We just past Labor Day and I was reminded of the incredible working force. The innovation, diligence, and hard work that continues everyday has made the USA great. We have the expectation to work and labor to make a living, provide for family, add value to the community, and prosper.
Effective leaders know how to labor. But labor is more than hard work or clocking in the hours. You have to be productive, current and focused. Great leaders know what it takes to make that kind of difference in their sphere of influence.
3 components to labor
Innovation keeps you current. Too many times leaders work with outdated processes, archaic methods, and ineffective tools. When you incorporate innovation into your work you constantly meet the needs and problems of today with solutions and methods for today. Remember your work as a leader stays the same; to influence for the greater good. How you influence and what methods you use to influence changes. Innovation gives you the ability to try new methods and ideas to bring breakthrough and effective solutions where needed. Innovation doesn’t mean you change simply because you haven’t changed in a while. Innovation is the ability to assess if your methods are the best and your tools are the most effective. If they are then innovation says, do not change. If not be flexible and willing to change.
Diligence keeps you focused. The ability to concentrate and persist at one task until finished creates effective leadership and thoroughness. Diligent leaders do not quit. They are careful and meticulous in their effort. Diligence is the ability to keep moving forward no matter how hard it gets or how impossible the project seems. The Bible states if you lead—lead diligently (Romans 12:8). This is a key component of leadership but also a foundational component of labor. Too many times we quit too early. Jobs are lost and careers are thwarted without diligence in work. Diligence creates opportunity for advancement and promotion in labor (Proverbs 12:24).
Diligent leaders are able to launch effectively and establish confidently. They are not drive by shooters that come in and hit and leave. The diligent leader is contiencsous of the culture and what it takes to accomplish the tasks. Diligent leaders know when to stand and fight and when to walk away.
Hard work keeps you productive. Labor can mean different things; a child being born, the amount of people a nation has to join the work, or a union of workers gathered together among others. But the basic transcendent meaning of labor is hard work, endurance, effort, and rigor. After you have determined the best way to do something through innovation and decided you’re not going to quit, then it’s time to roll up your sleeves and put in the hours.
Simply do the job. There comes a time when talk and study is over and you show up and go to work. There are families, churches, communities, businesses, and teams that fail because no one is willing to put in the time and energy to work hard. Yet, there are countless stories of men and women who refused to set back an go with the crowd. They showed up early, stayed late, didn’t take vacation or time off simply because the job had to be done in order to succeed.
There are incredible companies that have change our lives for the better because the founder worked harder than anyone, churches that are changing the destiny of families and communities because the pastor and leaders rolled up their sleeves and labored in the community. The idea that anything worthwhile can be accomplished in 40 hrs or 5 days a week is not logical. In fact, God set our work week from sun up to sun down and six days a week. That is a 72 hr work week. (Exodus 20:8-10)
Think about what you want to accomplish in your life. Are you willing to be flexible and change through innovation, never quit and stay focused with diligence, and put in the time and effort with hard work to make a difference in your community, church, family, job, or career?
How do you labor? Tell me below