By Rich Preuss
What does Easter have to do with a business blog? Christmas has all sorts of easy things to consider that connect so well with business: gifts, Christmas spirit, parties. Easter doesn’t have those associations. Easter is about death and resurrection.
One of the four core values of my company is “Be Better.” In many ways, “Being Better” entails death and resurrection. When we take the time to step back from the busyness of our lives and do some self-reflection, we all become aware of our shortcomings. Most of these shortcomings have to do with our ego and its desire for pleasure, recognition, power, and status. None of us is immune from these. Awareness of them in our lives is a good first step.
After awareness, if we want to move forward and “Be Better,” we must deal with the inordinate ego and the shortcomings it fuels. That is very much a process of dying. The result of this death is a kind of resurrection to a better state of being. As much as I wish this was a “one and done” process, it is really a lifelong process.
Those of us who have children are keenly aware of this. We can’t just sit down and watch TV when we want to, go out with our spouse any time we want, or play golf any time we’d like. We give up all sorts of things when we marry and have children. It is a process of dying and sometimes it is very hard. We realize our time isn’t our own. But there is also resurrection that results from this dying. Parents grow in greater understanding of their love and commitment, and model these for their children.
A Work Culture That Encourages New Life
This isn’t just about parenting. It’s about every relationship in which we acknowledge that others are more important to me than my ego. “Being Better” presents us with all sorts of opportunities for death and resurrection in our work environment. I witness this all the time in my workplace.
- Coworkers encouraging one another.
- Colleagues who genuinely care about one another, taking the time to understand the difficulties in each other’s lives and to pray for each other.
- A company owner who, on his way to work, stops to help a person in the rain whose car has broken down.
- A colleague who goes out and changes a client’s flat tire while the client is in an office meeting.
- People who set up rotations to provide meals for coworkers who have been hospitalized or had a baby.
- Colleagues cut the grass for a disabled colleague while others are helping her navigate the forms and papers needed to file disability and long-term care claims.
- Coworkers who when interrupted in their workflow, patiently and kindly deal with the interruption.
- A group of employees who gather for 10 minutes of prayer on Wednesday morning and pray for each other’s needs and those of the company.
There are so many sightings of people dying to themselves around our office, and it is very inspiring. When the people around you are “Being Better,” we all want to be better. And when we are all doing this, it seems like there is some type of resurrection to new life going on. The culture is raised up to a higher standard because the people around me are willing to endure little deaths.
Choosing to Be the Best Version of Ourselves
Come to think of it, Easter is a lot like Christmas. The Easter gift at my office is a culture that only gets better and brings joy to us all. The Easter Spirit is that sense of satisfaction that comes after those little deaths. The result is that life at the office is kind of like a party because we enjoy coming together five days a week to do meaningful work to help our customers.
None of us will ever die on a cross. We can freely choose to die to those areas in our lives that hold us back from being the best version of ourselves. I thank God that I am surrounded by family, colleagues, and clients who have the courage to face the challenges in their lives, die to the things holding them back, and continue to come to a greater understanding of the joy emanating from the resulting resurrection. They all make me better and the world better.
One thought on “From Death to New Life”
Great post Rich! A supervisor/friend years ago stated from his experience that an organization takes on the culture of its leader. I have also found this to be generally true in my years of experience. It doesn’t always have to be the boss but someone who is willing and committed to starting the ball rolling so to speak and keeping it going. As you have shared, people are generally willing to follow an example which builds some momentum over time. Again as you’ve shared, the leader is encouraged to be even better. In an organization as yours, you all have the Holy Spirit driving the train. Great example that you provide here Rich. Thanks for sharing.