A Leadership Priority - For Whom do You Toil?

February 28, 2017


     The thought goes something like this: day in and day out for thirty years, the office is a part-time home. In fact, in some instances it is more of a home than our real home, if one considers the total waking hours expended there. Often it’s not by choice but by necessity. Business has responsibilities, and the higher up the ladder you move, your time isn’t necessarily your own. Unfortunately for some, the long hours might be an escape from pressures or problems. There may be pressures that, in turn, are caused by the circular error of spending too much time in the office and neglecting important time at home. So it becomes a vicious cycle.

     At other times, the hours mount up just because of a sheer desire to forge ahead, to attain another rung on the ladder, hoping to relish in the prestige or status of power; that competitive streak takes over our thinking. Consider this example:


“Dave was just appointed VP of Operations. He’s younger than me, has been with the company fewer years – why haven’t I attained that position? Maybe if I just put in some longer hours, produce faster, then the President will notice. I’ve been at this a long time and I deserve better. The kids will understand. Besides these days the children need to have a role model that they can look up to. The world needs a stronger work ethic and I want to show them how it’s done.


       I was once told to be careful of always striving for the VP’s job because you just might get it. Again, there is nothing wrong with striving for the best at what you do. Good solid effort is what it’s all about. Productivity in most corporations could be improved immensely if people just realized that the incremental bit of efficiency that they can lend by being on time, by helping out a team colleague, and by just ensuring that urgent report has a top quality message to it can add bottom line dollars.


     The problem is that the pursuit can be a killer. The stress to attain is taking its toll on today’s corporations. It can’t be done at just any cost. All-out cost may mean fatigue and burnout. All-out cost may mean errors, or even faulty judgment.


     It’s all a case of priorities. So, for whom do you toil? What is your higher ideal? Is it that you satisfy your yearnings for accomplishment? Is it a desire to ensure that the family feels good about what you do? Is it just that the pursuit feels so much like a game that the thrill just keeps feeding you?


“ Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward” (Col. 3: 23-24).


     Here’s your answer. The business world needs God's priority. Productivity would soar. Employee relations would improve. Everyone would support long-range plans. Expenses would be held in line to ensure liquidity. We should work with all our heart, but our goal is to realize that all good things come from Jehovah. Ultimately that’s whom we are accountable to. Get that right and just about everything falls into place. Strategic plans turn from being an exercise in projecting the future, to becoming a certainty that we know where we’re headed. Get that right and there’s an inheritance in heaven that will make your corporate life look like just a stopping-off point to bigger and better things. The inheritance is eternal life.

                                                                        Copyright © 2017 Rev. Michael F. Dell, Footpath Leadership, All rights reserved.