“Equip you with everything good”; sounds like a tall order to fill if you are in a leadership position. It can also be perceived as an insult if you are the employee. I’m suggesting that you view “equipping” as a means of employee development. As leaders, we have the obligation to develop our people and equip them for everything good. We can be so busy taking care of the business that we often let our responsibility for employee development fall away. We should make it a priority and work with each member of our staff to help them achieve more than they thought was possible. Set a regular meeting time and help the employee establish reasonable goals for their career or even for their personal lives.
Personal goal setting is hard for employees to do. People don’t often practice it in their lives so when they are asked to do so at work, they freeze. You might have to suggest some direction or offer options. Help them set short-term goals that are easily achieved so they know what success feels like. Once they see that the developmental goals are for them, they will start to bring their own needs to the meeting. Your success in “equipping” can be measured by increased productivity or job satisfaction by your staff or even if they advance into other positions of increased responsibility. Today’s Millennial workforce is hungry for this type of leadership and you can be the one to equip them for everything good.
“May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing his will…” Hebrews 13:20, 21
You should work in your vocation to the glory of God, doing His will. You have been blessed with the ability and the responsibility to lead others; God has equipped you with everything good for doing His will. How do you feel about the other areas of your life, are you equipped? Most of us took advantage of the opportunities that were put in front of us at some point in our lives.
We have to remember that God works in mysterious ways and sometimes we simply don’t always recognize what He’s doing in our lives. When was the last time you attended a bible study or read a book that contained a message from God? These are tools that God will use to equip you for doing His will. Take advantage of the equipping that He is doing and seize upon the opportunities to do His will and witness to others. You will never know when the words you choose or the actions that you take will make the difference in someone else’s life.
I read an article this morning about the leadership needs of the Millennial Generation. The styles of leadership that worked well in the past will not work today or at least in the near future. Millennials view leadership in a new way, believe that a leader’s personality is important and they believe that businesses should have a bigger impact on society. They are not concerned about the hierarchy that comes with traditional leadership but value a leader who uses more collaboration and cross-functional teams. They desire employee/personal growth, making a positive contribution to society and their own well being.
One thing that has not changed: Leaders have a responsibility to challenge their people to grow. Employee growth, personally and professionally, help improve their creativity and morale. It is possible to push people too far or into a direction that they are not interested in or prepared to perform. A good leader will find people’s limits and their desires through employee coaching. Good coaches will listen to the employee more than they talk, paraphrasing their desires to ensure that they understand what the employee wants and will set goals with (not for) the employee. This ensures that they are part of their own destiny. Once an employee knows what they want to achieve, a leader can help them reach and achieve more.
1 Corinthians 10:13 “God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear…”
God also is concerned about our personal growth and as a good coach, He will be faithful to us; God keeps His promises. The struggle between God and Satan remains strong and the old Adam in us can be tempted quite easily. We know God loves us and that despite our free will to choose, He will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. Our sin and our inability to follow the Ten Commandments is why God had to send His only Son to be our savior; with Jesus Christ we are free from the bondage of our sin.
God is active in our lives, providing options for us to choose from in how we live. God is working His plan in our lives despite our free will choices. God wants us close to Him and, through the Bible, has given us the best plan to live this life. Our faith in Jesus and God’s grace is what allows us to be tempted and fail at times but to still have forgiveness of our sins. God is faithful! He kept His promise of salvation for us through Jesus. We all sin and may at times feel unworthy; God’s grace and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross makes us all worthy regardless of our own actions.
God blesses us every day and I would bet that we often don’t realize it. We live in an amazing time from a technological standpoint. Every thing you want to know is at your fingertips. Have you ever considered your job a gift from God? Many people are dissatisfied at work. There is a shift occurring between how people look at their vocations – as a career or a job. The new saying of the Millennial generation is “work to live” compared to the Baby Boomers who “lived to work”. As the TV commercial asks, when did leaving on time become a bad thing? The younger generations are still working hard, doing great things and solving problems, much like generations of the past but they are just doing it in a completely different way.
