It’s Time for a Heart Check!

If we were to honestly do an assessment of the “heart” of your business, which of the following scenarios would best apply?

“It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time:…a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness;…paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on…”

Stated differently, we might list words like: “untruthful, discontent, worry, impetuous, hard driving, immorality, idolatry, fits of anger, emotional outburst, & selfish ambition.”

Wow, tough stuff huh!

Or, is it possible this describes the “heart” of your business?

“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard-things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”

Stating this a bit differently, we might list words like: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and others oriented.”   Yes, for those who are familiar with the Bible, these are the “fruits of the spirit” and the passages above are taken from the book of Galatians 5:19-23 MSG.

So, which is it? Clearly, it must be the second scenario as the first is far too harsh…right?

Let’s not skim over this too quickly. Seriously, if you were to look at a typical day within your business, are you sure we wouldn’t see things like “discontent, worry, fits of anger, or emotional outburst?”

In our executive coaching as well as association with Truth@Work, one of the things we spend quality time on is understanding the true heart of a leader. Reality is that most of us experience things like “discontent, worry, selfish ambition, etc.” on a regular basis. If you don’t think so, just ask those around you; you might be surprised.

That being said, we also find circumstances that leader’s hearts outwardly appear to be in great condition, yet, inwardly, they are wrestling to find things like “joy, peace, patience, self-control, etc.”

Let me give you an example. Some time ago, there was a leader of a growing business whom had two different distribution channels. For the purpose of the story, we’ll call these distribution channels, “peace” and “worry”. While both outwardly appeared to be great opportunities which were in alignment with the businesses values, mission, and purpose, something just wasn’t right with the “worry” distribution channel. At a “heart” level, the leader was experiencing things like “discontentment, worry, hard drive, and emotional outbursts”. A bit more troubling was that “worry”, long term, had the potential of being much more profitable than the “peace” distribution channel.

For months, while most wouldn’t have noticed, the leader wrestled at a heart level. Why would “worry” look like such a great opportunity when we got involved? “Worry” has the potential of being so much more profitable than “peace”. Why am I wrestling with this? Others are doing what “worry” does and there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with this distribution channel. Am I simply being “selfish and discontent” when I look at “worry?”

Vice versa, “peace” had its share of opportunities and wasn’t a cake walk. However, reflecting on the leader’s heart, he clearly was more characterized by words like, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” in association with “peace”. No, “peace” didn’t have near the potential for financial results that “worry” did. Yet, there were many non-tangibles that came with “peace”. One of the most important to the leader was his own personal “peace” versus “worry”.

So, after much time of reflection and counsel, the decision was made; it was time for “worry” to go. The transition plan was relatively painless, especially since the leader had been reflecting on “worry” for months. While the story still is unfolding today, the leader’s experience with “peace” far outweighs that of “worry”. We’ll plan to keep you posted as things progress.

At Truth@Work, we would differentiate “worry” and “peace” by modeling a “Business in the Flesh vs. Business in the Spirit”.

Business in the Flesh

We anticipated that most of you would desire to see the “heart” of your business aligned more with the characteristics of a “Business in the Spirit”. However, once again, are they really in alignment?

For many, this time of year is a time of reflection and refocus. We encourage you to assess the “heart” of your business across all aspects of your business. The story above dealt with a sales distribution channel, however, there are several other aspects of business you as a leader are encouraged and likely are assessing. For example, do you have that one person on staff that always seems to yield “results”; however, exhibits characteristics more in line with a “Business in the Flesh”? Or, possibly, you have multiple areas of “worry” within your business in today’s tough economic climate.

If so, don’t go it alone! While we didn’t emphasize it above, the counsel of a group of like-minded business leaders and a personal coach were invaluable in working through the situation. Chances are the leader in the story would still be floundering today if it weren’t for these resources. Would you like to learn more of how we can help? Please contact us for a no cost, no obligation consultation.

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