Monday, December 28, 2009

Two Ways to Live Our Lives

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." Albert Einstein

I love the sentiment behind this quote even if I'm not completely certain of its attribution to Einstein. What's important is that it offers two views on how to interpret the world around us. The former view is one where God is disinterested or absent while the latter view presents a God active in His creation.

I believe the latter. There are "miracles" around us all the time. There are miracles found around the corner, in your neighborhood and your workplace. These miracles are often masked in the mundane grind of daily life. They seem more evident in times of blessing. They are sometimes covered by a cloak of trial or hardship....even then, if we look with eyes of faith, God is present and active.

Do you see the invisible hand of Providence in the various situations of your life? Do you see God in the blessings you receive? Are you comforted by Him in the trials of life? Is the Almighty at work in the mundane and the ordinary of your life?

This is the essence of a practiced Christian worldview - daily seeing the fingerprints of the Almighty God in the world around us.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quote of the Week

"At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of the morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in."

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Friday, December 04, 2009

Getting It Done But Doing It Right

My friend Alex, a software executive recently shared his approach to evaluating his team. Alex assesses each person in his organization along two axis - "getting it done" and "doing it right".

"Getting it done" pertains to performance. Is the individual achieving the objectives of his job? It is a reality of our working lives that performance does matter. In most jobs, there is an explicit expectation of results to be achieved, tasks to be completed and objectives to be met. We cannot escape this fact - God has placed us in the "garden" of our lives to tend, cultivate and bear fruit.

But "getting it done" isn't the whole story - it's also about "doing it right". We're called to work to the glory of God. This means both working in the right way and doing the right things. It is insufficient for us to simply complete the project on time and within budget. We're also called to do it in a way that cultivates teamwork and joyful labor. Doing the right thing means redefining what it means to succeed. Succeeding in business isn't simply about increasing revenues or profits - it's also about ethical business.

I think this framework can be doubly beneficial - not only for managers in evaluating team members but also for each of us to conduct a little self assessment as well. Are we succeeding in meeting the objectives of our job? Are we "getting it done"? How about "doing it right?" Are we working in way that brings joy and peace to our workplace? Is the way we work not only effective but life giving? I also like it because it ties in with an assertion I made recently that a culture of performance and a culture of encouragement are not contradictory but rather complementary.

What do you think? Does this approach make sense? How are you doing along each of the two axis?