Tag Archives: corporate

Serious Business

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.


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Filed under Being Creative, Blogging, God, Hope, Imagination, Life, Writing

The Old Career

I had a dream last night about the old career. The one where I worked way more hours than I should have and loved every minute of it. Well, almost every minute. Except for the last year of that old career when I reported to the new vice president. He and I never did see eye to eye on too much. It was a happy, happy day when I was informed that my position was being eliminated and I could leave before I did something I’d regret.

Do I miss the old career? Not a bit. Last night’s dream confirmed that once again.

The very thought of going back into the corporate world, with all of its politics and petty games, just turns my stomach. And having just recovered from a bout of the stomach flu, you can be sure  that I have recent knowledge of what stomach turning feels like.

At one point in that old career, I was on a fast track, being groomed for an eventual promotion to vice president. It was a heady feeling, let me tell you. Suddenly, I was thrust into secret meetings and included in confidential conference calls. I was sent on training courses, flown to various cities across the country, given responsibility for critical areas of the company. I was being pulled in dozens of different directions, each demanding my immediate attention. My opinion mattered. People listened to what I had to say. And they acted on it.

For someone who likes to be in charge of things, this was pretty awesome. For a while.

After four years of this fast-tracking business, I finally applied the brakes. I sat down with my husband and we had a long talk about where this was going, what it would cost us as a couple and a family, and we made a prayerful decision. The next day, I went in to talk to my boss and to the president of the company, who happened to be there that day. I told them honestly that as much as I appreciated the opportunity they were giving me, I could not continue on the career path they had me following. I can still see the look of shock on their faces. People didn’t usually say no to these men.

After a few attempts to encourage me to change my mind, they accepted my decision. I requested a voluntary demotion and within a few weeks I was happily ensconced in a new office, managing a small department of wonderful people.

There are probably some readers out there shaking their heads. Why in the world would someone pass up an opportunity like that?

Priorities, my friends.

No job is more important than your family. No job is worth your emotional and mental well-being. No job should be what defines you as a person. No job should ever be your entire life.

So, here I am. The old career is gone. My family is intact. I am in a very good place emotionally and mentally. I have new friends who never knew me as a corporate dragon. And I think my heavenly Father is pleased.

That’s all that matters.


Filed under Acceptance, Family, Life, Writing