When I first started my company in 2005, I had no experience with building a solid team. I had read it in books, taken a couple of organizational behavior classes at Cornell, but I was pretty much starting from scratch.
10 years later, I’m asking myself what would I have done differently knowing what I know today.
For one, the first 4 years of my business I didn’t believe in God. The business life of the unbeliever is futile because I lacked eternal significance. I was motivated by selfish desires and self indulgence, which eventually led to my hardened heart. The basis of my thinking was “others exist for me.”
In 2008 I began my walk with God again and learned that, as believers, we are called to show our love for God by selflessly loving others. While this is contrary to our sinful nature, it is the very thing that began to distinguish the seasons of my business. It has taken me years to shed off selfishness, and I still work at it daily. It’s easy to love clients because they pay the bills. Its tough to love employees that are seen as a cost of goods sold.
We have many opportunities (and a responsibility) to demonstrate this principle of selfless love to the people closest to us – our employees. Unfortunately, we often use our business knowledge to manipulate each other, pursuing what we want rather than showing God’s character through us.
Businesses should have a poster of Ephesians 4:25 in the employee areas that remind us that “we are all members of one body” and that unity is promoted when we think more of our business family than of ourselves.
Stay connected to your employees by loving selflessly and having a servant’s heart. This is a regret of mine that I didn’t learn early on, but I leaned through painful errors.