We tell our staff that we love them. Yes. Every single one has been told and assured of this. I have tried the Devil Wears Prada style of management and it’s disgusting. You need only work for someone once who hardly acknowledges you to realize there is no dignity in treating someone like an animal or machine. This elicits no loyalty, respect, or quality of work for any meaningful length of time.
“The world and all that is in it belong to the Lord; the earth and all who live on it are his.” (Psalm 24:1 TEV)
And so, if all of creation belongs to God, how can we be stewards without works? The namesake of the blog, the Parable of the Talents, teaches us that when we are given something we are to make it grow. If you are given a staff, a farm, or even students more likely than not you spend more time with them than you do your own family. If you see someone Monday through Friday at least eight hours a day, 40 hours a week this may be more than a spouse, a best friend, or even a child. Why then should I not develop a relationship based on love? How else do you treat a sentient being well without caring for their quality of life both at work and at home?
Should we not nourish those who work with us? Reassure them of their worth? Support them when there is tragedy and reward them when there is good news? I don’t know how many podcasts, books, and people I’ve sought advice and counsel regarding how to treat a situation with someone on my team when most of what I needed to know I have already experienced in other parts of my life. This is what integrity is: when how you act in one circumstance is unwaveringly the same as another.
If you treat your wife without respect but you do your constituency; this is not integrity. If you kick your child but pet your dog; this is not integrity. And if you walk into your office and do not extend grace to an employee who may be going through difficulty but expect your finances to flourish; you will get high staff turnover. High turnover will give you high unemployment taxation, disgruntled management, and quality inconsistency. It is you who suffers.
I cannot manage my business like Steve Jobs (he dead), Jeff Bezos, or the Waltons and I’m not interested in hearing who they exploited to get to where they are. If you are building your business in faith; praying for its growth, and asking God for His blessings, then how can you omit his teachings from the very same pillars you were given: your staff! There will always be competition, there may be another company making a better product than you or the same product but with different packaging but believe me it is ALWAYS service that will differentiate you. It will always be the people representing you who will either be your cornerstone or the undoing of you.
I have the only five-star rated business in the tri-state area in the industry. This is not by accident. I’ve never taken a business course. Never managed or supervised. I hadn’t even worked in an office like mine and yet not only was I able to turn a failing business into a successful one but I have also maintained a customer base so loyal that some have chosen their health insurance based on contracts we take just so they can continue to receive care from us. And this is in spite of the fact that over the past ten years, 34% of our competitors in Maryland have closed. We continue to grow.
I’m not being boastful. I’m telling you that when the people on your team want to perform well: you will! Love as you love at home. Support as you support at church. And care as you care with your friends. You will not only sleep better; but you will have greater faith that when things happen they are in His hands and His will. We are merely stewards, not owners. We cannot ruin or fail what we do not own.