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Archive for the ‘Serve’ Category

Regardless of the focus of your work,  many of us interact in some way with an Administrative Professional. As Wednesday is Administrative Professionals’ Day, it is a perfect day for us to give back! To say thank you to someone with a real servant heart.

Today, there are more than 4.1 million secretaries and administrative assistants working in the United States, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, and 8.9 million people working in various administrative support roles. More than 475,000 administrative professionals are employed in Canada. Millions more administrative professionals work in offices all over the world.

If you are an Administrative Assistant…THANK YOU! I have found in my years in the marketplace that a talented “Admin” has an enormous impact on an organization. As a general rule, Administrative Assistants are smart, organized, have a servant heart, have good communication skills, know how to say no, can manage multiple projects simultaneously, and most of all they are trustworthy and of strong integrity.

WorkMatters would like to honor one Administrative Professional today by donating one ticket to our May 4 WorkMatters Leadercast here in northwest Arkansas! Be the first to send us an email and we will be honored to make that happen.

If you work with an Administrative Assistant, here are a few tips to say thank you:

  1. Simply walk up to their desk and tell them how grateful you are for the important work they do.
  2. Nothing says thank you like a DaySpring or Hallmark card or e-card!
  3. Give them an inspirational book with a personal note written on the inside cover.
  4. Take them to a thank you lunch with their boss/es.
  5. Providing training opportunities (like the Leadercast) through continuing education, self-study materials, or seminars.

Administrative Professionals…your work matters!

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.    Ephesians 6:7


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All of us want to be humble leaders. It sounds good. It sounds right. But pride is a mighty warrior. It fights for the enemy. And we so easily fall prey to the enemy.

Some of us seem to be born with more humility than others. Some of us have great mothers or fathers that modeled humility. But most of us get out in the world, especially out in the marketplace…and humility doesn’t seem to win. It doesn’t seem to get promoted. It doesn’t seem to get talked about or noticed.

So pride drives until we GET humbled. Then, we begin to open our eyes. We develop a vision for a greater purpose for our lives and our work. The Bible begins to show us that humility has value!

Our friends at Catalyst have shared some great ideas on working to become a humble leader. If you are intrigued with these ideas, click over and read the Catablog for the details.

10 ATTRIBUTES OF A HUMBLE LEADER

  1. Dangerous trust
  2. Sincere investment
  3. Gentle, but strong
  4. Readily admits mistakes
  5. Forgives easily
  6. Quickly diverts attention
  7. Remains thankful
  8. Recognizes limitations
  9. Shares authority
  10. Invites feedback
Marketplace Scripture:
“For those who make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be made great.”
Luke 14:11

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Rob Hey continues his outstanding and practical teaching on what Serving looks like at work.  Print this and and put it where you will see it everyday when you get to the office!

This week at work, I took a close look at what I actually accomplished in serving others. My personal goal has always been to be able to serve others without making it a task.  It should be something that comes natural and part of my daily routine.  It is so easy to get absorbed in “self” and what we want to accomplish.  This week I’d like to focus on 5 ways to serve others which are a little out of the ordinary that we may not have thought about when it comes to serving.

  1.  “Be A Friend to Someone Who Doesn’t Deserve It”.  We know who these people are at work.  What we don’t know is what is going on in their lives.  Maybe they’ve made some wrong choices and need someone to help them get on the right track.  Reach out to them because you know that nobody else probably will.
  2.  “Put Away Your Cell Phone in Conversation”.  We are all guilty of having the cell phone right on our desk when we visit with people.  Even if we don’t answer it, if it rings, beeps, or vibrates, we take our attention off the conversation even if it is brief.  Make it a point to tell them you need to turn off your phone because their conversation is important to you.
  3. “Allow Others to Speak Before You”.  In a meeting you have scheduled, start by asking everyone to share their thoughts and ideas before you speak.  Let them know you want to hear what they are thinking, listen intently and take notes.  I truly believe taking notes when others are speaking shows a great deal of respect and in turn, they understand how important they are to the conversation.
  4. “Buy Someone Lunch”.  Take a day in the next week to look for someone at work that you can take to lunch.  Not the same people you go with on a regular basis, but someone out of your comfort zone.  Who at work looks like they are struggling?  Who always eats in the cafeteria or break room and you know probably can’t afford to eat out?  Find that person and just invite them to have lunch with you.
  5. “Hand Write a Thank You Card”.  One of my favorite things to do at work on a regular basis is to recognize someone through a card or note.  It can be recognition for anything as long as it is genuine.  “Congratulations on winning that award, Good Job on the presentation yesterday, I was really impressed with the way you handled that situation, I’m really proud of you for earning that promotion”.

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Rob Hey continues to share his powerful insights regarding how we can more effectively serve those we work with.  This is a powerful story!

