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“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

This passage is a much needed antidote for our culture today. Fame and fortune have become an end in themselves and beckon many forth on an endless search for significance. But significance can’t be gained through the paths laid out for us in this world. Narrow is the road we must take and it often doesn’t include fame or fortune. I believe many of the greatest and most profound workers and performers I have never met and never will. 

Significance is found in the quiet life. Many live a quiet life, but here the Bible says that it should be an ambition, a goal or priority. God grant us the contented diligence to live a quiet life and walk in it. 

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Bosses

I was at an interview today and my interviewer asked who were my best and worst bosses. It was a great question, one I hadn’t taken time to think through. But what came to mind was an article I read some time ago that said bosses or managers often respond and lead in one of three ways – 1) positive, active engagement, 2) negative, active engagement, or 3) neglect. In the article they described that often times it is better for a boss or manager to be actively engaging with their employees than to be absent or neglectful. Employees felt more positively about their work experience even if their boss was constantly critiquing them with negative feedback, but actively engaged in their work and the outcomes of their work.

As I reflected on the interviewer’s question I realized I’ve had some actively involved, very positive bosses and I’ve had neglectful bosses, but none who was routinely negative. We don’t always determine who we work for and how it will work out for us but I almost wish I had spent more time in the critiquing environment rather than to be left alone to my own decisions and devices in a neglectful environment. No matter how good of an employee you may be (or boss for that matter) we all need the input and feedback of other people to become better, more productive, and keep our focus at work.

As you consider your work and the people you manage or your own mangers I would encourage you to ask for feedback or to give feedback freely and often. Obviously, positive feedback is more helpful than negative feedback so always remember to speak the truth with love and the end result will be a strong work environment full of joyful employees who are growing and developing from top to bottom.

 

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