Wanted: Promotion 


Everyone wants to be promoted. But not everyone is willing to do the activities that lead to the promotion either out of fear or laziness. 

We can be inspired to overcome these as we observe the life of…

David the “Shepherd Boy”

David was a young man who’s job was to take care of sheep. At this point, David’s nation had a problem: they felt like they were going to loose the war because they had no answer to the Philistine’s champion named Goliath.

In the midst of this, David was given a menial task – to deliver food for his brothers who were soldiers. Nevertheless, he faithfully did it.
 

Now, because he was at the right place at the right time, David saw a job opening, “Wanted Giant slayer”. He checked out the job description, and with confidence declared that he would like to take this job. His brothers and the King thought that this kid was way too ambitious.

But these facts persuaded the King.

David’s faithfulness 
His current job may have seemed unimpressive. But David impressed the King with how he treated it.

But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him
.- 1 Samuel 17:34-35

David was an excellent worker. He may not have had the military experience, but he didn’t need the title to fight like a soldier to defend his flock. 

Be faithful with the task that you have by going the extra mile. The experience you get from giving your best will give you the competency and confidence you’ll need when the opportunity for a promotion comes.

God’s faithfulness 
David had guts, but more than that He had God.
And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine…
– 1 Samuel 17:37

If you acknowledge that every success you had in the past came from God, then you don’t have a reason not to trust Him. David had this quality of trust because he knew and experienced God personally. 

Now because of these, King Saul gave David the promotion, and David did not fail the King and his nation. 


Do not underestimate your humble beginnings.
Don’t look down on the repetitive, seemingly insignificant tasks. Being faithful means executing the activities of your current role with passion, and with a sense of purpose. 
If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones…Luke 16:10

The most important of all is faith in God. Remember all the good He has done for you and you’ll remember that He is a God who will reward your faithfulness with His.

Any Questions? 

Picture these scenarios.

A professor lands his day’s lesson, a marketing professional finishes his presentation of a media plan, and a CEO sums up his monthly OpCom meeting, and all three of them end with these two words: “Any questions?”  

Most of the time, in all three scenarios, there would be nothing but silence, and the opportunity to ask some very important questions would be missed.

Everyone knows that asking questions is integral in achieving clarity and understanding, but it’s not exactly second nature to most. Sometimes, we fear asking questions because we don’t want to be perceived as ignorant or divisive. Shame or pride hinders us from “mining out the gold” which can only be achieved through asking questions.  

Allow me to zero in on asking questions to those you lead, to your leaders, and to your peers.

For leaders:

Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson publishing, narrates in one of his blog entries that when he started to ascend the corporate ladder, he discovered that the key to success had begun to shift from the boss having all the right answers to the boss having the right questions. 

A leader who cares to ask cares to know what’s best from his followers. In coaching, this is best exemplified. Coaches are trained to ask and actively listen 80% of the time and only 20% of the time give their recommendations. 

As a leader, asking questions shows your care and your wisdom. This will build trust in those you lead. 

Source: https://michaelhyatt.com/asking-more-powerful-questions.html

For those being led: 

I mentioned in my last blog about Mentors and Coaches that you need to be prepared with a set of questions. But here’s a good question that John Maxwell recommends you ask in these sessions: “What has failure taught you?” You don’t need to know the specifics of your leaders’ failure, but only what he or she has learned from it. 

For those working with peers:

Asking questions for clarity and understanding is where collaboration happens. And as you constantly collaborate, you develop better teamwork. So don’t be ashamed to ask about best practices or clarifying questions regarding processes, etc. 

We can learn a thing or two from Jesus Himself:

Jesus and His disciples showed this dynamic. Jesus’ first words in the book of John was in a form of a caring question: Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”… (John 1:38)

Jesus wanted to address a need. He didn’t preach to them then. Instead, he asked a question.

… And they said to him, “Rabbi (which means Teacher), where are you staying? “He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. (John 1:38-39)

And the disciples, because they asked a question, got more than an answer. They got an invitation to learn more from Jesus and build a relationship with Him. 

There’s no denying that there’s more to gain (and nothing to lose) from asking questions, whether from your subordinates, your leader, or your peers. So the next time you are presented with the opportunity, ask your questions, flex that muscle of inquiring, and you will find that this practice will bear so many positive fruits for you and your career.

Questions:

  1. What areas in your life need clarity and understanding? 
  2. Who are the right people to go to for those questions? 

Mentors and Coaches

In the age of information, when everything you need to know is almost always a click away, it’s so easy to feel and act like subject matter experts on most topics.

