Weekly Thought – October 31, 2017
Fred’s view of uniqueness was practical and pragmatic. He believed we had gifts given by God for use. He strongly advocated the search for personal design and the thorough, purposeful application. In his questioning he probed motivation and inspiration.
Asking Key Questions
1) What type of work do I do best: project, administration, individual, or team? It is important to know. If one is project oriented then they want to complete and move on to the next thing. Administrators like to keep perfecting the system. A family friend used to say his style was keeping it “cheap and cheerful.” He liked to engage in a project, finish it to his satisfaction, and leave the maintenance of those with systematic gifts. Those we call one-man operators are generally entrepreneurial and have a hands on management style. I have a friend who is a great executive consultant does not have a secretary – he is strictly a loner and thinker. I remember hearing Roger Staubach, great Cowboys quarterback, say he didn’t like golf because it was too individual – he liked to play on a team. It is critical to understand our skills, and our enjoyments. The more we know about how we are wired, the more effective we can be in our work environments. Of course, we all have to exist in situations where we must participate and function in less than ideal parameters, but when possible operating out of understanding results in higher achievement.
2) Do I lean on first impressions or do I wait and see? Those with gifts of discernment usually size up situations and people more quickly. However, we all get general feelings in the first few minutes. Even so, we must leave room for impressions to change. Some people and situations “grow on us” as we watch. It is easy to over-value colorful personalities and give less attention to the more quiet ones. Our society puts a premium on the out-going, extroverted style. Often, though, in the long run my wife Mary Alice is proven right when she advises me to step back and recognize that “still waters run deep.”
3) How many long-time friendships have I maintained? This is a question I often ask. Although it is not a hard and fast rule, I generally find people who have few long-time friendships and changing relationships tend to be opportunistic about them. They use the term “networking” as a euphemism for use and discard. When I hear them unfold their stories, the pattern of change crops up over and over: houses, jobs, friends, and even wives. Long-term friendships hone us; those who know us year after year inform and influence us – as we do them.
4) Do my friendships change with my current conditions? True friendships do not change, but acquaintances do. Most of do not have a plethora of true, long-lasting friendships because the investment is great. But most of us have many acquaintances who enrich our lives and make it much more pleasurable. There are situational relationships such as common commitments, career projects, community involvement, church, or family activities. These change as our situations change. Mutual interests are at the core of these. However, the mutuality of true friendship is generally rooted in years of trust and helping each other. My friend Ron Glosser finished every phone conversations with these words: “How can I help you?” He understood I felt the same way.
This week think about: 1) Who is my closest friend? 2) How perceptive am I at judging character at? 3) What attracts me to people and situations?
Words of Wisdom: “It is easy to over-value colorful personalities and give less attention to the more quiet ones.”
Wisdom from the Word: “As iron sharpens iron, so a person sharpens his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17 NET Bible)