I haven’t thought of culture change a lot, but I have been hearing a bunch about it, especially in professional and collegiate football. With more awareness of head trauma and how the game [should] be played and enforced, we’ve seen the game altered just enough toward safety to make it enjoyable to watch again.
However, I never realized how deep the NFL is taking this culture change until this morning when I heard Clay Matthews may be out for several weeks due to a broken thumb. In the past, a broken thumb would get a cast and bandaged up and the player would return to the lineup the very next week (ala Brett Favre).
Now, it’s taken care of properly and the player doesn’t return until they are medically cleared. Even for a guy like Clay Matthews, who plays hard and breaks hard.
At first my reaction to the news was, what! Matthews out for a month or more? Here is a guy who can’t buy an injury break. As talented as he is, he’s been injured to some extent every year around the mid part of the season.
It’s a broken thumb you ninny…
Old school way of looking at football, right? If your leg, head or arm isn’t ripped off get back in and play. Yet, there is this new prevailing wind in football about seeing the human as human and not a commodity. True, they are millionaires and should push their bodies a bit further, which they do by non stop training, studying, being away from their families, etc.
Where does the player commodity end and the player human begin?
Maybe this is the genesis of the culture change that is needed. No more will we see players at any level as performers and commodities, but as humans, playing a sport they love, for the love of sport, rather than for the entertainment it provides us. Sure, I’ll still watch football because it is entertainment, but I’ll remember the person under the pads, rather than the million dollar commodity I see on the field.
If the hard-knocked, nose grinding NFL can do it, so can we. Maybe we can start taking this approach to our work as well. Sometimes it takes a major, pop culture icon, like the NFL, to do some major house cleaning and reevaluate their business operation and procedures. Where does the commodity end and the person begin?
Jesus was amazing at looking at us for who we were and now what we were or what we did. He could see to the heart of the people and their true intents, not their performance. As managers, supervisors, leaders, employees and followers, what would happen if we stopped looking at the performance and started looking at the person. After all, Jesus knew we were all a little broken, we all needed to get well (Matt 9:12).
I’m not saying that we should stop working hard and become vacant from work. But instead of pushing people past their breaking point, past their brink, we should realize that humans aren’t commodities. They aren’t “overhead” and they aren’t machines. People are people. If a co-worker is having a bad day, let’s reach out to them. Instead of always proving we’re right, let’s give the credit to someone else or be vulnerable and willing to be wrong for once.
Managers and supervisors, get to know your employees, not only for their abilities but for who they are. This will not only make you see your employees through a new lens, but it may actually loosen your heart up a bit, too. You’ll be amazed at how fast petty things fall aside and how quickly your home life improves. Believe me, I worked in staffing for quite a while. People rarely get fired, or should I say, people’s positions rarely get terminated, due to performance issues. It’s usually an attitude, personality conflict or a culture/environment issue.
I’m blessed to work at a job where I’m valued not only for what I can do, but for who I am at the core. And I get to pass this blessing onto others who want to start their own dreams and pursue their own passions. It took a long time to arrive at a job like this, but it was worth the hard work. And now I get to share the humanity of work with others, rather than the commodity of stripping them down from a human with dignity to a being of it’s former self.
I guarantee, if people were seen for who they are rather than what they can do at work, our national levels of depression, anxiety, stress, need to be right, our ability of turning opinion into cold hard fact and our inability to cope and love would lessen. We’d be less caring about our selfish and material desires and opinions. We’d be more caring about our neighbors and those who oppose us. We’d be able to see our enemies as friends, and learn how to communicate to deeper levels than before.
We’d be living live to the fullest (John 10:10)
May God Bless your life today, in this moment, right now.
By most account, America's young consumers are stereotyped as a selfish, impulsive, highly indulged bunch. More so than other age groups, Gen Y has been shown to splurge on restaurant meals they probably can't afford, pamper themselves with impulse buys, and partake in "self-gifting" during the holidays. They've also been criticized in the workplace for focusing on their own needs rather than on-the-job performance.
