services--wherever you had a touching experience to share some of your personal background, life, ups and downs for an extended period of time, where you had a chance to “come real” with friends who listened, seemed interested, and mutually shared.
That’s why so many companies do retreats. Even planning sessions/problem-solving away from the office with some social time brings people together. It’s about listening with empathy, trust, building respect, rapport, and understanding differences that begins to create the love (of your neighbor) that Christ refers to.
If your mission/passion is of God and you share with a team that is learning to love each other, success is assured.
8. Win – Win Terminations
Mary Kay wasn’t fired, but resigned because she saw “the handwriting on the wall” through the prejudice or narrow mindedness of her boss. The truth has to be that God had a calling/plan in mind that required her to move on to find God’s vision.
The fault of terminations is in the lap of the employer. Not checking references, backgrounds, lack of in-depth interviews, testing, chemistry match, or character measures are some examples of things overlooked in the hiring process. Executives are action-oriented, and when a position is open, they are ready to hire––no matter how good the candidates. It’s the RUSH to hire rather than being patient that creates the trap. Too often we rely on first impressions and end up trying to fit a round peg in a square hole.
The second mistake is to try and save or change the new employee who won’t make it too long. The employer’s pride or ego gets in the way after they have touted the new employee as a winner.
Win–Win Terminations are achieved by:
- Honest communication/feedback with the employee about their performance, while still in the 3 month evaluation stage, so there are no surprises if separation takes place.
- Admitting mistake on the part of the employer. Apologize and take full responsibility.
- Help the person find another job, even allow him to interview on company time or use outplacement service.
- Be honest about their strength to future employers.
- Give a fair severance in the eyes of the individual leaving.
- Hire smart for more insight. Pray for them always.