It worked for Ford and Carnegie. It even worked for Jobs and Gates, but they and others changed the scope of planning.
And it works!
So, why waste time making a plan you know can’t be carried out?
To that end, be great-in-the-moment.
Passion - Competence ≠ Calling
Discerning Your CallingDevotional 3 of 4
"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith." Romans 12:6 (NIV)
Last week, we saw that identifying our passions are key in the process of discerning our calling. But passion without competence is worthless. In Romans 12:6, Paul said, "Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly." We have largely ignored this verse in the Church today, choosing to define calling as simply what we are really passionate about, rather than the intersection of both our passions and giftings.
Our work won't feel like a calling until we reimagine it as service to our Caller and the world. It's impossible to serve someone well if you aren't gifted at your craft. You may be really passionate about wanting to fly an airplane, but if you've never been to flight school, you won't be serving others by taking the controls in the cockpit. You may really want to be an entrepreneur, but if you've started multiple companies and have consistently lost investors' money and laid off employees, are you really serving others through your chosen work?
In order to best glorify our Creator and serve others, we should do the work we are best at, work that God has equipped us to do exceptionally well. In her classic essay, Why Work? renowned British novelist Dorothy Sayers said, "The Church's approach to an intelligent carpenter is usually confined to exhorting him not to be drunk and disorderly in his leisure hours, and to come to church on Sundays. What the Church should be telling him is this: that the very first demand that his religion makes upon him is that he should make good tables."
Nobody starts their career knowing what they will be exceptionally good at. We learn what giftings God has given us through continual trial and error. Individual failures don't necessarily mean that we aren't gifted and called to a particular line of work. But if we are to glorify God and serve others through our vocations, we should be in a continual process of analyzing where our passions and giftings align. It is that intersection that brings us one step closer to discerning our calling.
Author, Called to Create
"Commenting on the difference between the disciplined and the undisciplined way, he wrote, Nothing was ever achieved without discipline; and many an athlete and many a man has been ruined because he abandoned discipline and let himself grow slack.
Coleridge is the supreme tragedy of indiscipline. Never did so great a mind produce so little. He left Cambridge University to join the army; but he left the army; he returned to Oxford and left without a degree.
He began a paper called The Watchman which lived for ten numbers and then died. It has been said of him: "He lost himself in visions of work to be done, that always remained to be done. Coleridge had every poetic gift but one—the gift of sustained and concentrated effort."
In his head and in his mind he had all kinds of books. But the books were never composed outside Coleridge's mind, because he would not face the discipline of sitting down to write them out.
No one ever reached any eminence, and no one having reached it ever maintained it, without discipline."
from "Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life" by Donald S. Whitney
from "Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More" by Morten Hansen
The value equation hinges on three components. The first of these has to do with how much your work benefits other people or your organization. The phrase "benefits to others" can mean contributing to your department, your office, a colleague, your company, your customers, your clients, or your suppliers (or even to the community or environment). The benefits themselves can take various forms, including enabling others to do their jobs better, helping create new products, or devising better methods for getting work done.
The second component of value is the quality of your work—the degree of accuracy, insight, novelty, and reliability of your work output.
The final component of value is how efficiently you work.
To produce great value at work is to create output that benefits others tremendously and that is done efficiently and with high quality.