Even the term makes me uneasy.
Of course, business culture is simply the way things are done within a company… the standard attitude and expectation in a particular workplace. But when I think of the term, business culture, my heart speeds up a bit, my breathing grows a little heavier, and I suddenly feel queasy.
Because the embodiment of the culture we’ve grown most accustomed to in the world of business is a middle age woman named Rebecca with a shoulder-length haircut and a snarl, always ready with an eye-roll, scoff, or negative remark at her weekly meetings. (No offense to the occasional decent Rebecca out there.) The atmosphere of business in general has become a hateful, cutthroat, malicious, dog-eat-dog, hateful, fast-paced, never enough, competitive, hardcore, hateful, no-room-for-mistakes, negative, demanding, hateful, snarky, jealous, petty world in which many of us have no choice but to reside. Did I mention the hatefulness?
Sometimes, it isn’t in a particular company. Sometimes it’s in the industry as a whole.
I’m a thirty year old Associate Real Estate Broker with a husband, two kids and one very needy newborn. I live in Wasilla, Alaska, about forty-five minutes away from the “big” city of Anchorage. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration that isn’t even required or necessary for my career.
My point is, I’m certainly not a shark on Wall Street driving my Rolls Royce back and forth to work from my penthouse suite in Manhattan. I’m not the CEO of a billion dollar company that frequents all the Forbes lists. I don’t have a maid to clean my sons’ bathroom or a chef to feed my husband.
Nope, I’m serving the same old casserole tonight that we had last Wednesday and my boys’ bathroom still smells like urine. Sorry.
Yet, there is a notable, negative attitude in my business industry that I have to fight every day. This malicious culture of hateful Rebecca smirks that never fail to hurt others. Dang-it, Rebecca! How am I ever going to deal with you?!
Well, you have to be cold-hearted to survive in this world. Right? Everyone else is mean so those of us who were once nice but have now been chewed up and spit out a few times by awful people in our industry have to grow thicker skin and survive by becoming even meaner than Rebecca. Right?
Use your best Donald Trump voice and repeat it louder for those in the back.
You don’t have to stoop to Rebecca’s level of ignorance and intolerance.
The business world needs nice people. We need to replace the negative culture we’ve created with one full of kindness, consideration, patience, gentleness, forgiveness, positivity, love and self-control.
We need managers who forgive Joe when tasks aren’t done perfectly on his first… or fifth try. We need leaders who understand when Amy is going through a hard season in her personal life and her sales volume seems low. We need administrators who don’t mind cutting Susan a little slack when she sends a file in without all the necessary documentation because she’s been overwhelmed lately and we all make mistakes. Most of all, we need forgiven people to extend the same forgiveness to the Rebecca’s of the world who might just need to be loved, even if she isn’t easy to love.
Simply put, we need Christians in business who are willing to love others in the way Jesus told us to, even in a world where He isn’t always welcome.
We are the light of the world… even the business world. Like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights and lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house… or office.In the same way, we should let our good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will come to knowand praise our Heavenly Father.
Take mine and Saint Matthew’s word for it.
Christians in business have been given the task to shine our lamps in the dark world of business. It might be night right now, but if the ministry God has given us is to reflect his light in a cutthroat industry, He will protect us from whatever might be lurking in the shadows. Yes, even from monsters named Rebecca.