Do you talk about “faith” in your environment?


I was having coffee with a new friend today.  We both commented that getting out and getting to hear people’s stories on a regular basis is so encouraging.  Candidly, while we both were there to share about our businesses to some extent, that really wasn’t a focus of our conversation which is how I normally prefer interactions.

As normally happens when I’m telling my story, I share about my transition from a corporate environment to an entrepreneurial environment.  The story normally includes parts of my faith journey along the way.  I normally share about my 40 day journey leaving Corporate America, my affiliation with a marketplace ministry, as well as a few other areas I’ve seen God’s provision in my life.  In this type of environment, you’d likely be surprised at the number of people that desire to learn more about these parts of my story.

With both my new friend and I coming out of corporate environments with his transition being more recently, he commented regarding his surprise with the number of people being open with their faith outside of “corporate” environments.  As he’s gotten out and started networking as well as even taking on large clients of privately held companies, he’s noted the openness people seem to have outside his historical “corporate” experience to share their faith journey.  He even commented on a recent car ride with one particular President of a well know company in the area where the President brought up his faith which led to more sharing of how he encourages his employees to exercise the same openness.

As my friend and I discussed, this is uncommon in a “corporate” environment.  No, I’m not saying it never happens, however, I am acknowledging a dramatic difference that I typically observe and hear from others.  It just seems to be taboo to mix “faith” and “business” in Corporate America.  By the way, please know that I’m a Christ-follower, however, am not limiting “faith” discussions to my particular beliefs.  I’m talking faith in general at this point.

Why is it that there doesn’t seem to be an openness to talk about faith in “corporate” environments?   Well, I don’t necessarily claim to have the answer, however, would like to make an observation.  I think a huge part of it hinges on the word “openness”.  Why do I say this?  Well, it’s because another observation I would make is that “openness” in general in “corporate” settings is lacking.  As a result of this lack of openness, there are also foundational “trust” issues in most corporate environments that go far beyond a typical entrepreneurial environment.  And, without a high degree of “trust”, most will never come close to sharing about their personal faith.

Another reason I believe people in corporate environments don’t share as openly revolves around a lack of understand of policies and religious harassment laws.  What I find is that people interrupt these things far more too stringent than their intended purpose.  Yes, religious freedom seems to be a lighting rod at times when raised as a topic, however, we still live in a country that still allows for us to talk openly about our particular faith.

One CEO of a large international company once said, “we have just created a ‘faith-friendly culture’.  The same way people come in Monday morning talking about the weekend football game, we encourage our employees to share what they learned from the message they heard in their place of worship.”  This “faith-friendly culture” allows for a high degree of openness and transparency which in turn leads to a high level of trust in their culture.  And yes, that all results in a high level of performance for that particular business who’s brand is a household name to all of you.

So, chances are, if you’re not having “faith” conversations periodically within your culture, than I would go as far to say that you’re not having “open” conversations about many aspects of your business.  I’m not saying faith has to be a core value of your company and something regularly discussed.  What I am saying is if you are suppressing “faith” conversations or never hear them, you’re likely never hearing things that you need to hear about your business in general.  You lack “openness” in your culture.

Do you talk about “faith” in your environment?  Stop and think about the message within this message today and let me know your thoughts.

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