Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.

Recently, Mary and I attended a reunion of my MBA class, which takes place every five years in various parts of Canada. This one took place in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and celebrated the 45th anniversary of our graduating the Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario. As usual, it was very well attended by classmates and their spouses. At the early reunions, there was lots of talk about business and accomplishments. At the last few, however, classmates and spouses simply enjoy one another’s company and share pictures of grandkids and exotic travel!

To the extent we look back at the MBA program, it is mainly to reminisce about memorable incidents, professors and learnings. One learning that sometimes comes up is the importance of assumptions. We used the case study methodology at Ivey, and since we could not interrogate the individuals in the case, we were forced to make assumptions in order to draw conclusions as to the best course of action.

In business, making assumptions can be a critical discipline. Sometimes we are well aware of our assumptions, other times we are not. Moreover, the accuracy of some of these assumptions is often critical to reaching the right decision. This reality ties into my previous musings on the importance of asking great questions. In this case, the question is, “What critical assumptions am I making?” If they are truly critical, we need to press the pause button and perform the due diligence necessary to reassure ourselves we are making good decisions.

Making assumptions is a critical discipline, in business and in life.

Just as assumptions are important in our professional lives, they are likewise important in our personal lives. Here is my question concerning key assumptions for readers who are followers of Jesus. Are you striving to perform in life to earn God’s approval? Over the years, I have encountered many individuals who claim to be Christians but who believe there are good things they must do to earn God’s love and approval. The good news (gospel) is that there is literally nothing we can do to earn God’s favour. God loves us in spite of our mistakes without pre-conditions related to performance.

Here is my question concerning key assumptions for readers who are not yet followers of Jesus. It is similar to the first question. Are you assuming that, based on leading a relatively good moral life, you are in right standing with the God who created you? I am assuming here that you are in the majority of Canadians who mentally assent to the existence of God – an assumption I acknowledge may be incorrect!! The Bible is clear that this belief is erroneous with eternal consequences. According to the Bible, our right standing with God is based solely upon accepting what He has done for us, not what we have done for Him or others.

Intrigued? I encourage you to join one of our professional peer groups to explore these and other key assumptions.

Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.