This week’s Monday Blog comes from Sharla Langston. Sharla is one of the founders of Women Doing Well and the non-profit, Inspiring Generous Joy. Through these organizations, Sharla lives out her passion of helping Christian women discover their purpose, ignite their passion and make a plan for living and giving in God’s image. Sharla is also a director part time with the National Christian Foundation of North Texas, helping givers maximize their resources for the Kingdom. I love Sharla’s take on building the power of your faith at work, and I hope you do too! -Diane
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Recently, Daily Worth published a blog on “5 Ways to Build Your Power at Work.”
How impactful this could be for Christian women if the power was transferred to God’s power and expressed through faith. The DW article covered five areas: (1) Be Open to Others’ Influence; (2) Control Your Internal Resources; (3) Channel Your Popularity Into Power; (4) Focus on Quality; and (5) Be Trustworthy.
For the Christian, harnessing true power comes with obedience and humility, not exactly the power nouns found in corporate America. This principle of power, lived out in Jesus’ life time and time again and exhibited as he stated the last will be first and the first will be last. True power is often defined as influence. For a man who lived on earth only 33 years, his influence has lived on thousands of years. That impact translates to considerable power.
1. Two-way Influence. The influence of others on your life is as important as your influence on those around you and is often expressed as mentoring and accountability. By being mentored and held accountable in a trusted faith relationship, you can pour into others around you. As a Christian, biblical truth is your guide and can be applied in the workplace without quoting scripture. Again, humility allows you to listen to colleagues, while obedience to God’s truth keeps you on track. This give and take dynamic impacts your leadership capacity in the workplace and demonstrates God’s power lived out through you. Your co-workers and people you lead will notice. Who is influencing you? Who are you influencing?
2. Get Grounded. What has more power, your inner life or external life? Your ability to live as God has designed depends on trusting the source more than yourself or others. As God’s unique creation, no job, boss, or market competition can take away your character and value. But the world eats away at biblical truth and your desire to protect your mind and heart needs consistent investment. Think about how much corporate training on hard and soft skills you receive and try to balance out your inner disciplines. Seeking God daily, trusting his Word, and putting yourself in the community of other tarnished saints will build your inner core.
3. Know The Power of Love. Loving God, yourself and others creates irresistible influence. Jesus chose the sinners to spend time with and to love. I bet there are a few sinners in your workplace. Keep your efforts vertical – not expecting to be loved in return, in fact you might not even be liked. This is not the doormat approach, but tough love where it is needed and mercy on those whose lives are miserable without a savior. Deep down, people will respond. Your transparency will build influence over time.
4. Go Deep Over Going Wide. You can’t be everything to everybody. Jesus started with twelve and you too can be a significant influence on a handful of those working for you and to whom you report. Over time, the handfuls change, but your influence sticks. Who is in your hand? Identify them and focus your efforts to live out your influence in multiple ways suited to your unique qualities.
5. Trust. It is likely that at least once in your career you have experienced being stabbed in the back, thrown under the bus, or had the carpet pulled out from under you. Over time, you lose trust in others, the process, or the company. But have they lost trust in you? You would be ill-advised to blindly accept what is on the surface of every deal, program, or conversation. In spite of the caution you carry to steer clear of pitfalls, remain steadfast in your pursuit of speaking the truth, acting honorably, and choosing wisely. All this is easily said, but how do you repeatedly speak, act and choose well in a political environment with ungodly players? Your influence depends on the reputation, or influence, you have built as a trusted source of fairness and authenticity. The closer you trust the Lord to provide for your employment, income, and favor, the more peace you will have the next time you are under the bus.
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What’s your take on building the power of your faith at work?
If you’re interested in contacting Sharla directly, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.