I was a people manager for many years and had the opportunity to work with all kinds of unusual and interesting individuals. For the most part, I loved my job. Never a dull moment and different every day.
At one point during my corporate career, I managed a group of six or seven supervisors and administration staff. They, in turn, were responsible for approximately 150 employees between them. I would meet with the supervisors once a week to plan strategies, resolve issues, and to discuss management techniques. I began to notice a common denominator with these people. While each one of them took their work very seriously and did their jobs well, almost none gave any thought to the direction of their lives outside the workplace.
So, over the course of several months, I introduced another element to our weekly meetings. I would briefly present a life principle and then ask questions pertaining to that principle, encouraging each person to think about how this could be applied in their own lives. At first, it didn’t go over well at all. The supervisors, unaccustomed to having to actually consider the serious questions of life, simply refused to answer. Some told me quite bluntly that it was a stupid idea. But I obtained agreement from the entire group to continue. I won’t say that all participated with enthusiasm and embraced new ways of viewing their lives, but some certainly did and I have seen the fruit of their efforts over the years since then. Some of the senior managers in the company heard about what we were doing and asked to be included via regular emails that eventually earned the label, “Sermon of the Day”.
The result was a team that really worked as a team, because they knew each other’s hearts. Productivity and morale increased because those supervisors encouraged the employees to do the same – to work together instead of individually. Our department took the number one spot in the country for overall productivity, and stayed their for over five years.
This wasn’t about me. It was about a God idea to help people take their lives seriously. And to take the lives of others seriously. To think about their words and their actions.
Life is a gift. And it’s serious business.
Don’t waste it.