At our February forum J4’s Founder and Chief Encouragement Officer Lisa Schultz responded to the question about leadership: What’s love got to do with it?
Lisa shared her personal career journey as she wrestled to reconcile the world’s messages regarding what it takes to be a successful business leader with what she had learned from the Bible. Lisa said that the world would have us believe we have to use force, grab power, and aggressively seize opportunities regardless of the impact on others in our path to be successful. However, the Bible teaches that we are all made in God’s image and that God is in control of everything, including our careers. Further, the Bible says that we have access to the power of the Holy Spirit and gives us the second greatest commandment is to “love our neighbors as ourselves.”
Lisa challenged us to think about what loving our “work neighbors” could mean in terms of living out the gospel there. What would happen if we actually treated coworkers, bosses, staff, peers, and clients as we want them to treat us? Could we be successful AND live out the “action love words” found in 1 Corinthians 13? What would happen if we really were patient in listening to others, showed kindness to everyone regardless of how different we are, were slow to anger and more effectively managed our emotional reactions at work? These are just a few of the actionable love words and direction given in the Bible! This does not mean that we should be a pushover at work either. The word of God also tells us to confront one other with truth and "rebuke” in a loving manner. Her testimony included personal lessons learned that convinced her we can be successful living out the gospel of love in our leadership.
Lisa created her own personal management philosophy which is modeled after her life verse in 1 Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but one of power, love, and discipline". Lisa defines this model as “Gracious Leadership” and she holds herself accountable to live it out as a leader in business who is passionate about following Jesus.
We encourage you to join us this year as we continue to explore how we “Love our neighbors” well at work, home, and in the community.