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Doing Business The Kingdom Way

In the 21stcentury, it is so easy to get caught up in the chase for deadlines, profit margins and dreams that we lose focus of the things that really matter in life. This week I had the privilege of reading about the profile of Lincoln Electric Company and I have been challenged in every way to rethink about my own approach to leadership and management.

The Lincoln Electric Company is the world’s largest manufacturer of welding machines and electrodes. The Lincoln incentive management plan has been well known for many years. Many college management texts refer to the Lincoln plan as a model for achieving high worker productivity.  Certainly, Lincoln has been a successful company according to the usual measures of success.

Often times when we think of success, our minds are drawn to million dollar enterprises, with posh offices, exclusive employees, high competitive rates and a complicated organizational culture that is almost impossible to replicate. Fortunately the Lincoln company is not one of those companies. I was challenged, inspired and motivated as I read about their organizational culture and approach to management.

James F. Lincoln was the son of a Congregational minister and Christian principles were at the center of his business philosophy.   The confidence that he had in the  efficacy  of  Christ’s  teachings  is illustrated  by  the  following  remark  taken from one of his books:

“The Christian ethic should control our acts.     If it did control our acts, the savings in cost of distribution would be tremendous.   Advertising would be a contact of the expert consultant with the customer, in order to give the customer the best product available when all of the customer’s needs are considered.   Competition then would be in improving the quality of products and increasing efficiency in producing and distributing them; not in deception, as is now too customary.   Pricing would reflect efficiency of production; it would not be selling a dodge that the customer may well be sorry he accepted.   It would be proper for all concerned and rewarding for the ability used in producing the product.”

Our beliefs should be reflected in the way we approach work and business. There is a tendency to separate our beliefs from our work ethics assuming that some religious beliefs have no room in the business arena. This quote made by James F Lincoln is a clear indicator that in order to do business the right way, we should be ready to do it the kingdom way. How much of God do people see in the way you go about your business? This is a big challenge for many of us as we strive to keep up with the 21st century business demands.

Businesses go to great length to advertise their products and services when the actual expert consultant on what product is suitable for the market is right before their eyes the whole time. We are so keen on seeking the input of ‘consultants’ while ignoring the very people – customers that have the highest opinion about our products and services because we view them as ordinary people.
The 21stcentury business competition is based on who can earn more from the market regardless of how they earn it. Companies go to great length to duplicate products, lower the quality of services so as to increase their profit margins. The markets are flooded with products that are fake, duplicated and do not meet the required standards because the people concerned to stop this are more interested in themselves than in the general well fare of the consumers.

On the other hand, we need to ask ourselves if we would be willing to pay a little more for genuine products as a means to eradicating fake products on the market. This is the point at which we ought to match our beliefs and business decisions. Ever wondered how different your approach to business and management would be if you decided to do it the kingdom way? Or probably you are not certain about the kingdom way.

A famous quote has been used across centuries to help us grasp the kingdom perspective. By answering the question; “What Would Jesus Do?”, we find the answer to what means and approaches we ought to employ in the different aspects of our lives.

Life is about purposeful living and yet for many of us our life purposes are still a mystery. Many people simply follow the crowds and do that which most people approve and recommend. We often times seek to impress people more than being true to ourselves. Doing business the kingdom way begins with discovering one’s life purpose and committing to fulfill that purpose in every choice, decision and action taken on a daily basis.

Your life purpose is the key that unlocks your full potential and enables you to live above average. You were created for a mission and that mission is the reason you are still alive. There is an assignment that only you can fulfill, destinies that only you can unlock, discoveries that only you can make. Instead of being someone else’s photocopy, discover your blue print and become a pace setter. Choose to stand out by embracing who you are.

If we all find our life purposes and fulfill them, the world will be a much better place for all humanity. So as we embrace our life pursuits, let’s not lose focus of our core values. Let the light in you shine so bright that all will see your good works. Lincoln set an example and a pace for his company in that many of the strategies he set in place are still being maintained as the culture of the company he founded.

How would you like to be remembered? Make that you way of living starting now!

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