While all this access to learning is a gift to us, one vital source of wisdom and direction is likely to be neglected: mentors and coaches.

While information is needed, impartation is King. And that’s what Google can’t supply no matter how many searches you do. Experience is best shared when imparted by one person to another.

And that is why it is so important to have a mentor and a coach. 

Mentors are people who have a wealth of experience and a high level of success in a particular field. The emphasis is long-term. These are your go-to guys for impartation, whose words and advice will be pivotal in shaping you as a novice in your craft.

Tips when being mentored:

1. Prepare your questions. I learned this when I sat in a class by former Del Monte CEO, Alex Castillo. He says that when you meet with your mentor, have questions written down so you can maximize your time and learning with them.

2. Mentors are not limited to those you know. There are online mentors available for you. Some suggestions are from EntreLeadership.com and michaelhyatt.com for business leadership. And for church leadership, stevemurrell.com and edstetzer.com .

Coaches, on the other hand, are those who have taken just a few steps ahead of you in experience. Their focus is primarily on how to resolve specific issues. They would tend to ask more questions to understand and help you figure out a solution. This may involve a series of meetings so the coach can see you through the details of your progress. 

Tips when being coached:

1. Be honest with your answers.

2. Be willing to be vulnerable by opening up. 

Get help!

No man is an island. As you humble yourself, the Bible promises the grace to succeed…

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:6

And God uses man to impart such a grace.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17

Questions:
1. What are the areas of mentoring and coaching that you need help in? 

2. Who can you ask for mentoring and coaching? 

Discover Through Dissent


In formal or informal conversations, a common pitfall is this thing called “groupthink”. 

Wikki says – Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

In our culture (Filipino), we are guilty of this most of the time. We don’t just hate the idea of confrontation; we do everything to avoid it. But because of the need to express our honest point of view, we either say it behind the back of the person involved (fueling intrigues, meeting after the meeting) or directly to the person on a non face-to-face setting (social media, text message, etc.) 

That’s why we need to learn how to apply and receive “dissent” in a real time, face to face scenario. 

Webster says – Dissent is to hold or express opinions that are at variance with those previously, commonly, or officially expressed.

In the workplace, practicing this opens up room for Clarity, Alignment, and Creativity. 

Clarity 
In any discussion, even if the room is filled with excellent communicators, there is great opportunity for misunderstanding. The challenges that contribute to misunderstanding range from a lack of comprehension to simply distraction. But when someone brings up dissent, that opens up an opportunity for clarity, and when there is clarity, misunderstandings are almost always completely eliminated.

Alignment
In an organization, the vision or the main goal may be known to all, but not necessarily agreed upon internally by each and every employee. They say that vision must be caught not taught, and dissent gives the opportunity for the leader to cast the vision, to reinforce values, and steer towards the mission, and at the same time, for the dissenter to grow in unity with the rest of the team. If the dissenter is given an opportunity to speak up, raise questions, and be heard, it would be easier for the individual to buy into the team’s final agreement.  

Another side of it is, while dissent must be encouraged, cynicism must not be tolerated. The leader must address the latter and address the behavior because cynicism would only hurt rather than help the team. It is the leader’s role to create a safe environment for dissent and not for cynicism. 

Creativity
Dissent offers team members an opportunity to come up with the a wide array of ideas as individuals see things from different angles. Discussions where ideas are not only exchanged but challenged pave the way for creative ways to solve issues, to market new brands, to increase revenue, and the list goes on. It’s cliche, but true: “Two heads are better than one.”

Remember:
1. When you are about to disagree, say it gracefully. 
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1

2. When you receive dissent, be humble.
Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor. – Proverbs 3:34

As leaders, we need to create an environment that welcomes dissent. This will bring your group to better productivity, unity, and innovation.  

Questions
1. How can you, as a leader, create an environment where it’s safe to apply dissent. 

2. As a staff member, how can you prepare for healthy dissent and protect yourself from cynicism. 

101%

I love my job! Every meeting seems to be filled with passion. I salivate at the thought of seeing my desk, taking the first call, resolving customer issues, dealing with difficult employees, I just love my desk job!

Is this how you feel every time you hit the daily grind? If you’re honest with yourself, probably not. 

Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not talking about performance. In fact you probably get the job done, but here’s the question: Do you really truly love your job? And if so –Why? 

A Realization in the Making

Nine years ago, I remember landing a job that I needed but didn’t necessarily like. Most days, I found myself dragging my feet to work. As a result, I found myself just giving my bare minimum. In this same season, I was also a worship leader at church, and every time I had the opportunity to lead worship, I would give my 101%. 

