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Never Alone

You may not talk about it much, but you feel it: you're the owner or manager of a business, and you feel alone.

As alone as John on the island of Patmos.

I feel it too, and I hate it. I think about it when a business opportunity goes in another's favor, and when business development is slow.

I feel it when there’s not enough work to keep my team busy, and when there’s too much work for my team to handle. I feel it because I have to be the leader, the visionary, the innovator, the optimist, and the motivator.

Sometimes I feel it when I read an article or book that exposes an area of weakness in my leadership or serving, which causes me to feel I’m not living up to culture’s expectations of who an entrepreneur or leader should be.

Sometimes I feel it even though I’m married to my business partner, who has always trusted my ability to be successful. I’ve defined my standard of success, and when I don’t live up to it, I feel alone in circumstances of my making.

When do you feel it? Be honest with yourself, because you know at some point, you do feel it.

During a recent conversation with a colleague, we both arrived at the same conclusion: As different as our businesses are, and the size and closeness of our teams, we are alone in our roles. Paralyzed by the weighty decisions around team performance, she feels isolated as she deals with individuals who are impacting the company culture and quality of her company’s service.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

I’ve realized this: our sense of isolation comes from what motivates us, and where we fail to meet our personal expectations. If relationships (i.e. love) motivate you, you’ll desire to create and nurture a team culture where everyone performs at their highest, and where our clients are most satisfied. If respect motivates you (If you define respect by the quality of your leadership or effectiveness in business development), you’ll desire to be high performing in leadership or sales.

The thing is, you and I don’t have to feel alone. You don’t have to let culture define your identity or performance expectations. You don’t have to set expectations so high that you never meet them.

You’re in a relationship with your enterprise (and by enterprise I mean an organization where you lead people, or are responsible for revenue and delivering a service. ). As in any relationship, it requires love and respect. 

Care for and nurture your enterprise, and she will love you. When she feels loved, so will your team and clients. She’ll respond with respect and flourish under your leadership.

Sound weird? I’m looking at this from the perspective of Ephesians 5:21-30, where Paul explains the relationship between a husband and wife, and Christ and the church. 

The principles of love and respect are relevant to much more than marriage.

God knows best. It’s not good for us to be alone.

I just need to be reminded of one important truth: What my wife and business partner constantly remind me of is that we’re together. Together, we face the challenges, solve the problems, and celebrate the successes we achieve.

Together.

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