By: Sam Hunter
I was in business until I was 47 years old, and for most of that time, I was my own boss. My career started as a structural engineer, then progressed to real estate development, and for my last 15 years my construction company, focused primarily on home renovations.
At 47, I was forced by the Lord to move from the business of renovating homes to renovating lives – specifically, men’s lives. We started 721 Ministries in 2004 because just about every man I encountered was missing it, and missing it badly. What was the ‘it’ they were missing? They were missing what is most important: relationships.
This applies to women as well. Many were missing a relationship with Jesus. But just about all, saved or not saved, were spending their time on a myriad of activities, yet missing the importance of investing their time in people – and specifically in their families.
The vast majority of these men, if asked, “Name your top three priorities,” would have answered something like, “God, wife and children.” You likely would, too, wouldn’t you? But if we followed you around for a week, based on where you spent your time, would we see these as your actual priorities? Based on my observations, your time is spent on work, work, and more work, and community and church activities, that are all good, but far from the best.
Are you missing it? Are you focused on good things but not on the best things? Relationships are the currency of life, and your life thrives when you are focused on the best things.
Companies also thrive when focused on the best things – their best things: their specific product, and their employees. Company mission statements seek to focus everyone on what is most important to that particular company. The emphasis is on the company’s mission statement. But what about the individual employees’ mission statements?
Do you have your own personal mission statement? I encourage you to rank your top priorities, and then study your time to determine if you are living out your priorities. To thrive and achieve peak performance, we must each have our ‘body, mind and spirit’ in harmony and balance.
And so it is with your company – be it large or small, or just you. You are, after all, your own company. Companies thrive when they are at peak performance. But they can only truly thrive when each employee is at his or her peak performance.
Think of it this way: For your company to achieve peak performance, you must have three areas of acute focus:
- The company is focused on its primary product.
- The employees are working in harmony and balance, with a focus on the company product.
- The individual employee is in personal harmony and balance, and then focused on his or her primary product or area of responsibility.
The first area is of utmost importance. We have all witnessed profitable, thriving companies lose their way when they diversify and lose their primary focus. But even if your company is disciplined to remain focused on its primary product, no company will achieve peak performance unless the employees are working together. Disharmony, backbiting and destructive competition will retard the peak performance of any company.
As owners and managers we are hyper-focused on the first two, but do we invest enough time and energy on the third? My contention is your employee’s ‘body, mind and spirit’ balance is the most important and critical aspect of your job. If I wanted to sabotage a rival company I would seek to upset its employees’ ‘body-mind-spirit.’ I would engulf them in busyness, with a myriad of community and church activities that keep them tired and distracted. I would disrupt their sleep, convincing them they only need five or six hours. I would thwart their exercise and keep them eating fast food and junk food.
I would saturate their minds with TV and electronics and a barrage of temptations, and I would convince them their spiritual lives were of minimal importance. The more divorces I could foster the more I could cripple the performance of everyone involved. I would use all these weapons to distract them from what is most important, thereby insuring their average, even below average performance.
Are you focusing too much on the macro of your company at the expense of the micro of your employees? I counsel men every day and trust me, I see behind the curtain into their real lives. Almost without fail every man I work with, and many women as well, is hurting in one of three areas:
By the time they are talking to me the problems are spinning out of control – especially the marriage and family issues. Where would you start in trying to help wort out their mess? My approach is to focus first on the micro: “Save the man, save the marriage.” In essence, if I can introduce them to Jesus, and they can start to connect with him, we can make progress. Until then we are simply putting band aids on wounds.
Perhaps we can emulate Jesus’ laser-focus on his personal mission statement:
“ … just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve …” Matthew 20:28
My point is this: a well-crafted Company Mission Statement, combined with a focus on what is most important, is the path to peak performance for any business. But this also applies to your personal life, as well as your employee’s lives. Will you serve your company by serving your employees, encouraging each one to seek harmony and balance with their ‘body, mind and spirit?’
Sam Hunter is the host of South Carolina’s Christian radio talk show, 721 Live, which helps people to apply the Bible to their everyday lives. He is the author of The Putting Green Devotional Series and has produced two DVD curriculum series: Contentment: The Path to Peace and Fear: Do you React in Fear or Respond in Faith? Sam speaks to men’s groups weekly throughout South Carolina as the director of 721 Ministries. www.PuttingGreenBlog.com