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Category >> Leadership
Aug 15
2019

Repurpose Business Assets

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

During World War II, many items were in short supply and even rationed. A slogan widely used was “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” The point was that everything needed to be utilized and nothing should be wasted. 

In business there are times when we can repurpose business assets. We see an example in Scripture, “For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says about the houses in this city and the royal palaces of Judah that have been torn down to be used against the siege ramps and the sword.” (Jeremiah 33:4, NIV) Hopefully we won’t need to tear down our house and  repurpose the materials to defend our lives.

May 06
2019

Wanting Advice

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When a prospective client asks for my opinion, usually they simply want me to affirm what they’ve already decided to do. They really don’t want an independent perspective. We see an example in scripture where a prophet of the Lord was pressured. “Meanwhile, the messenger who went to get Micaiah said to him, ‘Look, all the prophets are promising victory for the king. Be sure that you agree with them and promise success.’ But Micaiah replied, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, I will say only what the Lord tells me to say.’” (1 Kings 22:13-14, NIV)

Clearly, the messengers only wanted Micaiah to affirm what the other advisors had already determined was the correct action. Unfortunately, the king ignored the prophet’s advice which was the opposite from the other prophets and the king was killed.

When I work with clients and their businesses, I try to point out different options with the pluses and minuses of each choice. For example, one client wanted to hire a family member.  I asked the question, “If you needed to fire that person, how would it impact family relationships?” The client admitted it would be serious and make for a very difficult Thanksgiving dinner. My advice was not to hire the person because the consequences of the arrangement not working out would far exceed the temporary pleasure of hiring a family member. Despite my advice, the client hired the family member.  Six months later, my client had to terminate the relative.  It took several years to heal the relationship.

Apr 24
2019

What We Should Have Known

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A staff member, who reported to me, had messed up; and I was explaining the situation to my boss.  To lessen my responsibility, I said something like, “I didn’t know.” The immediate response from my superior was, “If you didn’t know, you should have known.” In retrospect this rebuke was spot on. In fact, I’ve stolen this response several times when I dealt with colleagues.

Apr 09
2019

Encourage Feedback

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 Sometimes, as business leaders, we don’t like a lot of feedback, especially when it is contrary to our decision. David, the king of Israel, didn’t want to listen to negative feedback from Joab about a census. Here’s how it went.

So the king said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Take a census of all the tribes of Israel—from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south—so I may know how many people there are.” But Joab replied to the king, ”May the Lord your God let you live to see a hundred times as many people as there are now! But why, my lord the king, do you want to do this?” But the king insisted that they take the census, so Joab and the commanders of the army went out to count the people of Israel. (2 Samuel 24:2-4, NLT)

Later David regretted his decision. 

Mar 01
2019

Optimism Doesn’t Make Everything Better

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A rock climber lost his grip and started a 600-foot fall to the bottom of the canyon. In the first several seconds as he found himself in a mid-air free fall, he thought everything was going well. However, his optimism didn’t give him a safe landing.  In business, as in life, we need to balance idealistic optimism against unrealistic pessimism.

When facing a serious business crisis, total optimism that says:   the situation will resolve shortly; isn’t our best tool.  Neither is extreme pessimism that makes us want to fold up our tent and go home.