BWFLI team stretching and blessing the next generation of leaders at East Texas Baptist University
Cliff Shiepe, best-selling author, inspires students
ETBU students gathered at midnight to discuss “What’s Next” and job market tips
Former All-American, All-Pro Bill Glass stirring the athletes
ETBU Steering Committee Chair Emily Prevost and BWFLI President Brenda A. Smith sharing a celebratory moment
In these uncertain times we often feel out of place. We long for the confidence of belonging but experience displacement instead.
Thomas More wrote of an ideal place called Utopia. It had no ills, no disharmony, and no conflict – it was perfect. Generations later we continue to desire utopia, don’t we? We see chaos, turmoil, and deprivation and our hearts yearn for the world described by More.
Ironically, the word “Utopia” is Latin meaning “no place.” The idea of perfection is impossible; this concept is from a philosopher’s imagination. But our culture took the idea and turned it into an expression of the belief that man can create such a place.
The arts are full of references to having a place. Paul Tournier, the Swiss psychiatrist, wrote of A Place for You. Michael W. Smith lamented his search for A Place in this World. George Stevens produced a film titled A Place in the Sun. No shortage of people searching for a place!
Even Jesus addressed the topic. He told us He would be going to the Father in order to “prepare a place for you… that where I am you may be also.” That is the cry of the heart – the provision of a true, satisfying place. Instead of Utopia which is “no place” because it doesn’t exist – this will be heaven for it will be life everlasting.
by Brenda A. Smith, BWFLI.com, BreakfastWithFred.com
“Place is a critical conversation in the time of displacement.”
The original definition of “utopia” is a Latin word meaning “no place.” Culture has changed it to mean a place of perfection. But isn’t that outside of heaven essentially no place? The world longs for utopia while experiencing darkening trends toward dystopia.
As our students, staff, and administrators return to an uncertain fall semester let’s pray for them. As they focus on creating a place of learning, spiritual growth, and personal development, let’s pray for them to remember that they have been blessed with the responsibility of providing a place for young minds and hearts, as well as each other.
Please pray for their hope as they look to Jesus who has gone to prepare a place for us. Father God, protect our precious Christian schools. Guard their hearts and minds, clarify their missions, free them to declare the truth of the gospel, and forward their goals of producing men and women who live and work
excellently. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Leadership God’s Way
by Bob Deffinbaugh, Bible.org, BWFLI.com
“25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28).
As the spokesperson for her sons, Mary asks Jesus if her “boys,” James and John, can sit at His right and left hand. In other words, she was asking for them to have status and position, above the other disciples. As you can read, that did not go well with the other disciples, who also wanted greater status (see Mark 9:34).”
Jesus then went on to contrast His leadership style with that of the Gentile rulers of that day (and ours!). In His kingdom, leaders were to use their position to serve those under their authority, not lord it over them.
Many are the books, blogs, and lectures on successful leadership, and most all of them will contain at least some element of Gentile leadership styles (including those written by some pastors).
Let us pray for our students that they will learn to lead God’s way, and not the way of the Gentiles – that they will become servant leaders, not domineering leaders, to the glory of God and the advance of the gospel.
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Weekly Thought – July 28, 2020
Fred spent much of his last years immobilized and limited to his hospital bed at home, in a wheelchair, or in dialysis. Yet, the disciplines he constructed earlier in life allowed him to manage his time and his attitude, bringing his wisdom as a blessing to many. God implanted Fred with the ability to think, process, and communicate effectively in order to move others to healthy living. This final excerpt from his speech to GENESCO management draws together his challenge to supervise rightly.
Management’s Responsibility to the Sales Force, part four
I call this final point “providing healthy motivation.” Management must distinguish between motivation and manipulation. The latter is a counterfeit which artificially or temporarily moves people. My psychiatrist friend Dr. Howard Rome says motivation is a person’s thirst. If we are to understand true motivation, then we must understand what causes the thirst and know how to supply the answer.
In the hiring process we must ask these questions: 1) does the applicant have a thirst we can satisfy? 2) Is this person’s thirst compatible with our philosophy and organizational structure? 3) Is there a conflicting thirst which will eventually create a problem?
Here are a few thirsts we can check:
1) Compensation – money is important and says much about the applicant. To many it scores the accomplishment and social ranking. To many it represents attainment, power, and independence. Studying the subject of compensation in relation to its motivating power within your organization is key.
2) Competition – most sales people are naturally competitive and want to know where they stand in the organization. It is a healthy, productive motivation, but must be guided rather than exploited in an anti-social way. Competition is for excitement, not incitement… to build spirit, not tear it down.
3) Participation – Sales people like to feel a part of “what’s going on.” Sales forces can become lonely and detached. Management can reduce this by implementing feedback channels which then can increase the enjoyment, learning, and retention.
4) Recognition – There is an old sales adage: people work for gold or glory. Most sales people desire recognition from others in the organization, particularly upper management. Management has a responsibility to create systems which bestow recognition widely, and not just on the top producer or two.
5) Attention – I could say communication, but what I am pointing out is the need to listen to the sales force. There is no shortage of “talking to” with memos flying daily. What is often lacking is the focused, intentional time spent listening. It is an extreme compliment which too few of us pay to too few. We choose to listen up the chain, ignoring those who aren’t influencing our future moves. The sales force is a critical element in any organization’s success and often has important information gathered from front-line communication with customers.
The relationship between management and the sales force is a mutual responsibility. The sales team owes the company: productivity, a fair trial of the prepared tools, effective use of time, a clear and accurate presentation of the sales proposition, as well as appreciation for the opportunity to earn a living, develop talents, and utilize abilities.
This week think about: 1) How do these principles apply to me? 2) What can I do to better practice my responsibilities? 3) Who could benefit from these words from Fred?
Words of Wisdom: “Competition is for excitement, not incitement…to build spirit, not tear it down.”
Wisdom from the Word: “A laborer’s appetite has labored for him, for his hunger has pressed him to work.” (Proverbs 16:26 NET Bible)