What Should Be the Purpose of Business?

What’s at the Core of Your Business?

On Sunday I played Monopoly with my kids. I hadn’t played that game in years. As we sat down to play, I looked at the rules. Since it had been so long since I played Monopoly, I wanted to familiarize myself with the purpose of the game.

Purpose

Under the section entitled, How to win, here’s the purpose of Monopoly.

Move around the board buying as many properties as you can. The more you own, the more rent you’ll be able to collect from other players. If you’re the last player with money when all other players have gone bankrupt, you win!

It seems American society believes that’s what business is all about: win by crushing your competition. The very foundations of capitalism have been crumbling, in no small measure because many companies have had a win-at-all-costs strategy. While your business may not be guilty of a Monopoly mentality, society at large thinks you are. Here’s what that means for you, and what you can do about it.

A Five-Step Process to Build Morale in Your Company

How You as a Leader Can Create a Team Culture

As a leader, one of your greatest assets is the morale of your team. How you wield your influence can profoundly affect the culture of your organization. The more intentional and consistent you are in building the culture, the greater the benefits you will see from your leadership. That’s why it is so important to create a build morale in your company.

Build Morale

Most of the time morale is noticed only because it’s lacking. No one typically thinks about morale if it’s good. You will do everyone on your team a favor if they don’t notice the (lack of) morale in your company.

Here are five ways you can build morale in your company—and create a Team Culture in the process.

A New Way to Look at Difficult Employees

What Do You Do With Your Problem Employees?

How do you look at the difficult employees on your team? Could it be that you are looking at them the wrong way?

difficult employees

I’m not saying that everyone is fixable. It may ultimately be better for everyone if the difficult employees wouldn’t work at your organization anymore. I think Abraham Lincoln got it right when he said that people are usually as happy as they make up their minds to be. Nonetheless, you may be the one to help those difficult employees change their minds.

Difficult people have been through difficult stuff. And hurt people hurt people. If you just pass them off as difficult employees then you may be missing a huge opportunity—for them and for you.

Here are three questions you can use to look at difficult employees differently.

The Bottom Line is Not the Bottom Line

Be Careful with Your Most important Asset

A new study led by Baylor University demonstrates a correlation between a manager’s focus on bottom line results and their employees’ lack of performance. According to the research led by Dr. Matthew Quade and published in the journal Human Relations, “Supervisors who focus only on profits to the exclusion of caring about other important outcomes, such as employee well-being or environmental or ethical concerns, turn out to be detrimental to employees.”

bottom line 

The article continues by saying that these employer-employee “relationships … are marked by distrust, dissatisfaction and lack of affection for the supervisor” which produces “employees who are less likely to complete tasks at a high level and less likely to go above and beyond the call of duty.” Managers must be careful about what they wish for. Because they might get it.

When managers focus too much on the bottom line, then employees consciously or unconsciously respond negatively. Here’s how you can rescue your company’s productivity and profitability by making your bottom line not the bottom line.

Innovation Requires a Safe Place to Fail

Your Team Won’t Risk Failure if They Feel They Must Succeed

Innovation is a big buzzword today. People are saying how important it is to innovate. But innovation doesn’t just happen. It has to be properly cultivated. Because innovation requires a safe place to fail.

Innovation Requires a Safe Place to Fail

Today employers demand innovation of their employees. But they aren’t providing what’s necessary to innovate. C.S. Lewis said in The Abolition of Man, “In a sort of ghastly simplicity, we remove the organ and demand the function.” People feel forced to innovate but they aren’t given what they need to be innovative. Your team won’t risk failure if they feel they must succeed.

If you want to create a truly innovative workplace, then you must make sure that you have built your culture on three successive layers. Only with these three layers in place can you produce a safe place capable of producing innovation.

