Tag Archives: loyalty

Monday Morning Moment – Are You Engaged at Work? It Matters that YOU Show Up

Blog - Engagement - idonethis blogPhoto Credit: IDoneThis.com

In the pre-dawn light of this Monday morning, my husband and I sat briefly together. Over our first cup of coffee, we were talking about employee engagement, of all things. I had just read the most excellent blog (by Corinne Rogero) on being engaged, and it inspired a rare early morning conversation. Be encouraged.

This beautiful young woman, Corinne, tantalizes the reader with a blog seemingly about engagement to be married:

“I want to be engaged, but it’s probably not what you think. I’m as single as a slice of American cheese right now, which is perfect for me and I prefer it that way. But when I say I want to be engaged, I don’t mean I’m looking for a fiancé. I mean I want to be engaged in the sense that I’m mindful of the people and surroundings and culture and the spiritual warfare around me. I want to establish meaningful connections with the person on the other side of my coffee mug or in the booth across from me at dinner or in the passenger seat of my car. I want to lean in and connect with the stories being told. I want to actively console the sorrows being shared. I don’t want to go through conversations absentmindedly anymore.” – Corinne Rogero, I Should Be Engaged

This state of mindfulness and staying in the present are crucial to being engaged…no matter the environment or work circumstance.

Employee engagement is a property of the relationship between an organization and its employees. An “engaged employee” is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests.

When we become discouraged or demoralized with work, our tendency is to lose our bearings, almost become disoriented. We move to being defensive (reactionary), rather than offensive (proactive or forward-thinking). We lose focus and the best problem-solvers, highest producers among us can seem to lose their way…shifting focus to lesser goals and more easily achievable ends.

What I loved most about Rogero’s blog on being engaged was the personal intentionality of it. Her chief desires were clear and she was resolved to clear the way for them…in her day-to-day present.

I loved that and am inspired, empowered, and energized by that. I want to communicate and model that in my own workspace.

Tom Muha wrote a great piece entitled Achieving Happiness: Leadership Styles: Multipliers vs. Diminishers. I didn’t see how it related to achieving happiness but it did give an excellent summation of Liz Wiseman’s book Multipliers: How the Best leaders Make Everybody Smarter. Read her book for sure; Muha’s article will whet your appetite to read it.

I refer you to the concept of “multipliers vs. diminishers” because employee engagement is incredibly impacted by what kind of supervisor we have. Some supervisors maximize their team’s work experience (multipliers) while others maximize their own perceived importance to the organization rather than empowering their employees (diminishers).

We may not easily see how we can alter our situation with our boss (other than losing ourselves trying to please him/her, disengaging, or quitting altogether), but I see possibilities. It is possible, we can make a difference with our boss…if we don’t give up. It is also possible to make a difference for peers to help each other stay engaged or to re-engage. I loved Corinne Rogero’s quote below:

You will not find the warrior, the poet, the philosopher or the Christian by staring into his eyes as if he were your mistress: better to fight beside him, read with him, argue with him, pray with him.C. S. Lewis

It is hard sometimes…harder than we could imagine it would be sometimes…but whatever it takes to stay in the battle is better than disengaging ourselves from it.

Disengagement is very isolating. The disengaged just get quieter and focused elsewhere. Or, at its worst, disengagement gathers together a company of the miserable. No judging here…I just grieve the loss of what can be – not just product or service, but the continuing growth, joy, satisfaction of real, valued people at work.

Whatever our work situation or challenge, staying engaged is worth every effort, moment by moment. Hopefully your organization understands and is building in processes for ongoing employee engagement. Speak into that, if given opportunity. Speak into it anyway.

BLog - Employee engagement - management study guide

Photo Credit: ManagementStudyGuide.com

Hear one last word from Corinne Rogero on being engaged in life in the present:

“I want to be locked and loaded with an arsenal of grace and truth and boldness to bring the good news of hope into the lives that intersect mine. I want to be fully aware of God’s presence in every moment and not as much like Jacob who woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I didn’t know it!”Corinne Rogero

No matter our situation at work – a team at odds with itself, a difficult culture, a boss who I don’t understand – no matter our situation, we can determine to be engaged. There is an undeniable emotional component to engagement, but it is larger than emotion. We can do the personal work of being “locked and loaded” – alone or with a few others who share our same vision and stewardship (belief/ethics). Our work lives are too precious to waste in disengagement… It may take some time for our circumstances to change, but our hearts, resolve, and focus can be sharpened in the fire of whatever difficulty faces us at work…if we don’t give up*.

