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.”
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.
In the Walt Disney film adaptation of C.S. Lewis classic The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the Beavers explain to the Pevensie children why they have come to Narnia and what their destiny is. Incredulous at the Beavers’ insistence that they are somehow the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, Peter Pevensie (William Moseley) tells the Beavers, “I think you’ve made a mistake. We’re not heroes.” Despite his protests to the contrary, the Beavers remain convinced that the Pevensies are indeed the warriors who will save all of Narnia and one day become its rulers.
Just like Peter Pevensie, in any situation we face, we feel we know ourselves. But in fact, we may know ourselves too well. Like Peter, we think we know who we are. When opportunities for greatness appear, we feel we are not qualified. When the hero’s entrance is announced, we look for someone else. We don’t suppose that it could actually be ourselves.
But Peter’s confession is the seed of true greatness. When we admit that we’re not heroes, we aren’t trying to fool ourselves into believing that we are better than we are. At the same time, we cannot disqualify ourselves from the assignment God has prepared for us. We should admit that we’re not heroes, but we should also believe that God could use us to be more than we believed possible. In other words, it’s fine to say, “We’re not heroes,” but we should also be willing to become heroes.
Becoming a hero is easier than being a hero. But it requires intentional thinking to know where you’re headed. Ask yourself these questions to focus your mind on the direction you want to go.
Several years ago, I oversaw some annual events for the organization I worked for. Sometimes several dozen people would attend, sometimes a smaller number. But regardless of the number of attendees, there were innumerable details that had to be coordinated. And to handle all those details, I turned to Beth. I knew as soon as I handed the event off to Beth, it was as good as done, because she came back to me only if she had questions. She handled every single detail with perfect ease. She could run an intimate event, a small conference, or even a large convention. That’s because she took ownership of whatever she was asked to do.
I remember the many phone conversations with Beth. I would ask her, “What do we need to do about this?” And she would inevitably say, “Already taken care of.” While still on the call, I would think of something else and ask, “Have you been able to deal with that?” And again, she would say, “I’ve already got it covered.”
Beth led by taking ownership of her role. She understood what was expected of her, and she expanded her role by thinking through everything that was involved with her responsibilities. As a result, her job was done well, and the organization benefited as well.
By being willing to pitch in and do what is necessary, you will become invaluable to everyone around you. You do not have to wait for someone else’s permission to take ownership of your situation. Your boss wants you to take charge of your job. Here are three specific actions you can focus on in your workplace to take ownership of your role.
Before his coronation as king, David spent many years as either Saul’s court musician, as one of his military commanders, or as a hunted fugitive. Regardless of how Saul treated him, David still gave him his support and referred to Saul as “king,” “lord,” and “the Lord’s anointed.”
One time Saul hunted for David in the wilderness of Engedi with 3,000 men. David and his men were hiding in a cave when Saul himself entered to relieve himself. David’s men urged him to take his revenge. They told him that God gave him this opportunity to kill Saul. But David rebuked them and only cut off a corner of the king’s garment. When Saul left the cave, David showed himself—and the corner of Saul’s garment. David explained that his actions demonstrated that he supported the king, even though the king was against him (1 Samuel 24).
Even if you think your boss is out to get you, your relationship with your boss is not as bad as it was for David. But even though Saul wanted David dead, David still honored the king with his support—and you should honor your boss with your support.
In Scripture, John rebuked Diotrephes for his lack of support (3 John 9-10). Looking at what Diotrephes didn’t do to support John, here are three things you should do to support your boss.
Many years ago I worked with a guy I’ll call Brian. He was a go-getter. He was pro-active and responsible, but he had an unpredictable side. Once, Brian heard about a job he thought I would like, and he let me know about it. I applied for the position and got the job. Soon after, a job opening was announced in a different division in my workplace, and I thought it might be a fit for Brian. At the same time, I had this gnawing concern that it might not work out because of Brian’s unpredictability. After debating back and forth with myself, I decided to tell Brian about the job—and recommend him for it—because he had told me about the job I currently had. I thought it was the right thing to do. But I still had that gnawing concern: Would he show respect to his boss?
Not surprisingly, Brian got the job. Being the go-getter he was, he was not used to sitting and watching the extensive number of training videos required for the job. Every time I talked to Brian he seemed antsy. He wanted to do something. He knew he could contribute to the organization, but he didn’t understand why his boss had him go through so much training that he deemed unnecessary.
One day Brian’s frustration hit a breaking point. He flew off the handle and said things to his boss that he shouldn’t have said. As a result, he was fired on the spot. His actions in response appeared threatening, so he ended up being physically escorted off the premises.
Brian was a good worker, but his lack of respect for his boss got him fired. Perhaps you can sympathize or even relate with Brian. Perhaps you’ve had the same thing happen to you. Regardless of how you feel about what happened to Brian, he still needed to show respect to his boss.
Like Brian, you must be willing to respect your boss, even if you think your boss is wrong. Here are three ways to show respect to your boss.
As you think through what you want to do differently in the coming year, it’s important to think through how you will change you in 2019. You can’t change your circumstances until you change yourself first.
Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity. Do not do that to yourself. If you want to have different results, you must change you first.
You will be the same person in ten years that you are right now—unless you change these three things.
How’s your personality trajectory? Do you like the person you are becoming? Do you feel you are becoming more like the person you want to be? If not, it may have something to do with the people you hang around. You will become like who you hang around.
Think through what kind of person you want to become. And consider the people you hang around. To change your personality trajectory, allow yourself to meet new people. You will become like the people you surround yourself with.
Here are three key questions you must ask yourself in order to be aware of the influence that the people you hang around have over you.
Lately I have had to deal with a lot of things that are outside my comfort zone. Sometimes I feel like I am being stretched beyond the breaking point. Even though change is uncomfortable, I realize it is still good for me. I just have to be willing to be gentle with myself in the process.
That does not mean that I should give myself a pass. I should not allow myself to stay where I am. I have to be willing to be molded by God into what He wants me to be. But I should also not beat myself up about where I am at now. I may not yet be the person I want to be, but neither should I castigate myself that I am not yet there. Change is hard, so I should not be hard on myself.
I’m sure you have found change to be hard. And you should not be hard on yourself either as you go through it. Allow God to work in you. Allow Him to mold you and shape you. It may not be comfortable at the time, but it will be worth it.
Here are three reasons why you should be gentle with yourself as you go through change.
I have two sons who are weightlifters. They like to work out together, and they lift a whole lot more than I remember lifting when I was their age. They enjoy pushing themselves to the point that it hurts. That’s when the muscle gets microtears and rebuilds bigger and stronger. In order to see the growth they want, they know they have to be willing to be uncomfortable.
Like my sons’ weightlifting, your personal growth depends on how much you are stretched through difficult times. You become more of the person you can be as a result of trials. That means it benefits you to be uncomfortable.
Here are three ways you grow through being uncomfortable.