Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Become A Change Agent

If you are a man or woman of character, corporate America needs you. During the many years I spent working in the office environment, it was, at times, a hostile environment. Working closely with others provides a front row seat to observing their best and worst, sometimes in the same day. As a coworker, to be the peacemaker in the midst of adversity is a high calling, and one that only an individual with leadership skills can tackle.

As a Christian, it is our responsibility to impress others to make a decision to live their lives with integrity, character, and the knowledge that God is needed to be successful in every area. That can be challenging, though. Here is the situation succinctly stated by Paul in Romans.

People did not think it was important to have a true knowledge of God. So God left them and allowed them to have their own worthless thinking and to do the things they should not do. They are filled with every kind of sin, evil, selfishness and hatred. They are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, lying, and thinking the worst about each other. They gossip and say evil things about each other....They are rude and conceited and brag about themselves. They invent ways of doing evil...They are foolish, they do not keep their promises, and they show no kindness or mercy to others.(1) They know God's law says that those who live like this should die. But they themselves not only continue to do these evil things, they applaud others who do them.(2)
~Romans 1:28-32

(1) This passage clearly describes many situations, from the day to day interactions in a dysfunctional family to the office environment. Jealousy, lying, thinking the worst about each other, gossiping, being rude and conceited and bragging, breaking promises and showing no kindness or mercy. Paul never would have mentioned these things unless he knew they would become characteristics of an abnormal lifestyle. He mentions them in a worst-case-scenario presentation. Yet, walk into any corporation and you will see that starting at 7 AM, this is typical behavior. We have become complacent to the worst-case-scenario that Paul warned would come when people decided having "a true knowledge of God" would no longer be important.

Your mission as a Christian leader could not be made clearer; be a best-case-scenario employee. Be truthful, kind, not participating in listening or spreading gossip. Don't brag on yourself or take credit for work you didn't do. Keep your promises and instead of being self promoting, look for ways to advance others.

(2) Perhaps the greatest form of leadership is in knowing the right thing to do and then actually doing it. As Christians, we sometimes think doing what the majority does will cause us to blend in and God won't see our tiny indiscretion. Or, you may think that He will wink on it because, after all, others are doing it, too. By having this mindset, you sabotage the very opportunity God has given to you to make a difference and excel as a man or woman of influence. And, need I say it? Although the majority does "it", that does not make "it" right. God maintains a standard of right and wrong whether our society acknowledges it or not.

When your hostile work environment becomes normal and something you put up with-when any situation is tolerated instead of changed-you miss a vital role in provoking long term influence. It's tough being that one in a million, especially when it does not come natural to do the right thing. But that is the exact purpose in your existence wherever you go; be the one others notice for all the right reasons. Be the one to raise the standard, and watch the worst-case-scenario Paul spoke about turn into the best-case-scenario. Someone needs to do it. Are you up to the challenge?

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