Hope Wissel

Help! My Job is Killing Me!


Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message.

I recently stopped at a local discount store to pick up a few things. When I went to check out, the cashier looked very familiar. He must have seen the question in my eyes because he smiled and said, “It’s good to see you, Mrs. Southerland.” When I heard his voice, I immediately recognized him as the manager of a local grocery store where I frequently shopped. Before I could say one word, he explained, “I lost my job at the grocery store. Evidently, I needed to change mission fields for a while.” Now that is what I call a heavenly perspective of an earthly job.

God uses our work as one of His tools to mold us into who He wants us to be. Stress comes when we view our job as our main life mission. It isn’t. It is the God-given opportunity to provide the tools we need to accomplish our life mission.

The apostle Paul writes, “Life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about God’s mighty kindness and love” (Acts 20:24, LB).

Paul worked as a tentmaker, a church planter, and an author. His purpose never changed, but his work certainly did. Many of us do not need a different job. We just need a different attitude and a new point of view about the job we have.

How do we make that happen?

Start by envisioning Jesus standing in the midst of your work place as your real boss. Then look for the life lessons God provides through your work.

God uses our work to teach us responsibility. Meeting deadlines, completing assigned tasks with excellence, showing respect for co-workers (even the abrasive ones) and working without supervision are all valuable life lessons learned on the job. When we try to cut corners, stress steps in and wreaks havoc in our attitude about work.

God uses people at work to teach us valuable lessons about relationships. Cooperation, fairness, flexibility, humility, and patience are relationship skills of a successful worker. Stress comes when we stray from the guidelines God gives us for godly relationships. Our workplace is not only one of our God-ordained mission fields, but it is also a classroom for learning to love the unlovable and forgive the unforgivable. You may very well be the only sermon your co-workers ever hear.

God uses our work to teach us how to serve. The way we serve God is by serving others. God wants us to grow spiritually at work by becoming a servant to those with whom we work. It is easy to serve the people who sit beside us in a worship service each Sunday, but a real servant serves on the job … every single day. God asks us to accept others unconditionally, encourage other continually, forgive others freely, and help others willingly.

Attitudes never sit still. They constantly move and change.

An attitude is a pattern of thinking and a filter through which we view life.

We can choose to be honest about our attitude at work, and we can choose to change our attitude about work, but most importantly, we can choose to pray for God’s attitude about our work. When we can’t change our attitude, the One who lives in us can. He can give us His attitude. Exchanging our attitude for His always eliminates stress.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel, So You Want to be a Leader?

Humility

monday morning

Happy MONDAY!  Can you tell that I love the little minions?  Every time I see one I think of The Crafty Recluse’s tag line “you are one in a minion” and I smile.

For those in direct sales, the key to growing into leadership is building a team, right?  We all what the “dream team”.  The ones who are focused, consistent sellers and all want the same things that we do.  The truth is that the people on our team are there for a reason.  They may not be someone else’s definition of a dream team but their are God’s definition of a dream team for YOU!  I LOVE the diverse personalities that are on my dream team.

As leaders, we are always looking for what it takes to be a great leader.  I am working my way through the Leadership Bible every day to be able to raise “my lid” as a leader.  Tracy Simmon summed it up in one word – humility:

Not the sickly sweet distorted version of humility which turns some people into doormats, but the powerful kind of humility that moves mountains while always upholding the dignity of every person involved.

I’ll take a humble, unskilled, inexperienced leader over an arrogant, experienced, highly skilled “leader” any day of the week.

So, what are some traits of a humble leader?  Here are just a few:

 

1. Admit It: You admit your weaknesses, flaws, and the things you don’t do well. You laugh at yourself. You know you have an inner freak and you’ve embraced it. Humility allows you to give an honest assessment of yourself.

 

2. Ask for Help: You know when you need to ask for help from others and you’re not afraid do so. You’re likely to hit your limit at some point, whether you’re running out of time, coming up against a lack of knowledge or missing skillset, or just feeling overwhelmed, and you’re not afraid to ask for help.

3. Better Than You: You do not feel threatened by (and are willing to hire) people who are smarter than you, have greater skills and experience than you…and you’re happy to pay them more than you make. You know that hiring people who are better than you doesn’t diminish you or your role.

 

4. Take Responsibility: When there’s a failure or a mistake made by someone on your team, you acknowledge that part of the failure belongs to you. You take responsibility for your team’s mistakes.

5. You Can Handle the Truth: You welcome constructive criticism. You ask for feedback—and openly listen to it and receive it—even when it’s hard to hear. 

6. Apologize: You’re willing to admit when you’ve blown it and to apologize for your mistakes.

7. Let It Go: You don’t always need to be right. You know it’s better to let some things go rather than trying to prove your point.

8. Forgive Others: You forgive others when they make mistakes. You speak with them about their errors and then let them start all over with a clean slate. 

9. Give Credit: You look for ways to give away credit for work done, shouting it out to anyone who will listen, rather than to soak it all up for yourself. 

 

10. Share the Knowledge: You willingly share your knowledge with others. You have no need to hoard it in order to look smarter or better than others. You want to help others develop and grow as far as possible.

I don’t know about you but even on this short list, I found a few of my own weaknesses.  In the areas where some may see me as “arrogant”, the real reason is probably due to a feeling of inadequacy as a result of shame and fear.  Yes, let’s get gut honest with ourselves so that we can be better leaders for our teams.

Would your team consider you a truly humble leader or an arrogant leader? Or do you bounce between the two.  I would love to know your thoughts…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!