Basing a work email on a Bible verse. Can it be done?

Today I took a shot.  I thought it might work, but I really wasn’t sure.

I attempted to press the message of Romans 1: 19 into a work email.

“19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.”

I knew I had to be careful.  The message in that verse is wonderfully strong and potent.   I would rather scrap the email text than mess with the word of God.

All Christians that hold claim to a Biblical worldview should make every attempt to view their surroundings from a Biblical perspective.  Rarely does this happen often enough.

Time will tell of outcome, but the feedback so far has been positive.   “Great message”, “Excellent Message”, “Just a super message “, “Great job”…..

I wonder how many “closet” Christians picked up on the “message”?

If you have a minute, provide feedback using the poll below or the comment section.

I’ll use it for the next opportunity my faith and my employment collide.



(email start)

Who cares if someone needs assistance? Why should we help anybody?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence- 1776

Our country has been founded upon this statement, but look closely at the first seven words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident”.
Self-evident means; you, in your conscience, known something to be. You do not need a proof, it is just known.

It is contained inside each of us, everyone has a sense of right and wrong.
• Is it wrong to kick puppies? Yes, I know it is wrong to hurt something that is defenseless and poses no danger or threat to me.
• It is right to assist the elderly lady in the grocery store with her bags when she is struggling? Yes, it is right to lend a hand someone who in need.
• It is right to provide assistance and cooperation to a teammate who is in need of support? Yes, it is right to assist a teammate or co-worker who needs support so the company as a whole may benefit.

Granted, people can, and do, suppress the knowledge of right and wrong. Just watch the evening news. They provide ample examples of very poor decision making each and every night.
What suppression of a self-evident truth does not do is relieve us of the obligation of doing what is right.

What does this have to do with (blank) program???

I will tie this up with a few points from an article I found this morning. (I’ve attached the link to the full article below.)

1. “Salespeople must come to sales calls with a comprehensive understanding of the customer…”
2. “Today a significant number of sales are lost not to the competition but to “no decision.”
3. “Customers expect salespeople to do more than uncover their problems. They expect salespeople to bring an informed, fresh perspective to framing the problem.”
4. “Excel at team selling. Salespeople alone will not be able to provide the needed knowledge and insights to meet the customer’s emerging expectations.”

Guess what fellow (blanks)….. You are now part of that team!

(Blanks) should provide Sales:
1. a comprehensive understanding of the customer.
2. assistance when the customer stagnates on making a decision
3. informed with current, up to date information about the site
4. the needed technical knowledge when required.

But why should we help sales?
• Because we know it to be “Right” and “Self-Evident”, that in order for our business to succeed, we must assist the sales team with information and leads.

Keep driving opportunities and use the (blank) program. They are the process in place to gather this information and get the Sales Teams the information they need!

Go have some fun! It’s all a gift, be sure to be thankful for it!

1. 5 challenges to achieving sales excellence – it’s more important than ever yet harder to achieve-

Leadership Is A No Excuses Thing | Chris LoCurto | Leadership & Small Business

Excellent points on leadership.  We quickly place claim on a “positive” result while backpedaling away from a “poor” result.

Own the result good or bad!   Make change changes and press on…

Leadership Is A No Excuses Thing | Chris LoCurto | Leadership & Small Business.

Stereotypes- Man and his Employment

Men Working_caution026

Construction laborers, public safety workers, alligator wrestlers, business executives, rodeo clowns and customer service providers are all necessary job functions in society. These jobs all pose a significant risk, both too life and limb and to a person’s mental health. The question when considering these occupations is who takes the most risk? Risk is controlled as much as possible and mitigated to ensure safety. In addition, a mental picture or stereotype is formed when assessing known information about these positions. This is reasonable to do. We need to form mental pictures of thoughts or situations. However, when these presuppositions begin to affect our interpretation of reality problems set in. This brings us to the point. I have changed the names to protect the innocent; please welcome my friend. We shall call him, “Q”.

“Q” is a man’s man. He is a husband, father, and friend. From all outwards appearances, he is fully aware of his responsibilities and makes all arrangements required to fulfill those obligations. His wife and his children adore him and his friends respect him. “Q” is at ease when opening a car door for his beautiful wife, hugging his children or “tossing” back a beer with a pal. This man is getting it done. He is leading and providing for his family, and affording them each a positive influence by pouring himself into to them. The “thing” is, “Q” is a hairstylist.

