“The office is a community, and like other communities, it functions best when people are polite and kind to one another. This means being polite to people at every level of the office hierarchy, not just those who are higher up.”
– Complete Book of Etiquette, Amy Vanderbilt, 1952.
As you know, I am passionate about the workplace and our collective, and individual, growth & development over the years through our experiences at work – good and bad. As I approach the end of a 27-year career with the federal government, I often look back at how such experiences have shaped and prepared me for the multiple leadership positions in which I have been blessed to serve. Below is the introduction to my second book in the Give God the Glory! series (2003). I still practice what I wrote almost 10 years ago:
“And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness (Genesis 1:3-4).”
The formative years represent a period for growth, development and maturity. God is a God of order (1 Corinthians 14:40) and these three beginning phases in the workplace are progressional – that is, they build one upon the other. Growth, development, and maturity are a time for new beginnings as it relates to life experiences, development of character, skills, knowledge, and abilities, and becoming a mature, responsible worker. Responsibility breeds accountability and visibility and “to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).”
As it relates to the workplace, growth is the phase when we learn to adapt to the environment where God has placed us. The workplace can be compared to a community that functions at its best when people chose to work well together and are genuinely kind to one another. In reality, very few offices function at their best due to the sinful nature of man. God’s commandment to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us (Matthew 7:12) is rarely, if ever, actualized. What is desperately needed in the workplace is for God’s chosen one’s to be the light that will remind your co-workers about the enthusiasm that had when they were first gainfully employed. Remind them of the dreams that they was had but have lost along the way.
The development of one’s skills, abilities, and knowledge is self-initiated as we strive for excellence in our chosen career field. Hard work, practice at what we do, a desire to become the best in our chosen profession, accepting risky assignments, willingness to travel, and moving out of our comfort zone are positive steps to strengthen self and demonstrate a passion to go beyond the call of duty. Be light to others as you develop your skills for a fruitful future in your chosen career field. Exemplify excellence in character, integrity, reliability and workmanship throughout your entire workday. Be the spark that encourages your co-workers to develop their skills and motivate them to follow their dreams.
Maturity is the end result of the growth and development phases. The mature worker accepts responsibly for actions taken and career progression. In the beginning of God’s recorded Word, it is written, “And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness (Genesis 1:3-4).” Light created organization where there once was chaos and it dispelled darkness where it was once void (Genesis 1:2). This happened in the beginning before God planted seed that brought forth vegetation (Genesis 1:11). The seeds that we plant into our respective careers will produce fruit in our lives, and equally important, in the lives of others. Let your light so shine and your maturity illuminate in the workplace! Cause others to have a desire to achieve results that are visible as a result of your mature approach to office situations and circumstances.