As A Man Thinketh
Today we look at another facet in developing our businesses to be all they can be.
To target becoming best-in-class, high-performing companies, we must first see ourselves realistically in comparison to an objective standard of “excellence” in our respective fields. Most of us recognize that achieving this requires enlisting the efforts of others. Alone, we can’t take the business very far.
Rather than focusing on structure and methods, we consider the fact that people’s actions are deeply connected to how we, and they, think. This is true for individuals, teams, and companies.
The Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Pr 23:7, NKJV). Our thought lives underpin the habits that ultimately determine our character. Solomon authored this proverb, yet ironically proved its wisdom by personally focusing too much on wealth, splendor, and international political influence. His habit of marrying pagan women to seal foreign agreements led not just to hundreds of wives, but a heart often adrift from God and His purposes.
Jesus made crystal clear the cost of harboring ungodly thoughts in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7) by equating anger with murder, and lust with adultery. Jesus also said, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Mt 12:34b). The deceptive shopkeeper may maintain a plastered smile on his face, but his lack of personal attentiveness and follow-through ultimately betray what he really thinks.
Upon brief reflection, we know that our heart’s attitude – how we truly think about who we are and what we’re doing – is the largest single determinant of our ultimate success or failure. Yet, we often get all tied up in processes and forget that, as leaders, we have more to gain by influencing our team’s thought life than by implementing the finest systems available. If we’re forced to choose between great thinking and great systems, the choice is simple!