59 Leadership Reminders That Your Work Matters

Take-aways from the Unpolished Conference

I recently attended the conference Unpolished: The Intersection of Faith and Entrepreneurship. I referenced the conference in a previous blog post that addressed “the top.”   Comments from that post, coupled with encouragement from multiple colleagues to summarize my conference notes, resulted in my top 59 “learnings,” which I share with you below.  I hope they provide a dose of inspiration for you this week.

Mike Sipple Jr. joined Mary Miller, Clifton Taulbert, and Luke Dooley for a panel discussion at Unpolished

Each speaker’s name is in bold, with my take-aways from their presentation detailed beneath it.  I want to lead off my list with mentioning Anne Beiler’s presentation.  Anne is CEO of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, a store found in many mall food courts world-wide. She attributed her success to having a purpose bigger than herself, along with a great product and amazing colleagues. We concur with her perspective, and have devoted much of our blog to the same theme. Why? It’s the key to Centennial’s success too.

59 Leadership Learnings from Unpolished

  1. Brian Tome, Pastor, Crossroads–We were put on this earth to work. God put us on the earth to work and to make this place better.
  2. So, work is not a bad thing. God intends for work to lead to great things.
  3. When we work, we are like God. After all, God is always working in the Bible.
  4. He tells us to work, “be fruitful and multiply.” We always think of this in terms of children, but it is much more than that.
  5. We are part of growth. We create growth. And then we subsequently create hope. Hope is a by-product of growth.
  6. Many people have mistakenly graduated away from work. This is not good. You never graduate beyond God’s calling to serve others. And, that is the ultimate goal of work—to serve others.
  7. Money is the reward to serving people. And, money is not bad! How you use that reward is up to you.
  8. People mistakenly think that they have to work at a nonprofit for purpose and meaning and to serve others.
  9. Who served more people? Mother Teresa or Bill Gates?

    Centennial Unpolished attendees, left to right: Chris Lewis, Mike Sipple Jr., & Janelle Spence

  10. You don’t necessarily have a bigger impact at a nonprofit organization.
  11. However, make sure that your business is not your god. Keep the focus on people and not the business.
  12. Reminder, during down times, worthiness is often questioned. Reminder, your worthiness comes from God, and not from your sales.
  13. Always remember the peak and valley example.
  14. Mary Miller, JANCOA CEO and author- always give thanks, even in the down times.
  15. Keep the humanity of your work force and of your colleagues in mind.
  16. Don’t be afraid of obstacles. Trust in the Lord and embrace the obstacles.
  17. Clifton Taulbert, CEO and author- Your imagination is a gift from God. The winding road can lead to your dreams.
  18. Light the candle, but at the same time, imagine the light bulb.
  19. Think of your resume as the story of God in your life.
  20. Effort is the currency that buys your dream.
  21. God gives you reason all the time to understand that He is in charge of tomorrow
  22. The circumstances that surround you today do not have to be the circumstances that define the rest of your life.
  23. The resolve to succeed has to come from inside of you. Problems must be transformed into opportunities. Never give up.
  24. Faith gives us the opportunity to go beyond what is. (It took 24 years for him to get his book published, then Nelson Mandela wanted a copy and bought it for his whole staff!)
  25. If you don’t know what culture you want for your company, it will create itself.
  26. Culture needs to include respect, affirmation and inclusion.
  27. Life will stand the storms based on the foundation you have laid.
  28. David Roth, CEO–  #workmatters. Work MATTERS.
  29. Think, “What is God preparing me for?” Have a bigger vision of your work.
  30. Three lessons: 1.) Your work matters. More than 50% of your life is work, so it matters. God is a worker. He designed us to work. 2.) Your greatest set back may end up being your greatest opportunity. 3.) The enemy is alive and well and loves the workplace. Expect battles. Suffering produces perseverance.
  31. Work-life balance is crucial. (Ecc. 3:1 – To everything there is a season.)
  32. At the same time, don’t die on the hill of work.
  33. Do what is required of you. Do what gives good return. Do what gives you great reward.
  34. Don’t limit yourself by what the world expects.
  35. To overcome adversity, you have to (most often) overcome yourself.
  36. Todd Henry, CEO and author- Brilliance demands discipline and bravery.
  37. Bravery entails asking dangerous questions
  38. Daily tip: make an “anti-to-do” list. What will I NOT do today.
  39. Also, think about what you are NOT doing.
  40. In seeking relationships, find people to speak truth to you. Also, evaluate “Who are my people?”
  41. Also identify who are NOT my people. And, decide who needs to go.
  42. When praying to God, don’t only ask for knowledge. Ask for wisdom. Ask, “Who should I listen to, Lord?”
  43. Spend equal times reading and thinking as well as working
  44. Have you ever asked the question “Why me?” from a perspective of gratitude?
  45. The quality of your questions determines the quality of your life.
  46. Johnmark Oudersluys, Executive Director City Link; Kelly Dolan and Michael Kroeger: Founders, Ingage Partners; Thrive Impact – Don’t always be focused on an earthly definition of success. Don’t only be focused on what is next.
  47. Do not put process in front of people.
  48. Do not put outcome in front of people.
  49. If God has given you a vision, He didn’t give it to you to create stress.
  50. God entrusts people to you.
  51. Success is an unintended side effect of living fully with passion and purpose.
  52. Surprisingly, success does not equal advancement, autonomy, and income.
  53. Success is actually measured in lives transformed.
  54. You will not succeed alone.
  55. Partners and people expand our ability to succeed.
  56. Be clear on the problems you want to solve.
  57. Clarity comes after asking questions. Jesus asked a lot of questions.
  58. Evaluate success against the 5 Vs- vision, values, vehicles, vocabulary, validation.
  59. Find the why in your work.

How do you view work? Success? The money you make from work or have as the result of success? We are interested in your views, observations and insights.

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