Thursday, July 24, 2008


(What Would Jesus Tell You To Do?... in contrast to What Would Jesus Do?)

Just over a year ago, I moved jobs from a publicly owned company to one that is faith-based. Both in the same general industry. When I went through the interview process, I knew that where I was going would be different than where I was coming from. Where I came from, we had meetings that started with our stock price; where I was going, we would have meetings that started with prayer. Where I came from, we listened to the stock market for inspiration; where I was going, we listened to religious teachings. I was at a time in my personal life that I was really looking for something to help me see my way. I'm not one for providence, but I did feel a certain calling to this new company.

My second week on the job, I had a project lead come to my desk and say "Paul, I need your team to make this project I'm working on their top priority! There are three directors' bonuses riding on this project!"


I didn't realize that "make more money for my boss" was explicitly in my job description. Must be under "other duties as assigned." I'll have to discuss this with my boss later.

Over the course of the last year, I've learned that while "this is important because it will make your boss money" is an approach used only by directors who are on their way out of the company, there is a related difference in leadership and goal setting between these two companies. In the former all of the Senior Vice Presidents and above had exactly the same goals -- they won or lost (almost) entirely as a team. In the latter, goals are set individually across divisions without the same shared success and failure.

Two thoughts come to mind:

The first is the simple adage that "Joy shared is joy multiplied; pain shared is pain divided."

The second is the idea of hesed - relational love. (I'm no scholar, but our Sunday school class discussed "love" this year.) It occurs to me that a leadership team where goals are shared (or a company where corporate strategy is shared and well aligned) is very much what I think God is asking us as a people to be, too. In our discussion of love, one of the key concepts was that the love of God brings us closer together and that love and kindness between eachother other brings us closer to God. Common and shared goals bring teams closer together, too. Having those relationships brings them closer to the shared goals; and moving closer to those shared goals also brings them closer together.

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