Then, I encountered this verse.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. – Colossians 3:23-24

That’s when it hit me. All the while, my religious mindset got the better of me and fooled me into thinking that I was doing good in worshiping God while singing at church and not necessarily while sitting at my work desk. This very verse made me realize that I was far from doing that.

Work and Worship

Worshiping God is not limited to songs, volunteerism, and church attendance. It’s about giving your best in everything, knowing that your excellence at work and every other area of your life is a form of worship unto God. After I had this realization, I saw my stats rise up from the grave. Shortly after came favor and promotion. But more than just the promotion, the best reward I got was that I found a new motivation for going to work and that there was an extra spring to my step daily. I simply had fun reporting for duty, building stronger relationships at work, and going the extra mile.

Understanding that you ultimately work for SOMEONE GREAT great gives you the motivation to do your best daily, not out of obligation but out of gratefulness and with a true sense of purpose. 

Reflect

1. Are you giving your best at work daily? 

2. What and who drives you to give your best at work? 

Who’s the Boss? 

This may seem like a rhetorical question. Job titles and org charts should make it clear right off the bat. However, though it’s obvious who the boss is, the reality is that some people simply have difficulty accepting who their boss is and why their boss holds that position. And this kind of confusion results in a sort of rebellion that where people are not motivated to give their best at work simply because of their inability to respect who they are reporting to.

The Bible gives us a command that dispels confusion or rebellion. 
Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. – Colossians 3:22

Then again, you may have a great relationship with your boss, or maybe not. Either way, what will really bring you success in your relationship with your boss could be found in knowing that:

1. You are not the Boss. 

As much as you are given a certain level of freedom to create, to manage, and to initiate, you are still under the authority and supervision of your boss. 
Nowadays, delegation is a big word in the business and non-profit world, and to some extent, being given a trust could make you feel entitled to calling the shots. However, always remember that the trust given to you is based on your boss’ belief that you will work, innovate, and execute projects based on your organization’s mission, vision, and values. Therefore, how you perform your tasks can either build that trust or break it. The key is to stay loyal and humble towards your boss, remembering that he or she still calls the shots.

2. There’s a Bigger Boss. 

Ultimately there’s a Boss bigger than your human boss—God! Your boss can take measures to monitor everything you do under his or her nose, but he or she is not ever going to see everything you do. It’s quite a known fact that though companies have all kinds of processes that guard against fraudulent activity, some “creative” employees still find a way to bypass those processes for the sake of “the bottom line” and meeting that quota.  
But the greater reality is that the BIG BOSS sees everything. He’s Omniscient (all-knowing) and Omnipresent (everywhere). Sure, there are many cases where employees get away with their dishonest behavior, they aren’t completely off the hook because God knows everything and He will certainly hold them accountable one day.
But let not this fear of judgement day be our only motivator to be honest and do well at work. Let this become a fear of the Lord that guides us in deciding to stay in His will and desire for us. The Bible says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

Sincere obedience and respect towards our earthly bosses will keep us right on track in our work, not just towards a job promotion, but more importantly, towards a heavenly commendation from The Bigger Boss who sees every effort we put into the work He has called us to do. 

Questions:
1. What are practical ways for you to show respect to your boss?

2. How does a realization of God as the ultimate Boss help improve your relationship with your earthly boss and drive your performance at work? 

The Supremacy of Christ

Here’s a link to one of my preachings a few Sundays ago about the preeminence of Christ. 

https://youtu.be/UBnVe4baJ1M

If you can’t seem to watch it for whatever reason, I’ve published my preaching notes below. 

God bless you all! 


Text: Colossians 1:15-18 (ESV)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 

16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 

17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 

18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

INTRO: Leonardo da Vinci took a friend to criticize his masterpiece of the ‘Last Supper,’ and the remark of the friend was, ‘The most striking thing in the picture is the cup!’ The artist took his brush and wiped out the cup as he said, ‘Nothing in my painting shall attract more attention than the face of my Master!’1
20th century Observation : Many put other people on a pedestal of preeminence or put themselves.
Christ isn’t often first. 

Observation: In the church of Colosse, a heresy called Gnosticism had crept into the church and was trying to marginalize Christ. It was a combination of mysticism, Jewish legalism, and Greek philosophy. The heresy taught that Christ could not be God. This belief was based on Greek philosophy which taught the spirit was good and the body was evil, and therefore God could not have become a human because God cannot mix with evil.

It also taught Jesus was an angel and that receiving him was not enough for salvation. One needed new revelation to be saved. That is where the name “Gnostic” comes from. The Greek word gnosko means “to know.” In order to be saved, one needed secret knowledge that only the Gnostics had experienced.

