So, how has your holiday weekend been? As we mark the end of the potential summer vacations, I hope you've had the chance to relax a bit.
I've used my time to catch up on some yard work and a bit of housecleaning. As the rains have come and gone, I've had to alternate between being in the yard and being inside, but so far, quite a bit is being accomplished on both fronts.
Last night, I started reading a new book entitled Linchpin, written by Seth Godin. It's been sitting around unread for quite some time, and it was unearthed in the housecleaning. It's ironic that I should crack this book open on a long weekend which, according to the US Department of Labor, is "dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers". Why the irony?
Right from the beginning pages of the book, the author makes the case that most American workers have been led to believe that as long as they "follow instructions, show up on time, and try hard," the companies they work for would take care of them. As the author was writing this book, published in 2010, the dream of being cared for by our employers was fading quickly from the vast majority of the workforce.
In the age of global competition, greed and technology, "the middle class is under siege like never before, and the future appears dismal. People are no longer being taken care of..."
All one has to do is flip on the morning or evening news, and realize that our politicians are in the fight of their lives, each trying to espouse the best plan to get us out of the mess they had a big hand in creating, hoping that a majority of voters would believe that they provided the best means for taking care of us. Ugh.
Although I've just started the book, I like what I'm reading. The key to it is find ways that we ca be impossibly good at our jobs. The marketplace demands that we become more:
human, connected and mature. Someone with passion and energy, capable of seeing things as they are and negotiating multiple priorities as she makes useful decisions without angst. Flexible in the face of change, resilient in the face of confusion (p. 33).
The author says that these attributes are choices, not talents, and all of them can be learned. And when we have learned them, we become a linchpin within our organization. If you find yourself working for an organization that doesn't encourage you to use your talents, or fails to reward you for using them, then it might be time to ask for a transfer or find another place to work.
As we take time off to relax and recharge this weekend, I think it would be beneficial for each of us, regardless of what we do and where we live (thanks to the people from almost 30 different countries who read this blog), we have to take more control of our own lives and become less dependent on the people we work for and our civic leaders.
That being said, we should also see how God fits into all this, since ultimately, we are totally dependent on Him for everything. So, think and pray about this. If we use our talents and gifts with employers who want us to achieve our maximum potential, how could we not feel better about ourselves, our families, our communities?
What an idea to contemplate this Labor Day. Enjoy the rest. Back to work tomorrow.