What challenge are you facing at work that steals away your joy, drive, or confidence? What has helped you stay engaged? What are you doing to turn perceived walls, barriers or bottlenecks into doorways? Let us learn from you in comments below, please.

I Should Be Engaged – Corinne Rogero

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everybody Smarter by Liz Wiseman and Greg Mckeown

Gallup – Five Ways to Improve Employee Engagement

Best Practice Advice on Employee Engagement and Organization Development

*Galatians 6:9

4 Elements of Uncommon Loyalty in the Life of Jonathan

2014 BLog Pics 001

If you were hanging off a cliff at the end of a rope, you would want someone like Jonathan on the other end. He’s not going to let you fall. This is the kind of loyalty we hope to have in friends, family members, even colleagues, if we were honest. In fact, someone like Jonathan would have intervened before you went over the edge.

We don’t use the term loyalty so often these days. As a character trait, its meaning has been maligned over the years. Being loyal has been perverted to mean something more weak than strong – something puppyish, short-sighted, or weak-willed. Occasionally, loyalty can bring to mind allegiances that serve our own purposes. It’s who you know, right, in advancing in the work force, for example.

Yet, when we look at Jonathan, in the Bible, loyalty is the character quality that comes to mind immediately. Deep, unwavering, costly loyalty. To his friend, David, yes, but also to his flawed king and father, Saul, and most importantly to the Lord Himself.

Jonathan’s story is found in 1 Samuel (beginning in 1 Samuel 13:2), as his father, King Saul, falters and then eventually falls as king of Israel. It’s a fast read to the end of this book and worth your time, if you want to see this picture of Jonathan’s true and steadfast loyalty.

I’ve read this passage many times, but this time, God opened my eyes to the “so much more” that lies at the heart of Biblical loyalty. Read the full account (1 Samuel 13-31) for the mesmerizing details, but here, in brief, is how Jonathan’s life has affected my own today.

The Loyalty of Jonathan

1) He acted on his loyalty – courageously and without hesitation. Jonathan was Saul’s oldest son and heir to the throne as next King of Israel. He was often in battle and led his troops valiantly, even at great risk to his own life (1 Samuel 14). He was loyal to the purposes of God and the direction of his father, King Saul. When his father did not lead well, or at all, Jonathan stayed true to the purposes of God. He found favor among the people (v. 45).

2) He was inclusive, as much as was possible for him to be. Jonathan met David after David killed the giant Goliath. When they met, their souls were knit together (1 Samuel 18:1). A deep love and loyalty grew between these two friends. Jonathan however still obeyed his father as much as he could. He would not follow the king’s orders if they went against God, but when he could obey, he did. [I love this about Jonathan that he didn’t cast off his relationship with his father with the advent of his relationship with David.] Jonathan’s loyalty extended to his God (and God’s purposes for Israel), his father, and his friend.

3) He was selfless in his loyalty, for the sake of those he loved. In reading, the account of Jonathan’s life in 1 Samuel, it became clear pretty early that he would not be heir of Israel’s kingdom after all. He would never be king. What bitterness that could birth in a lesser man! Jonathan must have had a profound trust in God. It seemed the throne was of little consequence to him in comparison to righting the relationships between his father and David. He did everything he could to reconcile the two, even with the knowledge that he would gain nothing more than he had already. That is the purest, truest kind of loyalty. A God-glorifying, unconditional love and loyalty.

4) He did not waver in his loyalty even at great cost. I hope you read the accounts in 1 Samuel that tell Jonathan’s story. From a human standpoint, it doesn’t lead to a happy ending. He dies in battle at his father’s side. David is elsewhere, fighting his own battles, and staying clear of the king who wanted him dead.

Jonathan dies, fighting the enemies of Israel, in obedience to God and his father…faithful, loyal, courageous to the end.  Earlier in his story (1 Samuel 23:17), Jonathan pledged to David, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that.” David did become king, but Jonathan would not be at his side. Still, the king that David became was forever altered by how God used Jonathan in his life.

And Jonathan? What of Jonathan? Generations of us who have read his story have squared our shoulders, fixed our gaze, and resolved, with God’s help, to love like Jonathan did…to be truly loyal as he was. This is a greater legacy than being any king…

How would our churches, workplaces, families and friendships be different today if we determined to be wholly and intentionally loyal in our relationships? How would our relationships be with the Lord?

Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and of people. – Proverbs 3:3-4 NRV

Short Bible Study on Loyalty

What Does the Bible Say About Loyalty

The Character of Loyalty