Day 3 of the sales meeting event I attended provided a marked admiration for me for the leadership of this firm I have worked with for 16 years. While we have not always agreed eye to eye on every point, consideration of varying ideas has typically reigned. We held several town hall type meetings during our week with open forum opportunities to speak with our leaders. I walked away knowing that thoughtful consideration was made on past decisions and on difficult ones that were coming out.
As I am a parent and have been in a number of leadership roles, the appreciation of the job done by others gains a greater portion of respect through each challenge. During our sales meeting, I had opposite vibes to sift through. I was corresponding with a number of people I considered close friends, of a customer of mine, where a layoff had just occurred last week. The lash outs, pent-up anger, and disdain towards their former executive managers was evident, as one would expect, from anyone who has lost a job.
Sitting through our meetings with various manager and executives that I work with had me pondering with the two opposite viewpoints dueling each other. What is a good leader? There are some that have it and of course, there are some that do not.
Forbes on-line recently published an article with their view on a good leader. You can read the whole article here , or for you 144 character types, here is the summary from Forbes of a good leader:
#1 – They’re kind without being weak
#2 – They’re strong without being harsh
#3 – They’re confident, without being cocky
#4 – They stay positive, but remain realistic
#5 – They’re role models, not preachers
#6 – They’re willing to take a bullet for their people
From the regular everyday work aspect, I have to agree the majority of the leaders I work with I am fortunate to say they have these qualities. Maybe you likewise operate in a similar environment, or maybe it is not, like the people I had to correspond with. I hope it is the better.
But what attitude falls in the ‘should’ category on the Portico side?
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In a difficult section of a ‘Work’ and finance seminar I am conducting at my local church we discuss attitudes to carry in the work place. Over the years of working with and for both good leaders and bad leaders, it is oh so easy to turn to the negative and criticize. It is not an easy task to stay positive as everyone has a different view. The decisions made at the top at times can seem like there is little concern for those sitting at the bottom.
The Bible has some very clear directives on those ‘should’s’. I would love to pin a medal on my chest and say I am the model citizen of following those directives. My Pinocchio nose would be several feet long however, if I did try to wear it and say I follow the principle 100% of the time. However, that does not let those of us who call ourselves Christians off the hook on making it a full-time mindset goal.
Below are two stingers eloquently phrased via The Message (MSG):
Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God. Good work will get you good pay from the Master, regardless of whether you are slave or free.
Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.
While working with difficult leaders, and no doubt the list of those we all work(ed) with and for can make this a hard task, a servant of our real leader is a mindset to strive to carry, ugh, always. There will be times when we will feel like beaten down servants. There are times when fairness seems to not exist. Nevertheless, what we carry inside and how it affects our own internal being is what is most important.
In upcoming posts, I will dig deeper into the topic of Work as I think God designed it to be. Please like my Average Joe page on Facebook so you will receive alerts for each article release. I’d also love to hear your comments, victories and losses on this topic, or field a debate. You can post comments anonymously, and we can all use a little help if you have tips on this topic to share.