A few weeks ago, one of my fellow co-workers experienced some unexpected major health issues and ended up needing open heart surgery.  It was a shock to everyone at the office as it happened so quick.  In the break room getting coffee the next morning, I heard several people talking about what they should do for him.  Does the family need any help?  Do you think he wants any visitors?  I listened throughout the day to many people asking me questions regarding how he was doing, and was he recovering ok.  The next morning, not as much talk as everyone went about their daily routine and every now and then someone would mention him, but he sure wasn’t the point of conversation today.  Everyone had moved on with their busy lives.

I struggled as well with what to do for those two days.  Heart surgery is a big deal and I didn’t know how I could help him or his family.  The third morning I drove to the hospital and went straight to his room.   He looked up and gave me a smile.   I went over to his bedside and said, “I didn’t know if you needed anything, but I thought I’d drop by and just check on you”.  He was so appreciative and said nobody but his family had been to visit.  He didn’t have the strength to say much and so I just sat in a chair in his room while he dozed in and out for about 45 minutes.

His wife came in, informed me that she had been running a few errands for the kids, and had to leave him alone for a little while.  She didn’t know who she could call to come sit with him since everyone was so busy.  I informed her that I was always available, just to call.  Her words that followed really made me appreciate the time I took out of my day to come see him, “Thanks so much, I didn’t want to interrupt anyone’s day and just didn’t know who to reach out to”.  She called me two more times over the next few days and asked  if I could do small errands for her which I was more than happy to do.

The point is….Don’t ever underestimate the power of just showing up when someone is in need.    During those times, people don’t always think clearly so sometimes you just need to show them you are there for them.  Often they won’t ask for help, but they really need it. This is especially true at work!

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Rob Hey continues to share his thoughts  this month on how we can serve more effectively at work.

It is amazing to see people around the office that will step up and serve when the time calls for it.  We all have talents and gifts that can be used in powerful ways if we will just decide that serving is a priority and open our eyes to the opportunities that present themselves all over the workplace.  These opportunities can come from all kinds of directions.  Let me share a story with you about someone I work with who was a real inspiration to me in this way.

We all remember the tornado that went through Joplin, MO last year as if it were yesterday.  It was one of those moments in life you will always remember what you were doing when you heard about the devastation so close to home.  The next day at the office, so many people were asking, “what can we do”?  Several wanted to immediately drive to Joplin to help with the recovery effort, yet nobody was really sure how to get started or what to do.  After listening quietly to all the concern throughout the day, one of our associates, John, asked if he could talk to me in my office.  John lives in Monett, MO, very close to Joplin, and had served as a Missouri State Trooper in a previous career.  In a very short amount of time, John showed me a plan he had put on paper of how many volunteers we would need around the clock to feed emergency workers in downtown Joplin.  The plan included supplies, location, emergency phone numbers, vehicles, and everything else that would have us serving food within a couple of hours.  Once the plan was in place, the volunteers were assembled and a schedule was put together allowing us to serve food in Joplin for the next two weeks.

What started as concern and a lot of uncertainty, quickly turned into action when one person stepped up with a plan.  Over the next two weeks, our entire office staff had taken time out of their schedule to serve emergency workers in Joplin.

Many times in our day-to-day routine, it just takes someone to step up and provide the leadership necessary to make something happen.  So many people around you want to help serve others, yet they don’t know where to start.  As you start to respond to these opportunities, your co-workers will be inspired by the example you set and serving others can become a common part of your workplace experience.

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We have been teaching, writing and talking about Influence this month, one of the Seven Pillars of Faith at Work. As leaders, walking (sprinting is more like it) through the end of 2011 and into a fresh new year, Influence has to be omnipresent.

I am reading Leadership is Dead: How Influence is Reviving It by Giant Impact CEO Jeremie Kubicek. Jeremie says “great leaders with true influence build relationships by serving the needs of those within their spheres of influence, even as they serve the needs of their businesses.”

It is the “even as they serve the needs of their businesses”  phrase that we should consider. There are certainly numerous opportunities for us to have influence in our personal lives. What about work? In the busy lives that we lead today, how can we be more intentional about influencing in the flow of our day at work?

Here are a few suggestions for you to consider.

  1. Encourage – take the time to share with someone what you see in them. Their gifts, their skills. It doesn’t have to be a long discussion. It can follow a meeting where you simply pull that person aside and say, “you are really good at…”
  2. Mentor – a big, sometimes scary word. That man or woman 5, 10, 20 years younger than you? Their watching. Show them the way. Maybe you can take them to lunch one day. Pour a little of what’s in your cup, in their cup.
  3. Serve - we are pro’s at hiding when we are hurting, especially at work. When you see or hear that someone in your work is going through a difficult time, there is no greater time to serve. Maybe it is an encouraging private word. Maybe it’s an email. Maybe it’s a cup of coffee. Remember those people who came along side of you in your time of need? Now you can use your experience to serve another.