It shouldn’t be surprising that “Q” is a hairstylist. It is an honest profession that he is very skilled at, and he works hard to improve at his craft. The shocking part should be that in the 21st century there is still the undercurrent of gender stereotypes in certain employment situations. Out of the typical male dominated occupations listed above, which if any would consider entering the arena of cutting, shaping and coloring a woman’s most outwardly exemplified expression of herself. None! Furthermore, “Q” gets paid, quite well. He is compensated to never have a bad day performing his art. He is reimbursed to provide nothing but absolute perfection with every customer transaction. He stands with nothing to hide behind at the end of a cut, color and style. It is job location directly front and center in a gladiator’s stadium, with nowhere to run. In fact, there are mirrors all around to point out any glaring mistakes or omissions committed.

Who would want to labor under such conditions? Not many would or could survive, and even if forced probably would succumb to the pressure quickly. In many employment circumstances, effects from an “off day” are mitigated. Business contracts are rechecked, new pieces of construction material can be obtained if cut incorrectly and other remedies can be found in service situations. (Alligator wrestlers well, that maybe our closest comparison. Never want to lose a limb!) To encapsulate the point, a man’s employment does not define him. His allegiants to his faith/belief system, his work ethic, and his responsibility to his family, are the defining factors of a man.

Thankfully, infrequently incorrect perceptions are drawn to what “Q” is. A defense of “Q”, to right all the wrongs in this world is not the point of this posting. “Q” is of very sharp wit, and provides his own defense quite well. Nevertheless, if required I would come to my friends protection. As Proverbs 27:17 (ESV) states, “As Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” That is what one man does for another man.

Contemplate these points when observing anyone. Consider Jesus calling of Levi (a tax collector was despised in the first century) as a disciple. Jesus distinguished between Levi’s outward occupation and his mission of discipleship. (Luke 5:27-32 ESV) You never know what is sincerely on the heart of a person. The outward appearances could be very different to what is truly inside.

How do you define, “Made a Difference?”

Any opportunity offered to create a “difference” is a gift to be grasped.  The longer I play in the arena of customer service and field engineering those opportunities become less and less on the business side.  Many businesses appear to have a great affection for attempting to measure the “difference” or “impact” of an event.  Some these measurements are laughable at best with the rise of social media and the speed that customer perceptions can change.

On the personal side, those occasions can be self-created and hence more rewarding.  My “difference” is creating a situation where a person can achieve growth.  Whether this growth is in their thinking or in how they consider a situation, or how a small change can influence other aspects of their lives.  Accomplishing this has the two-fold benefit of positively affecting both parties doubling the effect.

The Never Ending Push to Improve the Metrics

“Push to improve metrics and the metrics will improve for a while. Teach the philosophy of a job well done and the metrics will improve forever.” (Simon Sinek, 2012)

Define the words “Strategic” and “Tactical” within the context of business situations, and then consider the quote above. Management develops a change to the “Strategic” framework of the business. The reasons for these changes have been provided. The changes can be proven sound, as the cost structure must change in order to maintain profitability. Fair enough. However, where the service engineers dwell is in the world of “Tactics”. The business framework is delineated from above, but there may be “Tactical” problems with the “Strategic” plan. Service or local customer contacts find the “Tactical” solutions to achieve management’s “Strategic” goals. This is the service engineers’ wheelhouse. They get it done. Do you see the tension? Changes to the “Strategic” framework are disseminated down to the service engineers’ level and their minds immediately start to think how to “Tactically” make the changes. Frustration starts to set in from that point forward.

Transfer these thoughts over to our spiritual lives. The magnificent part of this, the bible provides us the strategic and the tactical directives. God provided the “Strategic” framework for everything. He created all of it, so who would know better as to how it should work. When reading the bible, and a “Strategic” directive is provided as in Matthew 4:19 (NIV) “And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” When Jesus spoke to Peter and Andrew, they did not stop consider the directive, they just did it. They followed Jesus probably not fully knowing how “Tactically” they would accomplish “fishing for Men”. Stated another way, they would not have known how to “Tactically” undertake being one of the first disciples for Jesus. Looking further in the gospel of Matthew, an argument can be constructed that all the “Tactical” solutions as to “how” Peter and Andrew should complete the daunting task of true discipleship is outlined in all of chapters five, six and seven. There should be no tension with this as any frustration with how to achieve true discipleship to Jesus is eliminated. We just have to read it and carry it out.

Improve your business philosophy of the way you engage the customer with service and sales opportunities and the metrics will improve forever.

Improve your personal philosophy of the way you engage our Lord, your relationships, family, discipleship, prayer, forgiveness to others, bible reading, and your general sense of well-being knowing your true reason for hope, and your life as a whole WILL improve for eternity.

That is a metric I want to be measured on!

It is all a gift, be sure to be thankful for it!

