Have you ever been frustrated at work? If you said no, I’m sorry, you’re a liar and a sinner. But I’m sure we all said YES with an exclamation point. Some of us even said HELL YES with the emphasis on HELL because some days seem like hell. And I apologize for using the word hell, or calling anyone a sinner or let me just apologize in advance for anything that I might say offensive in this post.
Today was one of those days, frustrating. Let me give you a little background on me first. I own and operate a couple of restaurants, a catering business and usually have my hands full with meetings and engagements. I run these organizations with my wife, she is the boss and I’m the face of the company. We’ve been blessed, and I mean that. We’ve been blessed beyond what we expected when we started in business. God provided us with a platform to show the world the talents we have not only with food but with leadership. We employ, right now, 32 wonderful men and women who share in our vision and mission to be a company that has purpose and value. Thank you God for all you’ve provided. However, I do admit, some days are taxing to say the least and today was one of those days.
Today I had to think about what it meant to be a Christian leader in my organization. “Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory” – Proverbs 11:14 I love a good Proverb. I describe them as Bible fortune cookies, little pieces of advice that always pertain to something you’re going through. I thought about how this Proverb could effect a manager that was struggling with staff and her high turnover. I know in my heart that this manager is “all in” with our company but she seems to struggle balancing new employees and at the same time managing the one’s she has. My first instinct was to get mad at the situation, yell for the high turnover, get angry at the lack of up-sells her employees were not producing or at worst belittle the positive work she was doing. “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly” – Proverbs 14:29 There we go with another fortune cookie. I chose to be a leader as Christ was, show guidance and provide counselors. Getting other departments in our organization to help out, show support, even my wife went and helped out so she could focus on new hires and training. And then showing patience, thinking of God and the patience he has shown me. My temper would have never solved any problems, in fact they would have made things worse. God gives us insight to these things with wisdom over time.
Here was the other thing. I have a “new” guy, well, he’s got a lot of experience and does a great job he’s just new to our organization. Today he opened my eyes to things that could be, should be and that I’ve been slacking on. “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” – Proverbs 16:16. As the leader in my organization my first instinct is say, “what does the new guy know? I’ve been doing this since he was in diapers, he can’t tell me how to run my business.” The fact is that wisdom can come from anyone at any time. Some of the best bits of wisdom I’ve encountered came from my children, but that’s another blog. His challenge was to our hiring practices. Employing people with integrity and respect for our business before all else. It had been a long time since I thought about our hiring practices. There are times when we look for “warm bodies” rather than quality employees. The problem with that is “warm bodies” sometimes pull down the moral of our quality employees and it becomes a doom loop of turnover.
“Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice” – Proverbs 13:10
His advise to me was that we can “struggle” for a while rather than hiring the wrong person. I also liked it that he had a solution to the problem that he uncovered. I never like open ended problems, I call that complaining. His wisdom was eye opening to me and I could get behind what he was saying. At one point in time I was hiring quality over warm bodies but I had strayed from my practices. I was so concerned with my managers being short handed that I was blind to the fact we were not stocking up with employees that could better our business.
“Direction, not intention determines your destination.” – Andy Stanley. I listen to a lot of Andy Stanley, I’m sure I’ll post a podcast or Youtube video of him shortly. I have to think about how, since I’m the leader, I must give the direction in my company. My intentions can be good but without determination, the lesson is lost. My best days might be cloudy, rainy, even stormy but with my eyes open I know that I’ve been blessed and I am thankful for the gifts that are entrusted to me. Taking time, having patience, taking wisdom from others, it’s all part of this journey. If I am to run my business like a Christian than I must take of of this in to consideration. God gave this to me, he trust me with it, he wants me to grow with this and he expects the glory from it. So, I will do what I can not to waste it, plain and simply, don’t strew it up!