Many of us are extremely busy in our jobs, callings and vocations. But being busy is not the same as being productive. In the Fortune 50 organization that I worked at for my nearly 38-year career, we would often talk about “results, not activities”. One of the first times I heard this was after turning in my comments for my mid-year review of my goals. That task was always one of my least favorite to do, and I was always happy to get it done. Unfortunately, on one occasion, shortly after turning in my mid-year document to my leader, she returned with it all marked up in red ink. She handed it back to me and said that I had listed a lot of activities. What I needed to do was show results.
This makes sense, of course. Organizations will reward workers for achieving results. Being busy in and of itself will not move the organization forward. What do I mean by focusing on results, rather than activities? Let me give you a few examples. Continue reading →
If you want to be an effective leader, you must make learning by listening a top priority every day.
You can never get the best out of people if you don’t know who they are, where they want to go, what they care about, how they think, and how they want to contribute. You can learn those things only if you listen.
When you know why you’ve been put on this earth and you know what you need to be doing, you don’t need anyone to motivate you. Your purpose inspires you every day.
The subject of our calling is one of great interest to me. I enjoy reading about calling and helping others to pursue their calling. I’ve read a few books about calling, the best of which have been by Jeff Goins (The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do), Bob Smart (Calling to Christ: Where’s My Place) and Os Guinness (The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life). In his book Leadershift: 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace, John Maxwell includes a chapter on calling titled “Career to Calling: The Passion Shift”. This was my favorite chapter in an excellent book. I want to share 10 great quotes on Maxwell’s chapter on calling:
A job is not your calling, no matter how much money it will allow you to make or how it allows you to serve people. A job is merely a vehicle with the potential to take you toward your calling.
Your calling, when you find and embrace it, will result in the merging of your skills, talents, character traits, and experiences.
Finding your calling is like finding your why—the reason you exist, your purpose for living.
Your life will never be the same once you know what you’re called to do and are working to fulfill it every day.
Your calling can give you a fruitful and fulfilling life, one that fills you with passion and motivates you to make a difference.
No one has ever been called to do something he or she wasn’t suited for. Calling always matches who you are.
A true calling is never about the person being called. It’s about helping others.
Nothing in life is as rewarding as fulfilling your calling—nothing. Wealth, fame, achievement, recognition: all of them fall short.
The goal in life is not to live on forever but to create something that does.
Our calling is the gift we give the world while we are still alive. Our legacy is our gift to the world after we die.
Have you read any books on calling that you would recommend? Please share them. Thanks.
Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles
How to Discern God’s Will for Your Work. Russ Gehrlein writes “Even though these may seem to be the worst of times, I want to emphasize some of the basic and unchanging elements of my biblical and practical theology of work: God leads and provides for His children, we must listen to God’s voice, God is present in every aspect of our work, and God is faithful.”
More Significant Than What You Do? Who You Work For. Steve Graves writes “Any worker doing any kind of work in any kind of setting can be a gospel carrier when you realize that you are really working for Christ. Not for your earthly boss. Not for yourself and your family. Not for your colleagues or your customers. Not for the bonus. But instead, ultimately, for Jesus Himself.”
My mentor told me early in my career that if you are going to have just one relationship with a team member it needed to be a professional one, not a personal one. He went on to state that it would be hard to be out bowling with the group one night and then have to call one of them in to address a performance issue the next day. That would be complicated. I can appreciate that, and that is the way I operated for most of my career. However, as I continued to grow in my calling as a leader, I began to understand servant leadership and changed my approach in this area. I began to treat my work team like family. Continue reading →
I recently read John Maxwell’s excellent book Leadershift: 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace. One of my favorite chapters in the book was titled “Positional Authority to Moral Authority: The Influence Shift”. What exactly is moral authority and why is it important for leaders, and others, to have it?
Maxwell writes that moral authority is:
“The recognition of a person’s leadership influence based on who they are more than the position they hold. It is attained by authentic living that has built trust and is sustained by successful leadership endeavors. It is earned by a lifetime of consistency. Leaders can strive to earn moral authority by the way they live, but only others can grant them moral authority.” Continue reading →
Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good. Amy Sherman writes “Churches need to do better at teaching their members about ‘vocational stewardship’ – seeing their jobs also as God’s provision, and deploying their talents through their work in ways that express love of neighbor.”
Reflections on the Pandemic’s Impact on Work. Our friend Russell Gehrlein reflects on some of the challenges that we face together in our work situations in response to this pandemic, reminds us of the kinds of valuable coworkers God provides to meet our human needs, and offers some hope grounded in a biblical perspective.
Faith in a Time of High Anxiety. Hugh Whelchel writes “We believe that we are in control, the masters of our own destiny. Then, an event like this comes along, and as a society, we must confess we have no control over our current circumstances. At best, we can only control our reactions to the situation in which we find ourselves.”
Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
More links to interesting articles
The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
My Review of “Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success” by John Maxwell
Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”
I’m a strong proponent of servant leadership. I’ve previously shared four reasons why I aspire to be a servant leader. You can read that article here.
I’ve read many books about leadership over the years, and several about servant leadership in particular. Below are 5 books on servant leadership, plus a bonus chapter, that I recommend you read if you would like to find out more about the topic. Continue reading →
How to Pray When You Hate Your Job. Tom Nelson writes “We may deeply struggle with our work, our workplaces, and the fellow image bearers we encounter in our vocational responsibilities. Yet it is in and through our jobs that we are called to provide for our material needs, to worship God, to be spiritually formed, to incarnate and proclaim the gospel and indwell common grace for the common good.”
Experiencing God’s Presence in my Military Service (Part 2). Our friend Russell Gehrlein writes “This is the second article of a two-part series on this topic. In part 1, I reflected on five aspects of how I experienced God’s presence as I served in and with the U.S. Army over the past 34 years. Here, I would like to continue to expand my thoughts by covering my next five observations.”
My Reviews of The Leader’s Greatest Return: Attracting, Developing, and Multiplying Leaders by John Maxwell and An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life by Jeff Haanen
Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”
I love to read, and there are several new and upcoming books by some of my favorite authors that I’m excited about, and that you might be interested in as well. Here are a few brief comments about each of them.
Beth McCord follows up her best-selling book Becoming Us: Using the Enneagram to Create a Thriving Gospel-Centered Marriage (written with husband Jeff), with The Enneagram Collection, individual books for each of the Enneagram types.
From the Amazon description:
“Each book teaches about the strengths, challenges, and opportunities for that personality type in order to lead to a more meaningful life, lasting relationships, and a deeper understanding of God and yourself.”
Respected theologian Sinclair Ferguson follows up his Christmas devotional Love Came Down at Christmas: Daily Readings for Advent, with a devotional for Lent. From the Amazon description:
“Each day you’ll be invited to:
• Read a passage of Luke’s Gospel and a short meditation by Sinclair Ferguson
• Reflect on a thought-provoking question
• Respond in prayer and praise as you journal”
Click on ‘Continue Reading’ to read about these upcoming books: