Perspective matters. At Life Church, I focused on the power of perspective for Easter 2017.
As a leader, are you fair with your those on your team? Many leaders would say “Yes!” or at least “I try to be!” What distinguishes average leaders from great leaders is not if they’re fair or not, I think everyone tries to be. What’s different is their definition of fairness.
We live in a time where a premium is put on political correctness and it carries over into how we lead our people. Leaders think that to be fair they must spend and invest equal amounts of time and energy in each person on their team.
How would you define fairness?
The common answer is: Fairness = treating everybody the same. That is not fairness. As U.S. Supreme Court justice Felix Frankfurter said, “It is a wise man who said that there is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals.“
In our faith, it’s easy to fall into the trap of conditional obedience. We follow God’s plans and desires for our life as long as they’re convenient, not too difficult, and produce the results we want. However, this is the wrong reason. It points to a deeper issue of our heart. Check out this message I did this week at Life Church that is sure to challenge you in your faith.
I’m a month into my role as a Leadership Coach with Dulead. It’s been a great start and has reminded me how important it is to get off to a good start. If you spend your first 30 days well it will propel you into the future. A slow or negative start can take months to recover from. What is important to do in your first 30 days at a new job?
- Learn your boss’s style. Make getting to know your boss one of your top priorities. Get to know them personally, but even more importantly understand their leadership style. Are they a big picture guy or do they like to dig into the details? Do they want daily updates, multiple updates per day, or will a weekly update suffice? Do they prefer email, phone calls, or to talk in person? Do they care more about when you punch-in and out the clock or that you just get your job done? What is the dress code they expect? These are just a few of the details you want to figure out about your boss as soon as possible. Many of these you get from observing your boss and how they interact with your coworkers, not peppering him/her with questions.
- Clarify your responsibilities. Shortly into your job, you’ll discover expectations and demands on you that may not fit with your original understanding of the role. These aren’t necessarily good or bad, but they need to be clarified. Are they your responsibility? Should you devote time to them? Or will they distract you from activities that your boss thinks are more important?
- Discover your boss’s priorities and pressures. Put yourself in your boss’s shoes. What is most important to your boss? What pressures are they facing? What are they being measured on? The more quickly you can discover these and help with them the better. If you make your boss’s priorities your priorities, then you will help them succeed. If you help your boss succeed, you will succeed. It’s a win-win!
- Build relationships with others. Get to know your team. I’ve made it a personal goal to have lunch or an in-depth 1:1 conversation with a different co-worker each week for the first two months. You never know the connections you’ll form, friends you’ll discover, or common interests you’ll have. This makes work more enjoyable and your team more effective.
- Ask for feedback. I asked Eric, my new boss, for feedback after two weeks and plan to again at six weeks. While I think I’m doing a good job, I want to make sure he thinks that. Is there anything I’m missing? Any disappointments or points of frustration? Anything else he’d like to see? I always want to be learning and growing. Feedback is a great way to make that happen!
- Pray for your work. As followers of Jesus, we should always be praying for those around us. However, sometimes we forget to pray for our work, especially if things are difficult or frustrating. Pray for your boss, coworkers, and the organization. Pray for why God has you there. Pray for yourself and opportunities to grow, develop, and make meaningful contributions.
Starting a new job can be overwhelming. Adjusting to a new culture, team, organization, and schedule can be a lot. However, it’s not good enough to just survive the first month, you want to thrive. By doing the above five things you’ll set yourself up for long-term success!
Question: As you’ve started new jobs, what have you learned is most important to do in the first month? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Do you like your boss? Are you thinking about quitting your job because of your boss? According to Gallup, 50% of people in the United States have quit their job at some point in their career to get away from their boss. What do we do when we work for a difficult boss?
The Harvard Business Review recently wrote a great article titled “Do You Hate Your Boss?” They lay out steps you should take if you work for a difficult boss. As Christians, we have a unique view of the world and work. While HBR’s article outlines some great steps, they left some out that we should pursue as people of faith. Here are my suggestions on what to do when you can’t stand your boss.
We live in a time of constant interruptions, instant communication, and never ending demands. Everyone needs something from you: your work, your family, your friends, your pets, AND you have a long list of things that you should be doing. How do you do keep up with it all without burning out?
I’ve spent the last 10 years in a full-time ministry role at Life Church before becoming a Leadership Coach at DuLead. People in ministry face a unique challenge as the demands on them never end. People don’t plan and can’t control when there’s a crisis, someone get sick, or a funeral needs to be performed. Some of life’s biggest crises include a phone call to their pastor. While I’ve loved my role and the way I’ve been able to serve others it’s also forced me to learn how to live in such a way that I don’t burnout and my family doesn’t suffer.
So often work is hard. Even when you’re in a role that you feel called to, there are days when it seems nothing is going right. Delays are happening. Resistance. Challenges. Overwhelmed. It so easy to get discouraged and want to quit… or check-out. How do you get through the most difficult days at work?
I recently read the book of Haggai in the Bible. It takes place at a time when the people of God have returned from decades in exile to their homeland. They have found favor with their enemies and received permission to go home and begin rebuilding their city and the temple for God. They also realize this is something God has called them to do.
However, when they return they face resistance. Things aren’t turning out as they had hoped. There are roadblocks, barriers, and detours. They’re especially frustrated as they realize this is something God wants them to do. They want to quit.
Throughout history, the Jewish people have been one of the most persecuted people but also the most prosperous. How is it they always find ways to succeed and thrive in very difficult circumstances?
In his book “Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money” Rabbi Daniel Lapin talks about a key view of the Jewish people: they are always looking for ways to add value. If you make “Always Add Value” your mantra in the marketplace you will be noticed and differentiate yourself from your competition. Rewards, recognition, and resources follow those that always add value.
Months before I launched this blog I started practicing writing posts on my profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn posts are one of the best ways to build your network, influence, and connections in the marketplace. Are you thinking about writing your first post? I’ve had more success in my first month of posting than I expected. I’ve connected with a lot of new people and expanded my network.
For transparency here are how my first four posts have performed: