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.
What motivates you at work? Before I became a follower of Jesus I can say unequivocally that I was motivated by ambition to succeed as a marketplace leader. Success indicators included promotion, power and money.
My strategy was quite simple. I aimed to please my boss in everything to which I applied myself. I determined that every task, whether it was the analysis of a company to determine its creditworthiness or simply an expense report, would be done with excellence so that my boss would trust both my attitude and my competence.
Thus my (self-centred) goal was to win the approval of those senior to me. Yes, I was serving them. My principal motive, however, was not so much the wellbeing of my superiors as my own, which in those days was tied to career advancement. In today’s marketplace culture, such motivation is quite normal. I do not mean to suggest that I did not enjoy my work. I did. Notwithstanding, my entire focus was self-related – personal enjoyment and rewards without much thought about benefiting others.
Ambition may lead to success; a good heart attitude will lead to excellence.
As followers of Jesus, however, we are called to a higher level of excellence. In the Bible, the writer Paul puts it this way:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)
Whether we are just starting our career or are a CEO, we all have “human masters” (the latter’s being the board of directors). Thus, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are exhorted to work for our employer with excellence, since we are really serving and honouring God. And we are to do it with all our heart!
Have you checked your heart attitude to your employer lately?
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.