We often become so familiar with our surroundings at work that we overlook the obvious. Additionally, it is common to fail to ascribe to the people with whom we work the respect and honor due them simply because they live and work all around us. We often think the only experts in our field or industry are those who fly in from at least 500 miles away, carry the latest piece of technology in their pocket or have some special title in front of their name. We have all seen a nobody in our company become the VP, CEO, or fill an office of great significance in another corporation or company. Our reaction to that is often, “That guy is their new President?” or “She was hired to be their what?” Because these people have worked next to us and we know them personally, w! e are prone to discount their leadership, potential, values or ability to create, develop or manage people or resources.
Jesus Himself faced this same discounting of credibility and worth. In the inaugural moments of His ministry, He stood to read and teach from the Book of Isaiah in one of the local synagogues (Luke 4:16-22). He identified His calling and that prophecy was being fulfilled in the ears of His listeners in that very moment. When He finished His listeners said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” (v. 22) as if to say, “This is some local guy. He’s only the son of Joseph. Who does He think He is!” Jesus’ response was, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown” (v. 24). Matthew (13:57) records Jesus’ response statement as, “A prophet is not without honor except in His hometown and in his own household.” We make this same mistake in our offices and workplaces, too, unfortunately.
See your associates as valuable and capable. If you are in a position of authority, challenge them to develop their talents and abilities. Expect much from them as you encourage them daily. Provide for them tools and resources that will enable the organization to go to the next level. Identify those who have exceptional talents and ask them how you can support and enhance their job performance. Don’t lose good employees due to oversight or failure to recognize their raw ability. God has been faithful to put them into your workplace or network. Communicate to them your vision and workplace goals and turn them loose to help you fulfill the mission of your company.