Mike Henderson
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How Trustworthy are You at Work?

Working_SteelErectionMost of us have at least a small streak of laziness, procrastination, or lack of focus within us.

On the other hand, we also want our bosses at work to trust us to get the job done.

I don’t remember exactly when it happened for me.  While working for my dad in steel erection it was not unusual for him to pop up on the job site at random times. Actually he tended to show up like some type of stealth bomber.  No one ever saw him drive up, but then all of a sudden there he was!

And if there was a loose bolt on the job he noticed it.  Yes, even if there were 2,368 bolts.  If there was just one loose he saw it.  He simply had that type of uncanny ability.

To be fair dad often showed up just to show up.  He would chat with the guys for a little bit and then off he went.

Then one day I noticed. A month went by and dad never showed up even one time.

While dad never questioned my work or my ability to get the job done, he was not much on verbal affirmation.

His actions however, spoke volumes.

Before, I knew he trusted me, now I KNEW he trusted me.

It reminds me of a verse in Genesis.  While Joseph was in prison “the chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph’s charge…”

Why?

He was trustworthy at work.

Can the same be said about you? What can you do today to become even more trustworthy?

How’s Your PDA? (Part 3)

In  my last two posts I talked about the NFL Playoffs regarding your passion and personal discipline.

Today let’s move to your workplace.

What do the following have in common?

Gossip.

Criticism.

Finger pointing.

Lack of motivation.

Chronic complaining.

Answer: Poor attitude. We can spot it from a distance. We despise it in others, yet we tolerate it in ourselves.

Attitude, the third and final part of your personal PDA, is all important.

Yet all of us are susceptible to a bad attitude. Actually it can happen in an instant.

Life has a way of doing that to us. Our car breaks down or we get a cold right as we are beginning a vacation. Yes, things like this can happen at the worst possible time.

Our attitude affects us, those around us, our view of the future, our assessment of the present, and how determined we will be in facing new challenges.

Our attitude is one of our greatest assets. You know that already. If you could choose between two people with whom to work, little skill/great attitude, or highly skilled/bad attitude, my guess is you are going with the great attitude.

Skills can be taught. Attitudes not so much.

Your attitude is either helping you or hindering you.

The good news is you can choose your attitude.

Choose wisely and live at a higher level. You will be happier and so will those around you!

First to Arrive, Last to Leave

Working_SteelErectionWithout a doubt many of my values about work came from my dad.  My dad taught me that if I was not ten minutes early then I was late.

He stressed getting on the job early and going over what had to be done for the day.  The reasoning was simple.  If the crew and I showed up right at starting time, the crew would stand around while I got my game plan together.  That equals wasted time and wasted money on wages.

Then when the day was over hang around a little.  Reflect, walk around, and survey what needs to be done the following day.  In all honesty I tended to continue to think about work long after I had left the job.

In construction it’s so common for the guys to pull up right at starting time.  In their minds they should get paid to get their tools out of their cars, take five minutes to get on the building, and have a few minutes of conversation.  Then when quitting time came they flew off the building as if they were going to a fire.  Go figure.  If they were asked to work five minutes extra they balked.

Which simply means that if you arrive first, or at least early, and leave last, or at least hang around a few minutes, you will set yourself apart from the crowd.

To this day it’s almost impossible for me not to arrive first and leave last.  For years it was ingrained into me, and I’m thankful that today it remains a core value.

 

Unexpected Can Be Remarkable

skiingAbout thirty years ago while working for my dad the unexpected happened.

To set the context, you need to know my dad was all about work.  He never stopped for lunch.  In fact, in his earlier days as a crane operator, while the others were eating lunch he wiped the crane down.  He felt like he could eat lunch while operating the crane.

Once again, my dad is in his element when he is cleaning or working.  To most of us we would say that dad never took time to enjoy life, but he was enjoying life if he was working or cleaning something.

To him those things were fun.

Well, one day my brother Mark, Scott, Mike, and I were working together on a job when dad pulled up.  We had not been working long so it was still early.

Dad jumps out of the truck and says, “Let’s go skiing!”

Totally unexpected.  Skip work and go skiing?  Are you kidding?  That simply never had happened before.

To this day it remains one of the most memorable days in my life.

I have skied many times.  But only once was it memorable.

And what made it memorable?  The unexpected.

Unlearning Old Concepts

IMG_1341Growing up my dad was a strong proponent of hard work. Physical labor was always admired and held in high esteem in our house.
Now while I was more than ready to work, I also had a fondness for reading. Even as a kid I would sometimes sit and read in an encyclopedia. In fact, back then our family would purchase the yearly update to the World Book Encyclopedia. I would always find time to read part of that yearly volume.
Now that I am in the ministry I continue to read, about 500 pages per week. I am always reading, researching, and writing.
One of the hardest mental concepts I have had to overcome is that I am really working even when physical labor is not involved. Ministry includes things like reading, writing messages, meeting with people, and praying. And while the apostle Paul said that he labored in praying, most people cannot identify prayer alongside hard labor.
Abraham Lincoln grew up in an agrarian society in which physical labor was highly valued. Yet Lincoln found himself reading.
Of course, in his day, reading was somewhat frowned upon. His own cousin considered him lazy, actually very lazy. To the cousin all Lincoln wanted to do was read and write poetry.
However, it was his reading that eventually paved the way for him to seek the presidency of the United States. Somewhere along the way he became comfortable challenging the old concept that placed a high value on physical labor and a low value on reading and writing.
Somewhere in the recesses of your mind you are holding on to a concept that may be holding you back from being who you were meant to be. Whatever your vision, it may not be encouraged by your peers.