I have been thinking about the number of conversations I have with people when I ask them how they would respond if I asked them.
How would you do count your blessings? (Being appreciative and grateful about what they have.)
There is much rhythm in what people say and of course many say the same thing.
Og Mandino in his book “Secrets for Success & Happiness”
asks us a rather different question that we would all find rather useful to list:
Our List of “Do not haves.”
At first I thought like many would well that is a crazy question. That is easy I don’t have a million dollars, a big house… No Blessings here!!!!
Og gave us a different list for us to start. I will begin the “Do not have – Blessings list” and you can add your own…
I DO NOT HAVE:
- A leaky roof
- Poor relations with my family
- Bad health
Go on add yours and lets all count our blessings!
Many of us speak to thanking our coworkers and it surely is a powerful thing to do, done for the right reason and from your soul!
We have convinced ourselves that positive appreciation is a “good thing to do.”
We see thank you cards and “HR “appreciation programs abound.
What have we come to?
Why is it that the simplest form of gratitude has to be “systemized” and brought down to a procedure?
I have seen them, worked them, introduced them and you know what? I ask do they really work?
The answer off course is yes AND no. Why? Well because it matters little if it is part of an organized way of doing things.
There is no surprise; its tacky and its an “expected part of the way we do things to engage people” there is indeed a negative connotation when you do not get it.
Let’s get real; what does a stack of “company thank you cards” really do for you?
What I want to see is the power of a real thank you. One that comes from the heart and you can FEEL it. Capture that in your business culture!! Now you have something!
If you have to make it into a program then what does that say about your organization?
The power of an unexpected, spontaneous and heartfelt smile is infectious and is remembered for a long long time. The cards? Well maybe.
Building culture is about building instinctive human values that form because they are the right things to do, and those never need a procedure or policy or process.
At Church, Sunday we met the pastor who had just returned from a seven week sabbatical. You see he had felt “burned out” from years of servant leadership. It’s both a love a calling and a heavy responsibility.
He said something that really caught my attention. He said:
“What do you do when you no longer like what you love?”
He had many words of wisdom that apply to all of us in our daily work whatever we do.
We all need to reawaken and rekindle the spirit that brought us to our calling.
I thought wow! That’s incredibly touching and I bet many of us feel like that from time to time.
He said, all too often people don’t know what I do but are quick to tell me what I have done wrong! But then I know I need to understand why. Sound familiar?
Sometimes we need to step away from being the Pastor or Business Leader and become one of the followers and parishioners’ and go among them to hear their voices.
We need to walk in their shoes and really listen and feel what they feel. We need to understand that not everything is what we believe or want it to be.
Different lenses see different pictures and we need to understand and weave them into our tapestry in the work we do.
He said “I can’t remember a time when I got a call in the middle of the night from someone saying they had had a great day? It was often something more pressing.”
We all need to give appreciation.
There are often times in the work we do in each of our businesses that means being a leader is all consuming. Who listens in your world, and who cares?
Everyone needs a “trusted someone” to speak to. We also need to remember that a business is a community and is more than a building.
The pastor said that he “needed time to contemplate the sacred relationship he had with his Church”.
He did not question his faith, what he needed to understand was how he could be the best pastor he could ever be and to use his talents in the best way he could:
To serve those who had entrusted their faith in him.
Does your leader reflect on his/her impact and focus on you?
The work of a Pastor is 24-7 there is little time for self and who does a Pastor go to, here on earth, when that lonely moment comes for self reflection and self doubt?
We all get to a point that we get weary and down and need the courage to see it and then do something to re-energize:
So that once again we like the work we love.
He posed the question: “How do you prepare good people to become the best versions of themselves?”
Leadership is not about self. It’s about creating leaders out of every single follower.
He posed the observation:
That the discontented people in this world are those who are not happy with what they have. Those that are really happy are those who have given of themselves for others.
The power to serve comes from within the faith that you have.
The pastor had taken ownership of who he is and recognized the need to do something!
He recognized that to take care of others he needed to be whole himself.
During his time of contemplation he visited seven different churches on seven different Sundays. He had attended as a parishioner and he had found that being a follower teaches us many lessons, like:
We all need to walk among our followers, as often as we can and really listen and people are not very different wherever you go.
A church like our own business is not a building. It’s the people within that are the church and the congregation and the employees and are the ones we serve.
So our Pastor visited other churches and found that they all have issues, the solutions are within each one of us. Other churches are not better they are simply different.
The grass is only greener when you nurture it to be so. That’s what Leadership is all about.
Picture courtesy Prerna231 Group