Regardless of your profession or vocation, you serve a purpose. We all are needed no matter where we work or what we do. We all want to feel that our work matters. Generations can collide in the workforce and the results are often low morale. When morale is low, employees feel less like their work matters and more like they serve no real purpose. Leaders must keep up with the changing needs of their employees and constantly adapt their styles. It’s not up to the employees to adapt to the leadership. It is a difficult challenge but one we all have been equipped to deal with, whether we are a co-worker or a supervisor, all of us matter.
“The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands… The Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.” Deuteronomy 2:7
How has God blessed you in all the work of your hands? Maybe He put people in your life to show you the glory of His name. Or people to teach and mentor you in your vocation so that you feel purposeful. Your talents were developed and used in just the right way so that you and your company benefited from the experience. Have you ever wondered why these people just seemed to be around at just the right time?
Many times people will say “it was a stroke of luck that I was assigned to that project, without it I would never had gained enough experience to be considered for the promotion.” We should really be thanking God for that experience; it was His way of ensuring that we didn’t lack anything. Have you thanked God for what He has done for you lately? Our Father would like to hear it from His children; this is not the time to think “He knows”. God should not feel “lonely at the top” because we stop recognizing Him for all that He has done. The people who have influenced our lives and the leaders we follow rarely hear from us about how much we appreciate what they have done. Don’t leave God off that list. God has surely blessed us with this work of our hands, be sure to thank Him for those blessings.
It’s been interesting lately to watch people: how they drive, how they speak on TV, and how they act in public. It makes me wonder how they act around people they know or if they are different when they are around strangers. Back in the 80’s there was a “movement” called the “me generation”. It was said that the people of that era were more concerned about themselves than anyone else and that they didn’t care what effect they had on those around them. This was how the “looking out for number 1” mantra was born. If you were alive or can remember back then, it was not a pretty time in the US society. Today, people claim that the Millennial generation does just the same; looking out only for themselves.
Studies on the Millennial generation show something a little different. They want to do things that matter and make a difference. They are more concerned about social and environmental issues than most previous generations; they are compassionate and understanding. I would suggest that they have been labeled as self-centered because they want more out of life early. Millennials do not want to wait until later in life to travel or explore. They don’t believe that they should work themselves to death and ignore their families or friends. They have seen the tired and worn down late generation baby boomers and early generation Xers; they want more out of life.
Back to people watching, the ones who have been more selfish and uncaring about others around them tend to be the same tired and worn down generations who once believed in looking out for number 1. I guess that is why it has been so frustrating lately, the people who have been around for a while; those who have been working so steadily are the ones who act so entitled. People complain that living today is hard. I would offer that it isn’t any harder than any other time in history; the problems are just different. Where are you on this spectrum and what can you do to change?
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Philippians 1:27
I wonder if we could have “take backs” for all of the times that we acted poorly, how far back would the clock turn? How many years would we get back? The verse today speaks to me in two ways – behavior and response. Our behavior drives how people act around us. If we are careless or focused only on ourselves, people around us become frustrated; even to the point where they don’t want to be around us. Small things like paying attention to drivers around us on the road, looking out for neighbors or the neighborhood and, noticing the subtle changes in others are great ways to behave. This may help others see life from a different perspective and become contagious.
The other way I see this verse is through our response to events. “Whatever happens…” says to me that no matter what people say or do, act in way “worthy of the gospel”. This goes for our response to circumstances in our lives. When a medical diagnosis isn’t positive or life events hit hard, act in a way “worthy of the gospel”. Jesus didn’t complain when He was being mocked, He wasn’t “stressed out” when people wouldn’t leave him alone and He did not pity himself when He was tortured and hung on a cross to die. He conducted Himself just as honorably in His last days as He did in the first days. Leave self-pity behind when things are rough and turn your thoughts to God. He is here for us in the good and the bad times, so as St. Paul reminds us – “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”