Christian Business Consulting
Christian Business Consulting - How to Build a Team
Christian business consulting starts with the Christian business executive. Most Christian executives admit that the most difficult part of building a Christian business is finding and keeping good people. The cost of employee turnover is an unrecorded, but significant cost for every business. A Christian business - meaning, a "Christ-led business" -- with a "team" of unified, loyal, motivated, skilled, released and valued team members will consistently outperform other businesses. Unfortunately, most businesses fail to diligently and intentionally develop and nurture their teams. As a result, they experience a fractured, disloyal, apathetic, unskilled, micro-managed group of team members who feel used by the business. The following "people building principles" will help the Christian business develop a team that will do HIS works, in HIS love, for HIS glory!
Christian Business Consulting - Lead by Example
Christian business consulting must begin with the foundational principle of building people -- "helping others become successful!" This principle should be a key component of any organization's culture. However, this will only become part of the organization's culture if the owner/cEO and other foundational leaders honor this principle. Inasmuch as the Christian executive is the spiritual barometer for those he or she serves, team members will only hold themselves to the standard exemplified by their leaders. Although the world likes to practice leading with words only - "do as I say, not as I do" -- the Bible clearly indicates that we must lead through our example of words and deeds. Jesus led by example (John 13:15), Paul led by example (Philippians 3:17), Paul exhorted Timothy to lead by example (1 Timothy 4:12), and Peter exhorted elders to be examples (1 Peter 5:3). Leaders should never expect followers to do more than they do. Leaders go first, followers imitate.
Christian Business Consulting - Carefully Elect Team Members
"Like an archer who wounds everyone, so is he who hires a fool or who hires those who merely pass by" (Proverbs 26:10). At times, building a Christian business is like putting a puzzle together. However, the puzzle box contains extra pieces that are not part of God's puzzle. Putting the puzzle together involves carefully selecting team members and carefully placing them in the right place. In addition to the above verse, Proverbs provides several gems in this regard, such as "Do not associate with a man given to anger or go with the hot tempered man -- or you will learn his ways and find a snare for yourself" (Proverbs 22:24-25).
Obviously, for a Christian business to reflect the love of God, "character/values" must be the first criterion for selecting team members. An intentional and careful screening is necessary to insure that prospective team members are "committed" to the organization's character and culture. The key word is "commitment". None of us are perfect -- we all fall short at times -- but we must be committed to the same standard. Consequently, if a prospective team member is not committed to the same standard, then it would be foolish to add him or her to the team. However, this does not mean that all team members must be Christians. Rather, all team members must be committed to the foundation principle of love -- i.e., "to love their neighbor as they love themselves" or "to do unto others as they would have others do unto them."
The second criterion is "giftedness/talent/skills". Does the prospective team member possess the "stuff" required for the position. Or, if training is possible, does the prospective team member appear to have the ability to obtain the necessary skills? The third criterion is "people skills/personality". Again, the prospective team member must possess the people skills and personality style that the position requires. For example, a sales position would typically require a "people" (not a "task") personality with the ability to quickly connect with customers. A note of caution -- most of us tend to hire people like ourselves -- however, just as the Body of Christ needs different gifts, so the organization needs diversity.
The fourth criterion is "vision convergence". Will the position allow the prospective team member to move forward toward his or her personal vision? In most instances, when a team member believes that his or her position is fulfilling or moving toward a personal vision, the business will have a joyful and fruitful employee. This requires a Christian business to be concerned not only about whether the employee has the "right stuff" to fill the position, but also about whether he or she would find personal fulfillment and would move forward towards his or her personal vision. In other words, the Christian executive must be "business" minded, as well as "other person" minded.
Most Christian business owners indicate that the most frustrating part of their business is finding and keeping good people. Research shows that most employees spend the first year in a position acclimating to the organization and the position; the second year experimenting in efforts to increase their effectiveness; and finally, in their third year, they begin operating at a high-performance level. Thus, it is best to spend significant time screening prospective team members, in an effort to identify those who will find personal success and will yield fruitful service to the organization - i.e., a win-win situation.
Christian Business Consulting - Pray for Team Members
In Christian business consulting, many advisers forget a key principle - prayer! We have never heard a satisfactory explanation of how prayer works -- but, we do know that we should pray for one another (James 5:16). We also know that God answers prayer - and that prayer is one of our spiritual weapons. Thus, the Christian executive should prioritize his or her time to include prayer for team members (Philippians 4:6).
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