In previous articles we’ve explored the concept of a personal identity assessment leading to an understanding of personal purpose. We’ve talked about aligning the purpose of your business with your personal (and team) identity and what you love to do. And we’ve looked at aligning the work of your employees with their natural gifts and talents (personal identity) so they feel a sense of equality and belonging while operating in their area of gifting and expertise.
In this article, I want to take a moment to touch on the concept of work itself, and the larger purpose of why we work, beyond just making money to pay the bills. If we understand our personal identity (and purpose) along with the true purpose of why we work, then the purpose of our business becomes easier to clarify and define. In addition, the design and management of culture and values can be grounded on a sound business theology that is based on a more accurate definition of the true purpose of work.
Everyone has a gift. Everyone has some special ability that sets him or her apart from others and allows them to excel. However, most people are not working in their area of gifting.
I’ve traveled the world and regularly ask people everywhere, “Do you know that you have a special gift, a skill or talent that makes you different from others?” Without hesitation the answer is always “yes!” People recognize they have gifts and talents, but most don’t know how or where to use them, especially in regards to making money.
You have a gift, but did you know that your gift is not for you?
The purpose of your gift is for connecting with and serving others.
As humans, our greatest desire and longing is for community, to belong and feel equal. We want to work together, we want to be part of a community, we want to help one another. Our gift is the connection point to serving humanity, the community, our neighbors, and our co-workers. When we serve others with our gift, we excel at our work, we unlock our deepest potential, and we love what we are doing. When we serve others with our gift, we put ourselves in a place of receiving a just compensation or a fair wage for our service. And that is the true purpose of work – to serve others with our gift and fulfill our purpose, and in so doing, receive a just compensation, a fair wage which is the fruit of our labors.
After redefining the purpose of work, we could go on to redefine the purpose of leadership, stewardship, ownership, and personal responsibility. All of these concepts are critical to establishing a sound business theology and designing an organizational culture that truly values the individual, unlocks potential, and engages everyone on the team to help steward each other’s destinies. Can you imagine a work place where everyone was functioning within their unique gifting, loved their job, and focused on serving one another and the customer?!
A few things to consider:
- If you feel like work is a burden, a real drain on your energy, and you dread Monday morning, are you in the right position at work, or even the right job?
- Have you taken the time to really understand your personal identity and unique gifting?
- Have you ever considered making a living based on your personal gifts and talents?
- How would you feel if others recognized and valued you for your unique gift(s)?
5 Steps to A Business Theology of Work With a Purpose
- Talk with your staff about redefining the purpose of work and decide on actions that you can take as a team to move towards engaging each member in their unique gift.
- Discuss what additional concepts need to be redefined in your work environment like leadership, stewardship, ownership and personal responsibility for incorporation into your business theology (why you do what you do).
- Use your newly defined business theology to design an organizational culture that reflects your new understanding and definition of work with a purpose (along with other attributes redefined).
- Engage your workforce to come up with behavior statements that reflect your new values.
- Encourage one another as you see others operating in their unique gifting.
Founder and CEO, Leadership Institute For Entrepreneurs