It is almost time to head back home from my business trip up north. It snowed a little last night and there is a light dusting on the ground as I type.
One thing it is important to remember: behind every successful business there are people who have been empowered to take that business to the next level. One way this happens is by taking care of the people who are your customers. It is not just about production and bottom lines–it is about people taking care of people.
A business can be profitable by grinding people up and using them to achieve the lofty goals and expectations that businesses often have. Or it can be great by allowing its’ people to establish relationships and build the business from this strength or point of reference.
Not that I am an MBA or anything close to that. But I do know what feels good and what doesn’t.
In recently reading a book entitled “The Seven Practices of Effective Ministry” I learned the importance of beginning each project with the end in mind. Then with the end (where you want to be at the completion of your project or program) in mind, a good leader will create steps that are easily found that will enable the workers to get to the end result. These steps will be communicated to all the people involved in easy to understand terms and when the goal is accomplished, the team that reached to goal (won the game so to speak) will celebrate the win together.
I also learned that a teams focus must be narrow so that the goal becomes more easily attatined. That if you try and do too much, something will fall through the cracks.
The example in the book that was given to explain this concept was pastorally centered around the traditional Sunday sermon. Many preachers think that by giving people lots of information about something they are helping them assimilate that truth and apply it to their lives. However, the reverse is often the case. The authors explained that it is much harder to say a lot about little than to say a little about a lot.
To say a lot about a little requires a deeper understanding of what it is you want to communicate.
So, in order to get more done a person needs to narrow their focus, say more about less and begin things with the end in mind and create easily indentifiable steps that will get us to the agreed upon end or goal.
In between all of this theory are birthdays, vacations, meals, taxes, birth, trials and tribulations and the like. Life goes on despite our best laid plans and initiatives.
But isn’t it good to know that we can begin to have the system serve us rather than the other way around. That we can begin to enjoy the journey knowing that the destination is there ahead of us.
As I return to my life after this business trip ends (did I ever really leave it), I will try my best to listen better to what is going on inside as well as outside.
This is my beginning and my end–to send my roots deeper into fertile ground and see more fruit come forth.
To end strong–to finish well–to enjoy the ride. It sounds like a plan to me.