Good All Over - S³ : A Sustainable Strategies Segment
There are 12 days left in this year. Many of us have been evaluating the chain of events that have occurred in this year. Let me add to your assessments, 'have you been good?" No, this is not a Santa Claus- naughty- or- nice question. Ok, let me ask the question this way, "are you good?"To clarify even further, " Have you been a good manager this year?" This question is for leaders specifically. Managers don't always make good leaders, but good leaders must be good managers. I believe this wholeheartedly. Do we exemplify good stewardship in ever area of our lives?
The catalyst behind this article comes from my spiritual mentor, Dr. Patricia Bailey (in photo, far left), Patricia Bailey Ministries, who has been challenging followers to examine their management skills. Leaders are charged to be good stewards of that which does not belong to us. Even if you are the founder and CEO of an organization, the moment the idea of starting that business becomes a reality there is a shift from a "my business" mindset, to an "our business" mindset if you want to see true success. Think about that for a minute. The Bible teaches us that through the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us, (Ephesians 3:20), God will do for us beyond our greatest expectations. But it's not us relying on ourselves only. The Bible also teaches us that our life is not our own (1Cor. 6:19) therefore, what we do is not about us. Our purpose on this earth is greater than us and we are accountable to God for how we treat what He has entrusted in our care. This means the earth- our planet and its natural resources; the people- from family to employees and everyone with whom we come into contact. We are also accountable for how generate profit. I am talking about the environmental Triple-bottom-line effect, TBL3 -planet, people, profit. Also, we are to be good stewards of intangible resources, such as our time, and our talent.
As we wind down this 2017 year, I want us to really work on our 2018 master life plan. Let's look at how we can be better stewards from these perspectives:
Living more sustainably - What do I mean by living more sustainably? I touched on the Triple Bottom-line concept earlier. Living sustainably makes TBL3 more personal. As you establish your 2018 spending plan for your household and even for your organization, look at how much money was spent (consumption) on natural resources such as water, electricity, gas (include automobiles and other forms of transportation), food (including eating out). Set a goal to reduce those expenses by 20%, for example, (even if you have to make a guesstimate of some of these expenses) and then divide that cost over 12 months. This step reveals your current spending habits, paints a picture of how some resources are wasted, and from their you can determine how to begin to change wasteful habits. Living sustainably benefits our environment and our bottomline.
Personal goals such as eating clean, consuming more wholesome foods and less meats, especially processed foods, improves our health and our planet. Studies prove that it costs the US over $2 billion annually and over $1 trillion globally to maintain a diet that consists of meat consumption. Just from an economical position, we can save money, use less natural resources, and improve the quality of our health by eating less meat. When these habits are encouraged in our employees and other followers, we are showing them how valuable they are to us while encouraging them to care for our shared planet. If you have a cafeteria and full service food options for your employees, giving them healthier options is a way of investing in their overall health and reduce your bottomline, health care expenses. Recycling at home and work is another way to demonstrate environmental stewardship. These are just a few ways living sustainably can carry over from home to work. Remember, environmental stewardship is a vital necessity in exercising good management.
Walking in our destiny more boldly - How are you presenting yourself to the world? How do you show up? Are you walking bolding in your destiny? To be destiny-driven requires being intentional about doing what you know and knowing what to do. We live in a society that continuously attempts to tell us who we should be and how we should behave. Other things such as distractions, disappointments, disillusionment, and desperation can easily derail us from walking in our destiny. We were uniquely created to walk in a God given path and live our lives, according to the exclusive plan God designed for us. Are you walking in your destiny?
Strengthening our leadership skills at home, in our work, and our community, whether it's an online community or our local community - being a leader is not about a title but it's connect with who God called you to be. Unfortunately, this critical value is often overlooked and underdeveloped, yet it is the most needed asset in the entire world! As we purposefully choose to become better stewards in every area, we don't want to leave out how we manage our leadership. Do you know your niche as a leader? How do you lead? How do your followers see you as a leader? Where do you shine best? How do you measure progress? What are you going to do in 2018 to grow and be even more effective in the area of leadership?
In my previous blog article, I wrote about "Elimination before Elevation" and the 3 keys emphasized in the article were:
eliminate a negative mindset
evaluate what worked and what didn't work
JUST DO IT - make the change! Let go off unproductive behaviors
I want to add this, if we expect to elevate in 2-0-1-8, then choosing to be a better steward is imperative. Here are 3 ways to amplify good management:
Specify how you're going to improve being a manager in every area. In addition to the example given with living sustainably, time management is another area that most of us need to manage better. We can start by identifying time-wasters and begin to eliminate them and replace them with more important goals. Goals that are destiny focused. This is for both personal and organizational time management. For financial management, do you begin your year with a spending and investment plan? Although I no longer provide financial counseling services, there are financial concepts that still use which allows me to control where and how my money should be spent. When your money has a specific assignment and is connected with goals that are aligned with your purpose, you are less likely to make frivolous purchases because they go against what you're trying to accomplish. Review your credit report 2 -3 times a year to verify credit usage and to create a debt elimination plan. These tips will help you be a more astute financial steward.
Personal development- in 2018, what areas are you going to improve If your health is an area, write down a plan and include how you are going to better manage each area of your health - physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual. Budget and plan your vacation and R&R time. Good stewards recognize the need to incorporate this into their lives on a regular basis. It sharpens you as a leader and when you provide assigned time off to regroup and rest, it enhances creativity and innovation.
Professional Development- in this day and age we all need coaches and mentors as part of our professional development budget. Having a coach not only helps with crystallizing your goals and developing a plan of action to achieving them, coaches are great accountability partners. Finally, identify conferences and trainings to attend that are designed to help you be a better asset to your organization.
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E. Michelle Mickens