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Your Company Just Lost $8 Billion

This is always a great way to start your day when you work for a company like I did for 34 years and the news comes out that the people who are running the firm you worked for were able to perform at such a high level that they lost 8 billion dollars.  Even in a large firm such as Merrill Lynch, 8 billion is a big enough number to get a lot of people's attention.  The first reaction is almost always amazement and shock that anyone could allow such incompetence and ineptitude to exist while being in charge.  The second shock is that there could be more to come and this is just the first shoe to drop in a situation that could worsen as more information comes to light.  How do you react when your company or the institution you work for makes a major mistake?

The rational way to approach this is to go back and gather all the facts surrounding the events that caused mistakes to be made.  Sometimes you will find that there were circumstances that explain why the losses or the errors were made and you become the apologist for your employer.  Other times you find that there is no feasible explanation and you must humbly explain to your clients and fellow workers that your company was in error in their actions and trying to defend them is not appropriate unless there is corrective action to avoid similar problems going forward.  But this is also a gut check on several counts for how we deal with unpleasant and difficult situations.

The first issue is always a reminder of why are you working there or how did you find yourself in this situation?  Is this really your calling and your ministry or is this just your job?  You might react the same way no matter how you answer this question, but for sure if this is your calling and your ministry, then it is more important than ever to make sure that no matter what is going on around you, you must take care of business by being the BEST possible employee that you can be!  Clients and co-workers will see Jesus thru your witness if you take the high road and show that you are above the easy criticism and sarcastic diatribes against those who may have errored.  By the way, I did not always excell in this as I would clearly admit!

Just as Jesus taught in his parable of building your house on the rock, if you build your business on the Rock of Jesus and his teaching, your company can never undercut you or cause you embarrassment.  There is a reason why God has called you to be where you are to be an example of contentment and confidence when all about you wonder about their future.  Your company may not have lost $8 billion this past week but sooner or later, every company experiences down periods.  What you do under these conditions will help you teach others more than all the Bible verses you can spout.  Stand on the ROCK!  Matthew 7: 24-28 and Luke 6: 47-49.


Sent October 29 , 2007

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