Our team recently wrapped up another Kingdom Leadership Workshop. As with any big event, it is easy, almost tempting, to go home and try to implement everything right away.
However, there is something to be said about starting small.
Where To Start?
“Then Moses said to God, ‘If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?’” – Exodus 33:15-16
Moses had this conversation with God not long into his new leadership role. Moses had brought the Israelites out of Egypt and was at the beginning of what would prove to be a trying job.
There was a lot to do. Moses was tasked with leading, organizing, moving and motivating about six million people.
Where to start?
There certainly were details to figure out. How would these six million people live together and get along? How would they handle disputes? What was the best route to the promised land?
Yet, in this passage of Scripture, Moses says something counterintuitive.
“If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”
If I were Moses, I would have been asking God what the quickest way to the promised land was. And certainly, I would be trying to figure out how to get the whining Israelites off my back.
But this is not what we read in Exodus 33. We witness a Kingdom Leader completely submitted to God.
Start with God’s Presence
Moses was convinced that without God’s presence, they would not make it to the promised land.
While on your Kingdom business journey, there will be dozens of things you’ll need to address. There is nothing wrong with putting in the hard work to do this, but it has to start in God’s presence, and it has to stay in His presence.
That being said, sometimes it is overwhelming to figure out what to tackle first.
David Underwood, CEO of SigmaPro Engineering and Manufacturing, attended a workshop over a year ago and recently talked to us about the changes he has made since.
“I knew it was too much to expect to pick up everything I had learned in the workshop, take it home, try it within my business, and have it work flawlessly,” said David.
David knew God was going to do something different and unique within his business.
“You can’t look at another business that’s been operating in a Kingdom model for years and expect to be where they are overnight. It’s like comparing a second grader to a college student. It would not be fair,” said David.
“After I attended my first workshop, I knew realistically that I could go back and implement one new thing, so for us, those were 1-on-1s. It was awkward at first, but over time, my direct reports got comfortable with them. So, then I asked my direct reports to go do the same thing with their people,” said David.
This is one example of a simple start. For your business it might be beginning to celebrate birthdays, having team lunches, or creating date nights for employees and their spouses.
The common thread is that your first step should be about your people, who truly, are God’s people.
Bring Your People Along
More than likely, your whole company does not attend events with you. If you attended a workshop, many of your employees were not in the room with you. They did not hear what you heard.
It is your responsibility as their leader to cast vision to them. How can they get on board if they do not understand why you’re changing things?
If you are not ready to clearly cast vision to your people, you might not be ready to implement change.
“Are you really giving your business to God if you are leaving your people behind?” asked Rynn Day, Cultural Engagement Manager for Cornerstone Support Services, part of Betenbough Companies, PBC.
“It can be very exciting when you identify cultural changes you want to make within your organization, but these changes will take time and they require laying a solid foundation if you want them to last,” said Rynn.
“It may only take three days in a workshop to identify the culture you want to create, but you can’t build that culture in three days,” said Rynn.
Culture is all about people, and people are messy. Do not get discouraged if you experience tension as you try to change course. This is not an overnight process, but if you start out with some simple changes and remain consistent with your people, you will see progress.
We all have a promised land in sight for our businesses. Kingdom Leaders are gifted at seeing the long-term destination, but every journey begins with one step. It will be hard and there will be conflict along the way. You’ll make some mistakes – make them well. One of our favorite sayings around here is “anything worth doing, is worth doing wrong.” Meaning, don’t wait to perfect something hypothetically before you begin. Just start. When changing the culture of your company, how you handle those first few mistakes will set the tone going forward.
Learn from the mistakes and remain in God’s presence. Once you’ve taken that first step, God will reveal your second step, then your third, and so on.