According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, success is “achieving a favorable or desired outcome.”
All organizations—for profit and not for profit—desire to achieve success. The former generally define success in terms of financial profit and the latter define success in terms of social profit.
Regardless of your specific definition, to achieve success requires C4 people—C4 stands for calling, character, capability, and commissioning. C4 people are those who are fulfilling the purpose of God for their lives. These people are working in concert with God’s design. (For more information on C4, see my Strategic Life Alignment product.)
Many times organizational leaders recognize the efficacy of C4, but their understanding of it is nascent. Specifically and most often, they fail to understand how to discern good character. Leaders commonly judge character based on brief interactions with people and perhaps a few reference checks. But this gives only a glimpse into a person’s true character.
To gain an accurate perspective of a person’s character requires much more careful analysis—something that, in my experience, few organizational leaders are willing to do. This is one of the reasons that so many organizations make frequent hiring errors.
Unwittingly, organizational leaders hire people who are under curses, who lack divine favor, who don’t submit to authority, who are not teachable, who live in deep shame, who make excuses, who have a pattern of failure, who are void of divine help, who are not problem-solvers, who have marred judgment, etc. The list of undesirable character traits is long.
The way to discern good character is to become a student of the Bible. The Bible reveals God’s standard of righteous living. One of the biblical concepts that encompasses God’s righteousness is the term “the fear of the Lord.” This concept is widely used in Scripture and has many facets to it. Those who seek to understand and live in the fear of the Lord display—among many things—wisdom, knowledge, discernment, insight, understanding, and sound judgment. And they enjoy favor, success, blessings, guidance, wealth, honor, and protection. Clearly these traits are wonderful qualities that we want both in ourselves and in our workers.
To ignore the standard of biblical character in yourself and others is fatal. Just as the fear of the Lord leads to all the wonderful things that you want in life, failing to live in the fear of the Lord leads to everything that you don’t want—confusion, poor judgment, ignorance, folly, poverty, failure, death, and so forth.
Organizational leaders who fail to learn how to develop sound biblical character in both themselves and others will struggle with organizational success. No organization can truly succeed unless its workers succeed. And workers cannot succeed unless they develop godly character, that is, learn to live in the fear of the Lord.
Here is your business tip. Learn how to live in the fear of the Lord and to recognize others who do as well. Train your management team and workers to live in the fear of the Lord. Don't take this casually. If you really want to achieve enduring success and excellence in your organization, you must be vigilant about learning to live in the fear of the Lord. This will release wisdom, knowledge, divine guidance, protection, blessings, favor, wealth, and success in both your workers and your organization. The fear of the Lord is in the beginning of wisdom and knowledge and is therefore the foundational key to your success.