Spirituality in the Workplace

Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda tells this story: He was on the road with his team in Cincinnati when he decided to attend Sunday morning mass. Whom should he see across the aisle but his rival manager, John McNamara of the Reds. Their teams were scheduled to play later that day. The two eyed each other but never spoke. When the service was over, McNamara knelt to pray. On his way out, he lit a votive candle. Lasorda—on his way out—blew it out.

Lasorda’s anecdote perfectly portrays the fragile balance that often exists between personal spirituality and the competitive spirit—not only in sports, but also in many areas of life. Indeed, the world seems locked in a state of dynamic tension between giving deference to others and gaining an advantage over them.

CFBC Logo Colors Communicate

When you were preparing to launch your business, a key consideration was the graphic design of your business logo, website, signage, letterhead, business cards and other tools for giving your business a distinct identity.

The ChristianFamilyBusinessCenter.com logo colors reflect the meaning of the words they represent.

Christian

What value would you place on your faith in Christ? In 1 Peter 1:3-7, the apostle says that Christ has given us a new birth into a living hope, an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. Our inheritance is kept in heaven. When our faith is tested during difficulties, Peter says, it is refined and of greater worth than gold. Gold seemed an appropriate color for the first cornerstone of CFBC. Not the gold of earthly treasure, but the precious inheritance that awaits us in eternity.

Coping with Stress

It’s a quiet afternoon at Wonder Widget.  Business owner Bruce Banner is reviewing the first quarter profit and loss statement when Joe Schmertz, the IT manager, bursts through the door. “We’ve got big trouble, Boss,” he says nervously. “The changes we made to the computer software to increase productivity caused the entire system to crash. That big order for Great Gizmo that was supposed to ship today won’t go out. The vendor who did the software upgrade can’t send anyone until Monday. No one told Bingle in sales, and he just informed Great Gizmo their widgets are on the way.”

The-Incredible-Hulk-Diet

The veins in Banner’s forehead begin to bulge and pulsate. “Do you have any idea how upsetting this is?” he growls at his cowering manager “I’m mad, Schmertz, really mad.”

Mission Invaluable

Good morning, Mr. (or Ms.) Proprietor. Your business, Wonder Widget, has just celebrated its first birthday. Intelligence reports indicate the presence of a positive bottom line. However, some ominous occurrences signal trouble ahead.

Mission Statement

Productivity has begun to slip. Your employees are becoming complacent and susceptible to surfing the net and texting their friends. Your competitors have gained ground on you and kidnapped some of your customers.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to craft a business mission statement that will fire up the troops and focus their work, catapult Wonder Widget over its competitors and capture new customers. As always, should you or any of your team members be conflicted or confused, your office manager will figure it out for you. Good luck!

PMS in the Workplace

First, let’s be clear about one thing: This post was my wife’s idea. She is one of the area’s foremost orthodontists (shameless plug #1) and a wonderful spouse (shameless plug #2). As a professional who has been in practice for 25 years, she is a good source of ideas for this blog.

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Following an attack of killer premenstrual syndrome (PMS) one day, my wife suggested that both men and women need to be more sensitive to the harmful effect this condition can have on workplace relationships (not to mention domestic relationships). I agree. Thankfully, PMS is no longer a personal issue for my wife.

Yes, PMS is a sensitive subject, the mere mention of which may seem out of place in a business blog and may cause some apprehension among readers. However, this blog has established a reputation for boldly going where no blog has gone before. Besides, I wince at the thought of ignoring my wife’s suggestion.

The Joshua Principle

Dateline: The Desert of Sinai, 1444 B.C. Three years have passed since the Jewish people left Egypt on their journey to the Promised Land. They have received the Ten Commandments and conducted the first census to determine the number of men fit for military service. Now it’s time to move.

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Leaving their camp at the foot of Mount Sinai, the Israelites march through an inhospitable wilderness, enduring great hardships as they journey to Canaan, the land where their dreams will come true. When the eager throng reaches the outskirts of Canaan, Moses selects 12 men to sneak across the Jordan River and check out the conditions in their future home.

The reviews are decidedly mixed. Canaan is indeed a land flowing with milk and honey, but it is also inhabited by giants and dotted with fortified cities. Taking possession of the Promised Land is not going to be a cakewalk.

Calming Crabby Customers

Clara Peller made an indelible impression on television viewers in a 1984 Wendy’s commercial playing the part of an elderly fast food patron who wasn’t happy with her meal. Remember the scene? Clara and her friends are standing at a restaurant counter eyeing their food order, a tiny burger sitting atop an immense bun. Suddenly, Clara bellows, “Where’s the beef?”

Calming Crabby Customers

There was something irresistible about the diminutive octogenarian snarling at the fast food chain’s competition. Wendy’s credited that ad with helping boost sales 31 percent and profits 24 percent in 1984. Furthermore, the “Where’s the beef?” line became a national catch phrase for demanding quality. Vice President Walter Mondale even used it to suggest a lack of substance in his 1984 presidential primary rival, Gary Hart.

How’s Your Vision Thing?

In 1987 former President George H.W. Bush took a lot of flak for a comment he made in response to the suggestion that he turn his attention from short-term objectives and look to the longer term. He appeared to brush off the idea by saying, “Oh, the vision thing.”

Vision Thing

Political commentators had a field day with Bush’s apparent belief that his job as president was tending to the day-to-day challenges of running the nation efficiently and dealing with problems as they emerged, rather than articulating and pursuing a vision for America’s future. Then along came Bill Clinton with his campaign theme song, “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow,” and America swooned.

Americans are big on the concept of vision. Early in our schooling, we learned that our nation was born from our founding fathers’ vision of freedom. As youngsters, we were confronted with the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Upon beginning our careers, we were challenged to set and achieve goals. Virtually every endeavor we undertake has an implicit desirable future outcome. Your business should be no exception.

A “Phoney” Can Foul Up Your Business

On a recent visit to an auto parts store to return a previous purchase, I encountered a counter person who gave me a great topic for a post … unintentionally.

Ready to pay for my purchase, I stood there while the employee finished a loud and obviously personal conversation with a co-worker in the back room. The counter guy was about to say hello to me when another co-worker indicated that a phone call was for him. I guess he figured, Oh what the heck, I might as well take care of this customer while I take my call. I suppose I should have been glad I didn’t have to wait until he was finished rehashing the previous evening with his buddy.

PMA

When I was a child, one of my favorite stories was “The Little Engine That Could.” Allegedly, after each of the umpteen times I heard the story, I used to act like the little engine and chug around the house, saying, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” This account was related to me by my mother—so it may be somewhat exaggerated for the sake of cuteness.

“The Little Engine That Could” was my first encounter with literature devoted to promoting a positive mental attitude. Although I haven’t done any chugging since I graduated from college, I still think of that story whenever I’m faced with a difficult situation or daunting task.