Part One Recap:
Growing up millennials were told:
- Go to college right after high school and get a degree, any degree—everyone needs to go to college, a 4-year degree is preferred, a post-graduate will solidify your way
- Work extra hard, get solid grades, and join as many extracurricular activities as possible
- Gain work experience through internships and externships
- Even if you take out student loans you’ll get a strong paying job that will cover the payments
- By the time you graduate a mass exodus of boomers will be retiring opening up a lot of jobs
What reality has taught us:
- Technology and streamlining/downsizing/rightsizing have eliminated many positions
- The economy crashed causing many boomers to lose life savings or find crushing investment losses
- Boomers just like to work and work and work and work
- There are many millennials with college degrees working in retail, foodservice or other traditionally low wage/low hour positions
As a result, many millennials feel duped, shortchanged, under appreciated and financially strapped from buying homes, getting married, raising families and paying off loan debt
So how does God view work?
As I said last week, God went first. Work was meant for something that we were supposed to do to worship and glorify Him through using our gifts and talents, regardless of our actual work position. We were meant to work to bring dignity and resources into our home. The following scriptures (NIV) give a snapshot of work and will be the defining scriptures for the rest of the blog. Continue reading →
Growing up in my parents and grandparents world, work to me was taught as something you did for 25-30 years at the same place of employment, maybe two…three if you’re unlucky or bored, and then retired. Previous to my grandparents, and even part of my grandparents, most people worked in an agricultural job, either farming or something related, and rarely made the big move to the city to take on different styles of work.
Heaven forbid an office job!
Fast forward to today and we have a staggering amount of young professionals entering the workforce, underemployed, misemployed or dissatisfied with their current career. In addition, many boomers and Generation Xers are still working hard to make ends meet. A lot of these people are also in the same boat as the millennial generation in work, and sadly, even more of these folks are unemployed!
Gone are the days of loyalty of the employer to the employee and vice versa. Earning opportunity, economic and financial pressure, greed, lust for the corner office, and easier transferability of skills and ideas, lead to most career minded individuals changing jobs at least 11-15 times in one career.
That’s a lot of moving personal items in copy paper boxes! Continue reading →
The ancient Chinese proverb reveals, “Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.” Certainly this proverb shows the power of education and mentorship designed for a young apprentice and the seasoned veteran.
The Junior Achievement (JA) Business Challenge extends this proverb into the culture of our 21st Century business environment. The purpose of JA is “to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.” To achieve this end, JA has created the Business Challenge capstone experience for high school students to really understand what it takes to create, compete and be successful in today’s business climate. JA gives students the education needed to navigate business, and through the power of mentorship, partnership and collaboration, the JA Business Challenge equips the students to engage in entrepreneurial endeavors that will teach them practical business fundamentals and grant them the confidence needed to live out their boundless potential, creativity and talents. Continue reading →
In my leadership classes that I took in college and graduate school, a lot of the personality assessment focused on the Myers Briggs Test. For those who don’t know the Myers Briggs Test helps determine your personality and how you normally interact with other people and teams. By knowing what type you are, you can establish your leadership style and tactics and learn how to become a more effective leader.
A quick rundown of the dichotomy shows how the personality types match up:
|Extraversion (E) –||(I) Introversion|
|Sensing (S) –||(N) Intuition|
|Thinking (T) –||(F) Feeling|
|Judging (J) –||(P) Perception|
Or for those who prefer pictures:
So with all of this in mind, here is a comical look at the common prayers by a stereotype of the personality types highlighted in this beloved assessment:
ISTJ: Lord help me to relax about insignificant details beginning tomorrow at 11:41.23 am e.s.t.
ISTP: God help me to consider people’s feelings, even if most of them ARE hypersensitive. Continue reading →
I was born a “nice guy”. At least I had that stigma associated with being a nice and good kid. Looking back, I was pretty nice, maybe a little naive, but certainly did not like being called a nice guy. Even at a young age I realized that nice guys don’t the get the corner office, the girl, or fast car. They usually are a typecast geek, stifled to a joke. Yet, there I was, the nice guy.
Nice guys finish last…period.
No matter how much I tried to shake it, I was known as the nice guy, even in college when I was anything but nice. I hated who I was. I didn’t want to be the nice guy…I wanted prestige and a name for myself more than the heart God created for me. Continue reading →