A Different kind of Service

“Arrogance, aggression and cleverness are the major barriers to persuasion. But so is misreading the audience.  Except for coercive persuasion, which some groups use to force their views on others, the audience controls the outcome of every argument” (Sire, 2006)

This quote from Why good arguments fail, by James W. Sire, I think carries a pivotal point to be considered when speaking with any Believer, Unbeliever or Customer.  Consider this not just in a faith or business conversation context, but any conversation that involves making your point, a getting that point across clearly.

Many times the message is “lost in translation”.

In business, we speak in technical terms and the customer listens in a context in whatever they may be feeling that day.  It could be technical (dealing with system issues), personal (home life not going well today), frustration (every customer has been a problem), or a business context, (volumes are down, hence profits are down, we need better marketing).  This is an endless list.

In faith-based conversations, these mental blocks are the same but they could be more deeply rooted.  Any presuppositions about the faith or church the receiver are probably completely unknown to the other party.  Just as it is in a business context, it could be technical (the car would not start this morning), personal (home life not going well today), and frustration (why can’t I make any progress on my personal goals?)

You could be literally walking a conversational “mine-field” at this point and never know it.  The point being that the receiver of your message could have substantial mental blocks stopping them from hearing your message or idea.

How can we deal with this?

  • Read your customer/audience!
  • Always speak with a servant’s heart! You want to serve the other person with love and respect!

Just as the quote above states, “the audience controls the outcome”.  This is the same if you are speaking in regards to a business situation, a technical system situation, or discussing the life saving grace of Jesus.

As the scripture states in, 1 Corinthians 12:5 (NIV) “There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.”   Always take a few moments to consider how to best frame the conversation you’re going to have, and remove any potential blocks they may have, thus increasing the percentage for a positive outcome.

The perfect up-sell?

“Would you like Fries with that?”

Who remembers that? Probably every one of us. The perfect up-sell. It is a classic line that has now ingrained so far into our minds that who can imagine a burger without fries?

For those of us who frequent “a major coffee chain that shall remain nameless”, I have noticed that the highly trained barista’s have moved pass this line. Now, the up-sell comment is much more presumptuous. In the drive thru they repeat back your coffee order, and then say, “And what pastries will you be having this morning?”
Huh? I wanted a pastry? How do they know they know I love pastries? Well, now that you mention it, a tasty pastry does sound good…
Without even missing a beat, the barista has used the power of suggestion to entice a greater purchase. The $4.50 purchase has just increased to $7.00. Hello profit!

Why can’t service engineers do that?
After a service call is complete, are we asking the customer, “Is there anything else you need?” “Is everything else running ok?” Alternatively, how about, “Are there any other problems with any other equipment here at the site that I can help with?”

This is opportunity to up-sell, and not in the cheesy way, “insert major coffee chain name here” does it. We can ask the good questions, to genuinely assist the customer with their equipment. If we can engage the customer like this, with semi-regularity, this can open up a world a positive interaction with the customer.

Increased service revenue will naturally fall out of the sky when a customer is engaged in this way.
Even if, the “brick of a customer purchase order” does not hit you in the head, other opportunities might. The opportunities to increase customer trust or an equipment sales opportunity may arise.

At the very least if you do this the other person within the exchange will be left with a positive feeling that someone, on this day, cared enough to ask how they were doing and if they needed any help. That, my friends, could be the key to something much greater then all of this.

Get Organized!

Did you know there is annual “Get Organized” month? For the past 9 years the National Association of Organizers has sponsored each January as the month to “Get Organized”.

“Annual Get Organized Month” each January to help folks take control of their time, tasks and possessions, 83% of members polled say that “paper organization” ranks highest on their individual and corporate clients’ to-do lists.”

83% percent of members of an organization that organized the organizers… Sorry, maybe I’m the only one who thought that was funny, but apparently this is what we have come to. Organizing the Organizers!

While the silliness of the statement stands out, the message should not be lost. Now is the time to get ready and prepare for the new year.

• Clean out the van.
• Shovel out your “pile” of clutter in the garage. (Your significant other will thank you for this!)
• Simplify or create a new home office space.
• Update your calendar, contacts, and site listings.
• Make a list of customers to focus on in 2013.
• Look at the current service offering programs and compile them one easy to use file.
• Develop a simple tracking system for talking to each of your customers about their needs and issues.
• Develop a “go-to” method explaining how we can help them with their problems and provide solutions, and practice delivering it.
• Pull together a list of “key” company contacts for helping you assist your customers with solutions. Better to do this now than in the “heat” of battle.

Just a small amount of simple discipline will get you far.
Completing just a few or all of these simple steps will step you up professionally and personally for a great new year!

Go have some fun! It’s all a gift, be sure to be thankful for it!

Happy New Year!