Like Leonardo da Vinci, we must take our brush and wipe away anything that detracts from his preeminence in our lives. But in order for us to sincerely declare this, we must answer the question..
Tension: Why should Christ be preeminent lives? 
1. He is the image of God. -V. 15

Tension: He is not God. Just a good person, one of the gods, a good prophet, a carved image made to be a lucky charm, a genie… HE IS GOD!

The concept of “image” involves three things: 

A. LIKENESS – Christ is the exact likeness of God, a mirror image (Hebrews 1:3a -He is the radiance of the glory of God)

B. REPRESENTATION – (Christ represents God to us), 

C. MANIFESTATION – (Christ makes God known to us)

Statement for point 1: While God made man in the image of God, Christ is the image of God
Application for point 1 – Jesus is God, He is worthy of our worship. 
2. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things.- v. 16-17
Story for point 2. Some years ago a South American company purchased a fine printing press from a firm in the United States. After it had been shipped and completely assembled, the workmen could not get it to operate properly. The most knowledgeable personnel tried to remedy the difficulty and bring it into proper adjustment, but to no avail. Finally the company wired a message to the manufacturer, asking that the company send a representative immediately to fix it. Sensing the urgency of the request, the U.S. firm chose the person who had designed the press. When he arrived on the scene, the South American officials were skeptical—the young man was obviously wet behind the ears. After some discussion, they sent this cable to the manufacturer: ‘Your man is too young; send a more experienced person.’ The reply came back: ‘He made the machine. He can fix it!’6
Tension: If we think we are the ultimate creator of things, then we bear a burden that we fail to carry. 
2.1 ( Creator )  
And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:25).

Application – Because Christ is the Creator, we should seek him for wisdom about everything.
– Because Christ is the Creator, we should seek to fulfill his purposes for our lives. (Design – made to glorify God Col 1:16 by him and for him.) 

2.2 (Sustainer)
17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together

The writer of Hebrews says something similar: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Heb. 1:3).
Tension: Thinking that we are the sustainer of our lives brings us anxiety and insecurity knowing that we are imperfect. 
– Christ is still speaking and working in the earth. Christ is not a clockmaker that makes the clock and allows it to run on its own. Though Christ is the one that has implemented scientific laws like gravity, he is the one who keeps those things running.
He is the battery, the power, and at the same time the power switch 

Application (Sustainer)  
The fact that Christ is our sustainer means we should depend on Him for everything.

Illustration : Laminin – cell adhesion protein molecule – show pic after 
3. He is the Head of the Church. v.18
a) Leadership – It is the brain, which is part of the head, that directs every part of the body. It is the control center of the body. Similarly, the church must stay dynamically connected to Christ in order to discern his will.
* We should not be self centered 
*We are Christ Centered, Spirit Empowered. 

Stop chasing after prominence, be captivated by Christ’s preeminence. 

b) Life – without being connected to the head there can be no fruit of the Spirit: no joy, peace, self–control, longsuffering, or even salvation. Christ said, “I came that they may have life and life more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Application: Stay connected to the church as it finds its leadership and life in Christ. 
4. He is the First born from the dead. v.18 
Questions : What does the phrase “firstborn of the dead” mean when referring to Christ? What does this imply for the believer? 

Answers: 

4.1 Firstborn From The Dead Means Christ Is The First Part Of The New Creation.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep – 1 Corinthians 15:20

However, firstborn does not just mean “first in time” in this context…

4.2: Firstborn From The Dead Also Means He Is The Supreme One Of All The Resurrected

Phelps story – felt like his life was a mess despite the gold medals. Thought of commuting suicide. In the midst of being the “superior” one in swimming- what saved him is reveled in this statement …
In a recent interview with ESPN Magazine, “Phelps explained that the Christian book “turned me into believing there is a power greater than myself and there is a purpose for me on this planet.”
Landing: 
Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 15:14: “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
If Christ had not been raised, then the Christian faith is a hoax and our faith is in vain. The resurrection of Christ is the crux of the Christian faith and therefore this resurrection makes Christ the priority—the supreme one of all those who will be raised.
This implies that IF we put our faith first in Christ being our Lord and Savior, we could look forward to an eternity under His rule with glorified bodies in a glorified world. 
22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:22-23 
Jesus is God, He is the Creator and the Sustainer of all things, the head of the Church and the redeemer of our souls.  
Main Point: A revelation of Christ’s preeminence leads us to reverence, builds our confidence, and strengthens our dependence.