Pride and profits
When a business operates at a high level of performance and profitability, mainstream and business media are quick to deify the CEO or chairman, study her or him closely and report their findings.
Audiences are apt to pattern themselves and their decisions after these executives and owners to replicate their success.
What’s missing in most of these accounts is God’s hand in the process. When good things come to pass, God’s children do well to understand the source of all that is good.
Call it an honest mistake for those who don’t see God moving all around us.
Conversely, call it poor priority management for those who don’t actively look for God moving and working.
Consider these real-world events: a landlord’s governing committee has a collective change of heart and grants a favorable lease to the non-profit operating in one of its facilities, helping to ensure that people will continue to be served for the foreseeable future. The sales order arrives seemingly out of the clear blue that brings in the month, the quarter and the year. The understanding customer watches patiently and gratefully as an organization scrambles in service recovery after an error causes an inconvenient delay.
Who gets named as the source of success in organizations depends upon who’s doing the naming. I’ve worked with CEOs of privately-held companies and with not-for-profit organizations, none of which articulates any reference to God in their mission/vision/values statements, who readily credit God for a particularly successful event, month or campaign.
These executives aren’t weekend preachers. They simply see that something beyond their understanding has taken place, something for which they can’t take credit.
Instead, they choose to rejoice in God’s love and kindness, share what they’ve observed with others and do everything in their power to be good stewards of God’s favor.
In the minds of these leaders, God is really in charge. They’re clear that they are responsible to lead people and direct resources always in service to God and others. Some who are more comfortable will speak openly about the relationship between themselves, their organizations and God.
Others prefer to fly under the radar and avoid attracting the unwanted attention of charges of unfairly practicing a particular faith in a public organization or corporation. They see the work of those whose aim is to remove God from every imaginable aspect of life on earth.
Leaders at all levels benefit from knowing that America remains a country founded on basic freedoms, among them the practice of one’s faith.
Starting a voluntary prayer group or Bible study outside of established work hours or even huddling with those who like to start the workday with a moment of prayer are two simple ways to live one’s faith in the workplace.
This can be risky for those who can’t stand to make waves. On the other hand, it can be even riskier for leaders who pass up the workplace opportunity to bring others to Christ.