Losing the “Englishness”

It’s been a weekend of leavings and startings, at work and in the wider Church. In this post I take a look at how we do things in work and church, and can we learn cross-over lessons?

On Friday, our VP Marketing left for new pastures, to be CEO of another company in the Finmeccanica group.  We had the customary collection and card, and the “you’re leaving” presentation, lasting about 10 minutes. Drinks then offered in the local social club (we have ours opposite the site entrance) where we can gather and natter about everything and nothing – very nice.

Contrast this, then, with where I’ve just come from this afternoon – Yeovil Family Church. I was invited over by Andy (and wife Sue), a long standing friend, who was being “introduced” to the church, as the previous leader (Jeff and wife Lori) is moving into a new church planting situation in Taunton.

This is something where we in the business world could really learn a thing or two.  Church life is all about relationships, and while I didn’t know Jeff and Lori, I felt totally welcomed as a stranger amongst friends. (I am ignoring the obvious focus on faith within church life here, and purely looking at the relationship side of life)

To divert a bit to set a scene, we had a talk from one of the regional leaders, followed by a half hour-ish goodbye ceremony consisting of prayer from the leadership team and the congregation; children in the church presented gifts, there was a brief video, then a finger buffet laid on by the church community.

It was obvious that Jeff and Lori are held in high regard by the people they are leaving behind, and there was a “proper” hand over of that emotion and affection.  Now some would say there is no room for that in business, yet it is these types of small differences that can really enthuse people (and hence motivate).

When we work for a living (generalistically), we choose where to work initially based on what the job is and what the pay is.  We generally stay because of the people we end up working with.  A good team, a good boss, and interesting enough work, we’re likely to stay irrespective of the financial compensation (as long as the basics are covered – see RSA Animate’s Drive).

What was obvious from the church this afternoon was that highly regarded people do move on, and how that is handled can motivate the rest by showing how they are regarded.  What can we learn in the business world to enthuse people and motivate them; Clue: it’s not in when people leave, its in the small things during their time with us.

I perceive that American company owners have some good style – books like Bill Fromm’s 10 Commandments Of Business… or the current Autumn 2010 series of Undercover Boss (set in America) – immediate managers can be interested enough in their workers to invite them home for a meal and to meet the family – I’d heard this before of Americans…

Perhaps we just need to lose our “Englishness”, let our normally separated work and home lives merge together to a small extent.  This is a lesson where church can show business a thing or two – taking a fairly active interest in each others’ lives, looking to do good to each other, rather than at best disinterest, and at worst belittlement.


About Tim Heywood

Brief Bio: work: Information Systems governance, electronic security, best business use of computer apps. See my about page. non-work: sailor, scuba diver, Bournemouth live music junkie. See http://bournemouthmusic.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Business Church crossover, Leadership. Bookmark the permalink.

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