Influenced by Faith: 6 Values I Strive to Live By at Work

My values for work and my work ethic have been influenced by many,

some through direct experience and demonstration by great and horrible bosses, and others through minds in books: Ernest Hemingway on the attractiveness and persuasiveness of brevity; Ray Dalio on embracing the natural bents, strengths, and weaknesses of others, Shane Parrish on the many mental models I could employ to make smarter decisions, and Marcus Aurelius’ father on how to treat your co-workers, to name a few.

I give credit to the Bible for most of the underlying values in work I’ve cultivated in my professional life; They are things I strive to abide by and commit to at the age of 28.


Here are some lessons I learned from the Bible on how to live as a Christian in work:


Rest and relaxation must become a familiar presence in your life. 

Having work physically, emotionally and mentally consume one’s life and identity is against the character of a Christian life.

As a Christian, participating in the Sabbath is an act of obedience, a reminder for me that I am not a slave beholden to my work (“How much more valuable is a person than a sheep!” (Matthew 12:12)), and a demonstration that I’m putting my money where my mouth is when I say I believe God is sovereign, at the center of my life and my purpose for being.

It’s also an healthy act of rest: to rejuvenate, restore, and re-center myself in the things that matter most to me in life.

So, we keep the Sabbath. (Deuteronomy 5:12-14):


Listen and actively seek and embrace guidance and counsel from others.

Be humble and open minded in the counsel and feedback of others.

Proverbs 15:22: “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

Proverbs 11:14: “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.”

Proverbs 24:6 on being a wise and successful king: “Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers”.

What these verses do not imply is to accept the guidance of anyone, or to always embrace the guidance of close counsel. They simply state the value of taking into deep consideration the counsel of one’s advisors. Who do you see as an advisor in your life? Hopefully someone close, who reflects principles and values you respect, and someone you trust and respect.

Despite demonstrated differences in values, principles, and/or opinion, have respect for and be respectful of placed authority.

It is important to show a level of respect to those placed in specific positions as they have been “elected” and placed there by people, whether it be by the board of your company, or by your nation’s people. (Romans 13)

While I struggle with showing deep admiration for someone when his/her principles are at odds with mine, regardless of position, I learned that is different from being able to show thoughtfulness and respect for the dignity and position of another.

Shane Parrish, founder of Farnam Street, has also savvily quipped once: “you can disagree without saying anything.”


Engage in and pursue work that has purpose and meaning.

Being involved in work that is “beneficial,” “constructive,” or benefiting the “good of others” is in close character with Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:23


Celebrate and compliment your colleagues’ strengths and accomplishments. Mentor your juniors; actively give credit to them.

Lift up your peers [hype them] when there is any true opportunity to do so. BUT avoid flattery.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)
“For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” (Romans 16:18)
“For there is no truth in their mouth…. their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.” ( Psalm 5:9)

Bises,

Soo

Notes on Conscious Leadership ft. Bob Iger and Jim Dethmer

Notes from a podcast interviewing Robert Iger

While I respect Iger’s mind, the podcast was not strong (felt the interviewer was ill prepared and the conversation was not original, so not leaving much here from what I listened to and will not leave link)

Be generous and efficient
Have great teachers
Never, ever complain about work
Iger worked 30 years with the top bosses and mentors
“You must be in the business of changing with or ahead of the times”

Notes from Shane Parrish’s Farnam Street’s Knowledge Project Podcast Episode 60 ft. Jim Dethmer (coach, speaker, author, and founding partner of The Conscious Leadership Group)

