A Spring in Our Step?
Spring is in the air, but sadly not in the economy. Despite the banks printing money to stimulate markets and business, demand is flat. Debt and the Euro crisis have damaged the economic engine. Watching attempts to kick-start growth by injecting money into the system reminds me of trying to start my pull-cord lawnmower after the winter. It just doesn’t want to go.
Recently I met a man who told me his small business had started to grow again after a lacklustre period. A new man joined his team who brought so much enthusiasm and passion for his job that his attitude transformed the way other people in his organisation felt about work. Suddenly they seemed to be released into a new level of energy. As Patrick Dixon says: ‘I would rather work with five people who really believe in what they are doing than five hundred who just can’t see the point.’
For renewed growth, we need to rediscover the vitality that is released when people are inspired.
Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO of Tesco, said that ‘generating wealth is a noble activity’, and I agree with him – because wealth can enable so many other good things. But if making money is the highest of our aspirations, we are empty inside. Small wonder that so many find limited fulfilment in organisations shaped by beliefs that put wealth above human flourishing and make things more important than people. Nine out of ten people surveyed in today’s workplace say they are looking for a higher purpose in their work.
Humanity seeks after meaning and purpose, and when we find it our potential is unlocked in ways that performance targets cannot achieve. Meaning is ultimately found not just in what we do, but why we do it and who we do it for. For the Christian, every good job, paid or unpaid, has the potential to be done as an act of worship. Realise that and it can infuse even a tough job with a purpose beyond performance. We can become that new person on the team with an infectious commitment that leads to wellbeing and growth.
‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.’ Colossians 3:22-23