Lord, slow us down enough to notice. Plant the seed in us to be intentional with the influence that you give us, especially in our work. Amen

“You’re here to be light…If I make you light-bearers…shine! By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God…” Matthew 5:14-16

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For those of you that could not attend the WorkMatters Eight to Five event in early September, here are some tools to help you on your faith@work journey.

This month we are focusing on the first and most important of the Seven Pillars of Faith at Work – RELATIONSHIP. Here are seven simple “how to” tips to help you be successful in abiding with God at work:

  1. Morning bible reading and prayer - include your work!
  2. Wear a wrist band as a reminder to “think God.”
  3. Meet weekly with trusted co-workers to discuss/pray for your work.
  4. Ask God for his peace in your work.  Start watching for it.
  5. Crazy but…the privacy of the bathroom makes an awesome prayer room.
  6. Over lunch one day, fast and serve in a food kitchen or homeless shelter.
  7. Be intentional with the Seven Pillars of Faith at Work.

What suggestions do you have?

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We write, teach and equip frequently on the subject of Servant Leadership. It is Jesus’ leadership model and therefore something we take very seriously. It is certainly one of our Seven Pillars of Faith and Work.

Servant leadership is simply about serving others. Humbling ourselves to help others. Sometimes that takes place inside the workplace. Other times we can use our work to help others in need.

Many of you will remember one of the most lethal tornadoes in U.S. history ripping through our neighbor to the north in Joplin, MO. Not long after the tornado, our Young Professionals ministry ENGAGE, organized a trip to Joplin on Memorial Day to serve those in great need. It was overwhelming to see the extent of the damage and resulting needs.

God used that trip in a very powerful way for one of our ENGAGE leaders. Read this excerpt below of her story (NWAOnline.com):

Candice Haines had an idea while on the ruined streets of Joplin, Mo., just days after the May 22 tornado that killed 159 people.

“I talked to one elderly gentleman named Ken, and he was just standing in front of his destroyed house, and I asked if there was anything I could do to help him,” Haines said. “He asked what I did, and I told him I sold eggs.

He said that he loved eggs and that before the tornado he had eaten one or two every day.”

At the time, Haines, 26, was taking off work at Rogers-based CCF Brands to volunteer with a church group to help out in Joplin.

“This elderly man told her that Haines he would really love some eggs, and I guess that idea kind of percolated in her head,” said Zach Tusinger, a Joplin lawyer who attended school with Haines at Drury University in Springfield, Mo.

“I couldn’t stop thinking about this guy,” Haines said.

So she contacted the American Egg Board, which has organized many community breakfasts through its Good Egg Project, and she began planning one of her own.

“I took a small idea and hopefully we’ll make a bigger impact than getting eggs for just him and his neighbors,” said Haines, whose mother, Jami, is a teacher at R.E. Baker Elementary School in Bentonville.

The idea certainly grew beyond that. The breakfast, scheduled for Aug. 20 at Missouri Southern State University, will likely feed more than 800 Joplin residents, she said.

What does servant leadership look like to you? Are you willing to act on it?

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Today, we held our final Joseph Project meeting. It was bitter/sweet, for sure. For 2 1/2 years, WorkMatters has worked to “alter the journey of business people between jobs.” We have held 119 meetings and been blessed to see over 200 people find jobs through The Joseph Project (read their stories).

One statistic seems to get lost in the blessings of altering the journey of those between jobs. Over 40 leaders have volunteered their time to teach and inspire hundreds of people between jobs! Today we asked 12 of them to make one last return to coach and challenge and encourage a roomful that needed it.

What has amazed me over the past 2 1/2 years, is how passionate these leaders have been about serving those between jobs. They not only come and speak, but they hand out their business cards and beg people to call them. They ask what else they can do. A leading Recruiting firm’s leader said to me, “our entire company is at your disposal!”

I found it fascinating to watch these 12 influential leaders arrive at 8:00a.m. for breakfast, speak on a panel, then stay and work the room until 11:00a.m.

What does that say to you?

For even the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve…  Mark 10:25

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Regarding Work

Last night, WorkMatters ENGAGE marketplace ministry for Young Professionals had our monthly Gathering. We were blessed to have Mike Rusch share with a roomful of young leaders on the subject of Serving.

Mike is leader at Nickelodeon and also a co-founder of the Cobblestone Project, a non-profit organization with a dream of “a community without need”.

In my preparation to introduce him, Mike sent me the following, which I wanted to share with the world. This is a powerful and thought-provoking perspective on our work:

“Regarding Work…pretty much every “poor” person I’ve met really didn’t want my hand outs.  What they wanted was a job and the dignity that comes with work. I’m finding that the solution to poverty is 1) the reestablishing of support structures (something the church is excellent at) & 2) the ability for people to provide for themselves.  As a result, my passion for work/business has changed from a means for me to have what I want, to a way to create jobs, development and demand for products that allows people to improve their quality of life.”

Process that…what does that mean to you?

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