Leadership Lesson 01: You Can Make a Difference at Work

Leadership Lesson 01: 
You Can Make a Difference at Work

There are so many researchers that help us understand the strategic role of a supervisor or manager in the workplace. The person who makes the greatest difference for those who work (no matter where it is) is the immediate supervisor. It has been said that people don't leave jobs. They leave bosses. And not the bosses at the top of the ladder, the ones who run the entire organization. It is the "boss" who is closest to them who makes for a positive or negative work experience.

Daniel Goleman helps us understand this with his theme of emotional intelligence and leaders creating resonant work spaces. The most important work a leader can do for those on her or his team is to create a resonant work atmosphere.

Your Work Matters to God

A (Brief) Biblical Worldview on Work

1.  God Works and God Loves the Work He Does.

2.  God created us in HIS own image, that means we too are designed to work.

3.  God commanded Adam and Eve to work.

4.  The work they did was to be meaningful since it was their way of partnering with God to create a world of culture.

5.  Sin damaged, but not destroyed work.

6.  The damage of sin takes a myriad of forms. Work has become difficult, frustrating, less productive, at times oppressive, and the systems of ownership and distribution are certainly unfair and inequitable.

Doing Good Work

A Collage of Quotes to Inspire You
There are dozens and dozens of great quotes from people who truly love their work, who believe work is meaningful and worth doing very well.

None of these quotes is distinctly biblical, but each quote is highly compatible with a biblical view of work.

Tomorrow I will finish this week's thoughts on work with a few suggestions for a Biblical Worldview About our Work.

So here are the quotes:

Which ones do you most appreciate?

Are there other quotes you would add to this list?





The Diminishment of Work
If Henry Ford exalted work to a place it was not meant to have, today, there are many people who diminish work to a place where it loses it dignity and meaning.

I think it is easiest if I provide a number of quotes that illustrate this contemporary mindset.

Henry Ford: Work as Idolatry

When we fail to have a good theology of work, there are two main alternatives that emerge.

The first is seen in the quote from Henry Ford, one of the fathers of modern industrialization. This is Work as Idolatry. Work becomes supreme. Work is the pathway to sanity, self-respect, salvation, health, wealth, and happiness. Work is the New Savior. All else is subordinated to one's work. This also gives HUGE power to those who own the means and places of work. We are now dependent on them for our jobs, which is our work, and our salvation.

There are certainly those who believe this... but I think the second option is becoming more significant and that is tomorrow's post.

The Joy of Work

Speaking About Labor Day...
How often do you hear someone complaining about their work? I assume it is pretty often.

How often do you have the sense to put in just enough "work" to get by, do the minimum needed, call it a day and a week and head off for R&R.

TGIF is the popular saying.

I found this thought from Recovering Redemption (Matt Chandler) to be very inspiring.

(T)he true joy of working is found not in lazing through long lunches and cutting corners the rest of the day, but rather through diligence and excellence and full service of others' needs...

Five Mistakes at Work

Hey, I am back from vacation and SLAMMED with stuff to do. It may be a little hard for posts, so I may be putting up links to some worthwhile articles and posts this week instead of writing my own posts.

Here is a good one.

You're Probably Making These Five Mistakes at Work.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International


Thomas Carlyle on Your Work

Today is a Final Word (at least for awhile) from Mr. Carlyle. Here it is. 

Thomas Carlyle quote On the choice of books  work  vocation meaning and purpose of work

Once again we see how rooted Carlyle is in the Christian worldview. For that worldview has a VERY HIGH view of work. Created in God's image, we are creators, workers, doers, makers of artifacts, artisan of culture, laborers in the marketplace vineyards of endless occupations.

We are created to do this. Much of the meaning and purpose of your life is to find out what you are made to do and what is made for you to do. At that intersection you discover identity, calling and vocation. Carlyle says this is one of the first problems every one of us must confront. What is the work we are to do in the universe?

Thomas Carlyle on Books and Work

I love quotes. I collect them. When I find really, really good ones, I go looking for images and I mash the quote and image together. 

I have some favorite authors who are eminently quotable. C. S. Lewis is one of them. G. K. Chesterton another. Thomas Carlyle is one author who is much less known to most of you, but who is inspiring and witty. Thomas Carlyle is one of the old writers (of the 1800s), philosoher, historian, cultural critic and in all things wide and deep sage, as well as a fine writer. To learn more about Carlyle, read this article. 

For the next several days, I will give you one or two of his quotes to consider. They are all from his inaugural address at Edinburgh University when he was installed at the Rector on April 2, 1866. The lecture was published as an essay - On the Choice of Books.

Work Smarter Not Harder! Really?

There are some catchy phrases (Tag Lines) that have entered into the "Common Wisdom" of our day. Unfortunately, just because something is common and even accepted as wisdom, doesn't mean it is.

You've heard one of those catchy Tag Lines many times. It goes like this: Work Smarter, Not Harder. Really!?! Who came up with that piece of advice? What is the research to show that it really generates results. Here is the problem. In many, if not most cases, we create these popular EITHER-OR dualisms that are really unhelpful. In this case it is the EITHER-OR of smarter or harder. Smarter and harder are set in contrast, in opposition to each other. That is the mistake right from the beginning. It is a FALSE dualism that is simply not true. 

Instead - the truth is that Good Work requires you to work smarter AND work harder. 

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