1. My Values
Principle: I need regular encouragement and wisdom to guide me to success in my business life.
Detail: My Values (below) represent a check-list for everyday guidance. The only way to LIVE these values is by meeting with God daily in a Quiet Time, where He will slowly but surely build into my life a desire to “do it His Way”. And His Way is the only way that leads to ultimate success, not just in business, but also in my family and life.
2. My Integrity
Principle: My integrity is more important than my bank balance.
Detail: Most business decisions are guided by the bottom line, sometimes at the expense of integrity. A short term financial loss with my integrity intact will be richly rewarded in the long run.
3. My Promises
Principle: I shall always attempt to UNDER promise and OVER deliver.
Detail: Most businesses specialize in the opposite; over-promising and under-delivering. Just look at most advertisements ~ listen to most salesmen. Over-promising is a form of lying, giving the impression I will do what I cannot, or will not, do. How refreshing to ultimately provide MORE than anticipated when compared to my original promise.
4. My Negotiations
Principle: I shall consider my “adversary’s” objectives, and satisfy them, if possible.
Detail: Most negotiators want to win at all costs (win-lose). My first step in every negotiation will be to learn what the other party seeks; then attempt to provide it while satisfying my own goals. My objective is always win-win.
5. My Relationships
Principle: Everybody is of equal worth. Position, power and money are irrelevant
Detail: Businesses often favor and reward the strong at the expense of the weak. By treating EVERYONE as I would be treated, I will foster positive relationships with people at every level.
6. My Disputes
Principle: Disputes will always occur; reconciliation is always my objective.
Detail: Money-focused businesses will win any way they can, trashing relationships if necessary. I need to keep disputes in perspective; sometimes willingly losing in the short term to preserve relationships for the long term. I will never choose to initiate Court action.
7. My Resources
Principle: Resources are always scarce.
Detail: Many will borrow recklessly, grab greedily, and sometimes cheat, lie and steal to acquire resources. I am not that desperate; I do not have to succeed in my own strength at any cost. I can rely on God for what I need, without squandering my integrity by “panic provisioning”.
8. My Risks
Principle: Business and risk-taking are often considered synonymous.
Detail: Risk-taking can result in bankruptcy, but only if I risk what I cannot afford to lose. I have tools for success that are unavailable to unbelievers, including guidance from the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, as well as Godly counsel from fellow believers. If I use all these tools intelligently and diligently, I am unlikely to fail.
9. My Performance
Principle: Only my best is good enough.
Detail: Many people operate on the principle of “near enough is good enough”, resulting in shoddy goods, poor service and disgruntled customers. An opposite attitude, where I aim to surpass my customers’ expectations, will cause me to stand out from the crowd.
10. My Money
Principle: My attitude to money will determine my actions & determine my outcomes.
Detail: Many business people are driven by the desire to acquire money, often regardless of anything else. I can choose to put other values (eg integrity, honesty, relationships, etc) ahead of money. Also, I can choose to give rather than to get.
11. My Opportunities
Principle: We live in a world where almost anything is possible.·
Detail: Technology, transport & material prosperity mean that my life choices are almost unlimited. As in “risk taking” I have tools for success that are unavailable to unbelievers; if I use all these tools intelligently and diligently I will reach my full potential
12. My Taxes
Principle: The opportunity to cheat on Tax is hard to ignore; it’s a national sport!
Detail: Here’s the best opportunity I have, in the privacy of my own heart, to check whether I trust God or money. If I can be meticulously honest with my Taxes, down to the last cent, I can be confident in the knowledge that God honors those that honor Him and His provision. I will also sleep soundly every night …
13. My Honesty
Principle: Lying can become a habit, as can telling the truth at all times.
Detail: There are no degrees of “truth”; I can choose always to tell the truth, or develop the habit of lying for convenience. Even “harmless white lies” contain germs of destruction, as they can lead into more serious levels of deception. Telling the truth is sometimes uncomfortable, but builds respect and integrity in the long term.
14. My Word
Principle: If I verbally undertake to do a thing, it should be as good as done.
Detail: The old adage “my word is as good as my bond” is as valid today as ever. When men and women learn that I am as good as my word, my business and staff relationships will soar to a new level, simplifying my dealings with one and all.
15. My Legal Compliance
Principle: The Law of the land sets standards which I have an obligation to uphold.