You Can Improve Morale Even If You Are Not the Boss

You Have More Influence Than You May Realize

Many years ago, I worked at an organization that had horrible morale. To make matters worse, my boss was oblivious and even indifferent to the workplace culture. Despite his lack of interest in the culture, he was open to my starting a weekly prayer meeting at the office.

morale

I invited anyone and everyone on the staff to participate. I didn’t expect many people to join me, but Joe and Tom did. Sometimes only two of us showed up for prayer, but more often than not the three of us were there.

Long after we started praying together, Tom surprised me one day. He said, “I know the only reason that I have been able to make it through is because of our prayers.” He directly attributed that small prayer gathering to giving him the peace to survive the toxic work environment. Things at work didn’t seem to change that much. But Tom, Joe, and I were changed. And that helped to change the morale of the workplace—at least from our perspective.

Even if you are not the one in charge, you can make a difference—because you can choose to do something. If you are willing to put the needs of the team ahead of yourself, people will ultimately look to you as a leader—because you are already leading.

Here are three ways that you can improve morale even if you are not the boss.

Eternal Leadership PodcastIn my interview with John Ramstead and Sandra Crawford Willamson on the Eternal Leadership Podcast, I shared the principles I wrote about in my book, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew.

What you’ll learn in this interview:

  • How to mix faith into the workplace without being pushy
  • How to create a transformational impact on the people who work for us
  • The “lost skill” that one needs to develop in order to lead effectively
  • Why it’s important to “think about what we’re thinking about”
  • How to gain and earn your team’s trust
  • How to create your organization’s culture
Date: October 17, 2018
Appearance: How to Be the Best Boss on Eternal Leadership Podcast
Outlet: Eternal Leadership
Format: Podcast

Does Business Need a Heart Change?

An Interview with Bob Hasson, co-author of The Business of Honor

businessWhat words do you think of when you think of business? Do you think of words like money, performance, results, control, and fear? Or do you think of words like honor, team, relationship, connection, and fun? Most likely you associate business with the first list of words. But if Bob Hasson and Danny Silk have their way, you will link business with the second list of words.

Hasson and Silk have co-written a seminal work with The Business of Honor. As soon as I saw the promotional information his publicist sent me about the book, I knew that I had to read it. I had high expectations about this book, and I was not disappointed. Whether you are a business leader, a ministry leader, or a leader in your home, you will benefit from reading this book.

After reading The Business of Honor, I had the opportunity to interview Bob Hasson. Here are excerpts from the interview, complemented by my thoughts.

On June 14, ABC7 News Anchor Melanie Hastings and Molly Cochran interviewed me on “Let’s Talk LIVE” on News Channel 8, the D.C. metro area’s only 24-hour cable news channel, devoted to the latest in the District, Maryland and Virginia. They asked me questions about my book, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew, and about ways to improve the workplace.

The “Let’s Talk LIVE” interview lasts a quick six minutes (6:16). I hope you enjoy it. And I’d love to know your thoughts about it!

Date: June 14, 2018
Appearance: Boss Improvement Tips on WJLA-TV
Outlet: WJLA (ABC7)
Location: Washington, DC
Format: Television

Don’t Blame the Team If They Don’t Know the Rules

What do you assume and don’t say?

My family recently hosted a foreign exchange student at our house for about a month. When he arrived at our house, his first question to me was “What are the rules at your house?” Not wanting to sound like some kind of ogre, I said, “We don’t have too many rules at our house.” And I told him a couple of rules that we had in our house. And I thought that was that.

rules

Over time, I noticed that he did some things that annoyed me. And my thought was “That’s really rude. Why doesn’t he know any better?”

I told him that I was disappointed with what he was doing. Later he told me, “You didn’t tell me what all the rules were.” Then I realized I couldn’t hold him accountable for something I didn’t tell him. He had asked to know what the rules were, but I didn’t tell him what they all were.

This same thing applies to your employees at your workplace, but they won’t necessarily ask you what the rules of your culture are. That’s incumbent on you to tell them. They won’t know how to operate in your organizational culture if you don’t tell them.

Here are the things you need to tell your people so they know how to follow the rules of your culture.