Becoming Legendary Don't drown in the Quo

December 19, 2017

Business Allies but not Friends – Week Fifty-Seven

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:37 pm

Business Allies but not Friends – Week Fifty-Seven

Today at prayer, Liz and Josh suggested that we try out another guided imagery exercise. Both of them said that they had gotten so much out of this exercise the last two times that they really wanted to go for it again. Josh suggested that we choose the first few chapters of Job to land in for the day. So, we chose when Job lost his family and his possessions. This was a cool because I had never used this story and I was interested in how it would play out. We took turns reading the verses and then we were quiet for a while trying to give our imaginations over to the Holy Spirit so that He could guide us. We didn’t get to share that much about that because our time was short and because we had already shared about our businesses – Josh and his Lubbock landscaping and lawn care maintenance and Liz with her Lubbock catering. But I can say that I saw the absolute horror in Job’s face as I tried to comfort him in his loss. I hardly knew what to tell him since he had lost so much at once. He tried to keep a brave face but I could see how deeply sad he was. I just put my arms around him and said over and over how sorry I was for him. He responded by crying and thanking me for caring. I wondered how this whole thing would come to play in my life for the day, but I was struck with how much compassion I needed to carry into my dealings with others. After all, who really knows the extent of suffering that other strangers and friends are living with.

At the larger gathering of business owners and leaders, we had a financial planner named Jerry who spoke on the topic of being allies and leaders for our staffs. He said that too many business owners tried to be friends with their employees and this made it harder for us to give orders and even to lay down tough decisions that our staffs might not like. He said that in his business he had worked too hard to be buddies with his staff and that when it came time to cut back on his employees he found it hard to fire the people that he needed to fire. In fact, he said that he sacrificed bottom line profits for a long time by not firing his “friends” and how this almost cost him his business. For me this topic was a good one because I had made friendships a big thing at my work. I was too friendly with too many of my workers and I saw how this could influence my decision making with regards to my business. I decided that I needed to somehow back off on this style of leadership. I wasn’t sure how I was going to back off, but I knew that in future hirings I would keep a distance from staff. Not that I would be a jerk, but I would try what this guy was saying with regards to being an ally over being a close friend of workers.

So readers, what do you think about this advice? Have you ever made friends at work that clouded your decision-making? Please let me know what you did to remedy this situation? I’m interested in how you fixed these relationships without being cold to everyone around you. Thanks in advance…

December 14, 2017

Business Sharing

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:00 pm

Business Sharing – Week Fifty-Six

Prayer went well today. We didn’t do anything much different today. We all went around and talked about the businesses represented – Josh’s Lubbock lawn care and Liz’s Lubbock catering, my Heating and cooling and Ches’ fire damage claims business. All of that seemed to be in good working order. We did ask about Josh’s dad and he said that little had changed. He wasn’t going to go up there to see him unless things took a more serious turn. We did spend some time being silent before God and I think we each got some peace added from that.

As for the larger business gathering, they decided to have people from the group stand up and tell about the ins and outs of their businesses. Each person, three this week, told about how things had changed since the owners had started coming to this meeting. All of the reports were positive. One of them, which came from the owner of a florist shop, reported that she had tried several of the tips given by the speakers and had seen enormous growth in both profits and worker satisfaction. She said that the entire culture of her workplace had shifted from one of kinda lazy to one that was thriving and exciting. She attributed it to her implementation of providing a living wage and taking her staff on an evaluation retreat. This woman named Jan was appreciative for her time at the group and she gave credit to everyone for being willing to stand by her as made good changes. Another guy who was a travel agent said similar things but said that changes at his company were occurring almost daily. He could see that his staff was taking more charge of the work given to them and he was happy for that. He wasn’t having to “pull teeth” to get things done – things were just moving along smoothly.

 

These reports were good for me. I know that I too have seen great strides made in my company and that I was becoming of a healthy change agent who cared about creating a solid work environment. My employees had certainly become more invested in my company as it became our company.

 

So readers, what kind of report can you give as to the condition of your business over the past year? How have you made healthy changes to you business and what have the results been? I’m interested in hearing if you have seen shifts simply by reading about my summaries of these larger gatherings. Feel free to send me updates so I can see if my blog is helping anyone. Thanks in advance…

December 8, 2017

A Visionary Plan for Business Success – Week Fifty-Four

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 5:19 pm

A Visionary Plan for Business Success – Week Fifty-Four
This week at the business meeting it was my turn to speak to the larger gathering. I was nervous. I was glad that the Pre-K administrator joined our prayer group today. She prays with power and power was what I needed to prepare me for speaking in front of these very smart business owners. Liz and Josh joined in asking for peace and wisdom and I appreciated the support. I’m not much of a public speaker, but I thought that I should at least share some things that had not been mentioned up to this point. We also prayed for Liz’s catering business, Josh’s Lubbock lawn care stuff and Ches (the fire claims adjuster) and everything felt good. God was really with us today – or at least I felt more of His presence. Some times my spiritual antenna is not properly aimed.

As for my leading the larger business meeting I needed to have water close by my side as it felt like my tongue and taste buds were dried out. Do you ever have that sense of dry mouth where you cannot even get words to come out? I hate that feeling but I had it today. I felt like a young kid about to give a show and tell presentation or talk about a book report I had done. Anyway, once I got past my initial fears, I was able to share about my topic, which actually comes from the Bible. I used the story of Nehemiah as the background for my talk since this story seems to hold all of the steps of how to lead a group to make something happen. I made sure to hand out papers for people so they didn’t have to pull out their phones and buy a Bible app. It gave key verses and of course some fill-in-the-blanks for those who need those. I talked about how the first step on getting people to start working alongside you for the common good of any company is to enter into the task humbly. Often times, we think we have to build up some huge confidence that can turn into pride when taking on a new project. I talked about how this was a mistake and how it could make people feel more pressure than is necessary. The second thing I shared is that we need to actually go and see what the project needs. We cannot rely on others to tell us what a situation requires. We need to go and evaluate the costs and plan out the stages for development. After all, it is our business and we should know what we are getting into. The third thing I talked about was how we needed to clearly communicate a vision and a plan to the other leaders around us – get them to buy into the process before it begins – make sure that the key leaders are on board. The fourth thing I talked about was how we needed to staff properly for each specific project – have all the right people at all of the right places to make sure that when problems come up that there would not be a total surrender – a sense of failure that would suck the confidence out of the group. That’s all I had time to share this week. I knew I was going a little long and that the other business leaders were getting fidgety so I concluded there and said I would be willing to share again the following week if they wanted to hear what I had to say. Everyone was nice to me about what I had to say. The lady who ran the short-term furnished housing units made a special effort to tell me how good it was to hear me using the Bible as an application for business leaders. I thanked her and everyone else for their questions and for their support.

So readers, have you ever read the story of how Nehemiah went from cupbearer to the king to being the Governor a long-suffering Jewish people? I think it tells us all we need to know about how to organize a major project and see it through to fulfillment, but I want to know what you think…Feel free to comment. Thanks in advance.

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