Detail: Cutting corners, token compliance, and fiddling the books is short term stupidity; evidence that my trust is in the almighty dollar instead of the Almighty. Compliance with OH&S, Workers Comp, etc may be costly, but honouring the Laws of the land requires as much dedication and effort as servicing my best customer.
16. My Example – In the business community
Principle: It takes years to establish a reputation, but only a moment to lose it.
Detail: Each day my decisions and attitude will reflect my deeply held values, and not be determined by short term convenience. Suppliers, customers and business associates are not easily fooled; my lifestyle, actions and personal values are always on display, in spite of my advertising jargon.
17. My Example – Within my business
Principle: My business prosperity rests entirely with my staff.
Detail: I cannot do everything, so the attitude and commitment of my staff is crucial. If I allow “politics” to enter the workplace, our efforts will be diluted. If I lead in a manner that is just, transparent, impartial, focused and goal oriented, my staff will be encouraged to devote all their efforts to prospering the business.
18. My Purpose
Principle: Every individual has been placed on Earth for a specific purpose.
Detail: Within my business and my community I am privileged to occupy a position of influence. While I seek to develop my own God-given purpose in life, I have a role to play in encouraging my staff to do likewise, without forcing my own views on them.
19. My Family
Principle: If I build the world’s best business but lose my family, I have failed.
Detail:· My business can consume all my available time. However I must remain vigilant, sensitive and self-disciplined, so that my relationship with my spouse and my children remain my ongoing priority.
20. My Success
Principle: While business success is sweet, it is not ultimately the measure of my success in life.
Detail:· A successful business is not an end in itself, but rather a vehicle to allow me to provide for my family and to help others. In the long run it is not the size of my house, car or estate that will count, but how responsibly and compassionately I handled the resources that passed through my hands during my lifetime.
One of the temptations in our Christian walk is to pack our lives into a series of separate boxes.
We can have a “church box” for when we focus on God, a “mission box” for focusing on others, a “home box” for focusing on family, a “work box” for focusing on career or business, and so on. Theoretically, we know that God is equally interested in all our boxes, but traditionally some boxes can get a bit tattered, while others get a new coat of paint almost every week.
The business box is a case in point, where the stresses and pressures exerted by commercial competition can easily squeeze God into a tattered box. It is difficult to “be still and know that I am God” when the phones are in melt-down, the forklift driver has hit the LPG tank, and the Union wants to present its new wage demands! In fact human logic screams the opposite; it tells us that to be “still” means that everyone else is overtaking us. Our quiet inner voice often wants to join the panicking throng that is shouting at us to work longer, harder, and smarter. I know from experience that it’s just so easy to slip into a mindset that is almost totally counter to the ways that God would sometimes want to lead us.
I firmly believe God is just as interested in our businesses and workplaces, with exactly the same passion and concern, as He is in every other area of our lives. In the New Testament Jesus dealt with money and commercial matters in 16 out of 38 of His parables, and nearly 2100 New Testament verses deal with money and finance!
In our society “businesses” are the predominant generators of both wealth and jobs, and consequently the sustainer of family economic well-being. Our business owners not only carry huge personal responsibility, but also the capacity to impact many non-believers in ways that others can not. Their actions, decisions and lifestyles can either attract others to the Kingdom, or repel them. Dozens, hundreds or even thousands of employees and customers are constantly watching and judging Christian business leaders, whether they realise it or not. No other group needs greater practical and prayer support, and Godly wisdom, than these Brothers and Sisters who carry the ultimate responsibility for where “the business buck” finally stops!
To be really frank, I am somewhat overwhelmed to be given the opportunity to contribute to the Kingdom via the new HVBC “business initiative” that is now being launched in our church. I don’t know exactly where this will all lead, as I am depending on God to write the “Business Plan”. I will however have a shot at the SWOT analysis:
* Strengths – “The LORD God is my strength” (Hab 3:19)
* Weaknesses – "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." (2 Cor 12:9)
* Opportunities – "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him." (1 Cor 2:9)
* Threats – “... but did not inquire of the LORD (Josh 9:14)
On a practical level, I see our Business Ministry helping those both inside and outside HVBC with mentoring, consulting and counseling. I’d like to develop a Think Tank that provides Godly wisdom and practical solutions to sticky business problems. I want our team to be there to encourage and help when business gets tough. I’d like to see our business leaders setting an example in our community that demonstrates the principles and practices that are so clearly outlined in scripture.
I see our Business people both being helped, and providing help, where ever and when ever the Lord leads. Even the sky is not the limit!