The discussions that have surfaced since the release of my new book, Addicted to Busy, have spanned from encouragement to some confusion. Most people understand after reading the book that I was not calling for a cessation of our labors. In fact, I have emphatically preached the opposite. We are not forsaking our responsibilities when we rest, it is for the sake of our responsibilities that we rest. Nowhere in the book was I advocating for less productivity. What I’m discovering in this journey is that for every person that does not know how to rest, just as many have never been taught a strong work ethic.
How do we work well and rest well simultaneously? The book covers the “rest well” part, so let’s discuss what it means to be industrious, to sweat, to grind and stand out at the place of our employment.
“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer, or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” Proverbs 6
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Colossians 3:23
1. Show up on time
One of the most respectful things we can do is honor people’s time. It is rude to be habitually late. “On time” means arriving, ready to work, five minutes early, by the way.
2. Suggest solutions rather than point to problems
Every healthy boss I know wants people around them who are problem solvers. Promotions always chase these people down and favor follows them wherever they go. Leaders lead people toward solutions. Leaders are proactive, anticipating problems and solving them long before they surface and scar the organization.
3. Be positive
I call these EBI people. This could be “even better, if …”. These are people who believe the best, speak the best and end up being the best. We cannot control our circumstances, but we can control our attitudes. People who are full of faith and hope for the future usually get what they expect.
4. Play nice
“His speech is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart.” Psalm 55:21
People who build bridges go further than those who blow up relationships. People of peace are blessed but those who are always looking for trouble will find it. The Holy Spirit does his best work in unity among people who choose to forgive and encourage one another. Playing nice means we use our words to heal others, not shame others. Life and death is in the power of our tongue, and people of peace measure what they say, never reckless with language.
5. Promote others
It has been my goal the past 20 years to work myself out of every job I have been given. I want to raise up my replacement, equip them to run past me and then cheer them on when they do. This is the Jesus way of leading. He spent three years with a group of leaders and saw potential in them that no one else could imagine. He left them with huge responsibilities and all the resources they would need to succeed and they did!
What have you learned about work that has served you well as an adult? If you lead people, what qualities do you look for when promotions and raises are being awarded?