How important is the one?

B. Keith Chapman, President & CEO


“God didn’t add another day in your life because you needed it, he added it because someone out there needs you.” – Anonymous


So much of our lives seem to be geared toward self-centeredness. What’s best for me? How will I benefit? Often times, I think this perspective can cause us to miss out on real opportunities in life. There is a popular contemporary Christian song written by Cory Asbury called Reckless Love. The lyrics of the song talk about a parable (a story used to illustrate a lesson) found in Mathew 18. The parable is about a shepherd who is watching over 100 sheep. One of the sheep wonders away and the shepherd has to make the decision whether or not to leave the 99 sheep to go find and bring back the one. The story brings the reader to a point of decision where the reader is singular, they is plural are faced with the question, how important is the one?


In today’s world, the business environment is filled with strategies in which risks and benefits are analyzed regularly. Some may think that the risk of leaving the 99 to go find the one is too high. When you apply this parable to people, the decision gets even more complicated. Every workplace has employees, and employees add varying levels of value to the overall organization. Not everyone is a super performer and not everyone has a mode of operation that encourages teamwork and a positive work environment. However, people remain the most valuable part of the organization. Organizational success is 90% people and 10% process. So, each individual is vitally important in the journey of success.


As humans, it is natural that we tend to spend time with the people that we enjoy or have common interests. However, the workplace is made up of a diverse group of employees with different backgrounds, thought processes, and work ethics. Each of these employees is adding some level of value to the overall success of the organization. From a development standpoint, high performers have little room for significant improvement in their work. However, average performers have a tremendous capacity for improvement. Who are you spending the most time with?


It is also important to remember that there are many reasons why people struggle in the workplace. Often times, there are external stressors that are distracting employees from focusing on their work. Life is challenging in many ways. Everyone goes through seasons in life where things can get overwhelming and it impacts the way we think, act, and work. If we always focus on the people that we have things in common with or only high performers, we are likely missing the opportunity to make significant investments in people. You must be intentional in looking for the “one” that needs some of your time and encouragement. Some may also think this responsibility lies solely on the shoulders of managers. However, everyone in the organization benefits from success. In fact, coworkers are oftentimes presented with the first opportunity to assist others. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time.” If employees are the most valuable asset an organization can have, then we all should routinely be taking the time to invest in them.


Challenge: Look for the “one” that needs help; be intentional in your investment of time with people; remember that your time can impact people both personally and professionally; never forget that each “one” is important.


Published: June 2018

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