Fantastico. First 20 minutes are a lot of common sense, and then for the rest of the podcast, Dethmer proceeds to unpack familiar concepts with great originality of reasoning – conversations that really excited and inspired me! Such a thought provoking man and highly recommend you listen to the actual podcast recording.
State of Beings (Always operate out of a place of love and play over fear, rage, anger, guilt, or shame):
Being “above the line” vs “below the line”
Above the Line: Open, curious, trusting, open to learning, presence of candor
Below the line: Contracted. Curtness came from contraction. Contracted living can lead to self-criticism, which will probably lead to even more curtness. Defensiveness, Being in a state of threat, attached to proving you are right.
Acting below the line can lead to short term desired outcomes/results, but will leave toxic residue.
Can I accept myself for being where I am? (Acting out from below or above the line)
  • Acting out from below or above the line.
  • Can I accept myself for being reactive?
  • Order of states: acceptance follows awareness
    • Self-awareness in his words: creating a feedback rich environment/ or developing feedback rich tools for self-reflections
      • ‘If you are constantly getting feedback you are on a rocket-ship to self-awareness
    • Constructive Self-acceptance
      • Susan’s view: Centering on God’s delight in you, regardless of your state of being, mistakes, or how you acted. That you can accept and just strive to be better.
      • Dethmer’s view: Being present with “I am okay just the way I am” Kill the belief that something at the core is missing.
On Motivations
Purpose/Calling: 1st level of motivation that doesn’t lead to toxic residue
  • Jim Dethmer calls this level the “zone of genius” – what it is that lights me up to do in the world
Play: 2nd level of motivation
  • When work can start to lookalike play
    • Ex.) Dethmer’s: “When I am coding, it is like a child at play. I love it.”
    • Ex.) Susan’s “When I am designing or making new products, it is like a child at play. I love it. When I’m creating or solving something challenging, I get a huge adrenaline rush.”
  • The sooner you return to PLAY, the better for best leadership or results or work
Love: highest level/form of motivation
  • the love of the thing
    • Ex.) Dethmer’s “I LOVE LANDSCAPING!!”
    • Ex.) Susan’s “I LOVE MY CUSTOMERS I LOVE SEEING ATEM IN MORE PLACES I LOVE PEOPLE GETTING HAPPIER FROM ATEM AND COMING BACK FOR MORE!”
Teams of the future must be motivated by intrinsic rewards, play and love. However, so many people are motivated from desiring approval (Susan: this was me until 2016!! and I decided to start fighting it!)
  • On desiring approval: “The core of this motivation too lies in fear”
At 36 minutes:
On Integrity in Work/Leadership/Relationship to Others and Yourself
“There’s no such thing as a small breach of integrity” – Jim Dethmer
Reconsidering the term “AGREEMENTS”
  • Definition: agreeing with oneself or with 2 people+ to do something.
  • What does it mean to make clear agreements (commitments)?
    • Agreements need to be incredibly clear.
      • Not, let’s plan to meet around noon/in the morning, but let’s meet at x at y for z and we’ll do r, t, and c.
        • Who, what, when
  • Only make agreements you have a whole bodied agreement to
    • Wholebodied agreements: When it’s a yes from you in mind, body, and heart.
    • If you don’t do this, you make agreements you don’t want to make
      • This includes little details even with things like times that are less convenient for you. Either be whole bodied agreeing in compromise, or say “if we could do it at 7:30 that would be better for me”.
  • Most organizations keep between 40-60% of agreements
Broken agreements are a broach in integrity
Integrity is about my agreements
  • How impeccable I am about making and keeping my agreements
  • How impeccable I am about renegotiating agreements before I break them OR if I break them, cleaning them up
    • If you break an agreement, immediately acting: “Before we go on I want to say sorry for being xyzzy. I was to see if there is anything I can do to make it up for you.”
    • Taking acts of responsibility is the commodity of trust.
  • High integrity people will meet this 90% of the time
On Having a Victim Mentality
Do you live by a victim mentality or a creator mentality?
Victim Mentality: Is this happening to you?
Creator Mentality: Is this happening by you?
At 1 hour , 11 minutes:
On Improving EQ
Step 1. Decide if you are willing to improve your emotional intelligence
Step 2. One must be emotionally literate before one is emotionally intelligent
  • Being emotionally literate: Capable of knowing what you yourself are feeling, when you are feeling it. (Susan: I struggle with this, and naming my feelings and the why in the “present”).
    • Something people often do, thinking it’s their feeling “I feel you are wrong” “I feel overwhelmed” – A thought followed by a feeling is not a feeling.
Step 3. Can I feel my feelings?
  • Dethmer: Statistics support that feelings last less than 90 seconds if one doesn’t feed the feelings.
Creating a Feedback Rich Environment
  • Identify your feedback filters
    1. This person needs to give me feedback by this deadline, I need experts in the subject matter, this person isn’t smart enough” etc etc
    2. Dethmer: your state of mind should be about “I want feedback given any day, any time, by anybody
  • Being thoughtful about your feedback filters and being conscious about which ones you want or decide to keep
  • When asking for feedback, ensure the other person if they are concerned abut reputation or junior; “don’t worry about being right, constructive, or giving actionable feedback” “Anything I did less than 10, tell me what I can do better.” “Anything I did better than 1, tell me what I can do better.”
    • Susan: Things I can do: Ask family “What is one thing I can do to be a better sister?” “What is one thing I can do to be a better daughter?”
  • When receiving or getting feedback, always, ALWAYS ASK: “How is their feedback about me true about me? (Feedback is based off their projection of you or your work, but how is it true?
  • When you give feedback or give out a projection of another, take that feedback of yourself in and see how it is true about you.