Monday, November 21, 2011

Dave Ramsey's Time Management Tips from EntreLeader

I have been reading Dave Ramsey's new book, EntreLeader. In chapter 3, he gives some good tips about time management. For example he relates some tips from Stephen Covey about evaluating whether tasks are urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and not urgent and not important. He also talks about using a "To Do" list, using time productively rather then wasting it, having productive meetings, applying technology productively, and using personnel to make you more productive.

While these tips are good, I believe they need to be kept in balance. For example, he spends a great deal of time warning about personnel who waste other people's time by talking. I understand and agree with him that we need to be careful about casual conversation taking away from productivity. But, I think he goes overboard. Maybe I am reading him wrong, but it appears that unless the conversation is important to his business, he will not have the conversation and does not want other employees having such conversation.

Some of those conversations may not be directly related to business, but they may be important to building relationships in the workplace that ultimately make people more productive. More importantly, they may also be opportunities to build into the life of another person. Perhaps, you can use those conversations to encourge someone, train them, or provide biblical wisdom. Not all of these conversations are a waste of time. God puts more value on relationships and people than business productivity.

Like I said, we need a balance. We, and others in our business, should not expend an inordinate amount of time in non-business related conversation. A business must be productive in order to earn the money needed to stay in business and pay its employees. But, at the same time, we must value employees over productivity. We should not neglect people for the sake of productivity. Perhaps, a reasonable balance is bugeting casual conversation into our work day. This way, we get the benefits of casual conversation without it taking over the day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Who Are The Poor?

Poor is a relative term. Every year, our government defines the poor according to the income they make. However, the poor in the United States would be rich in many countries. So, who exactly who are the poor? According to Walter Williams . . .

* 80% have air conditioning,
* nearly 75% have a car or truck and 31% have two vehicles,
* 67% have cable or satellite tv,
* 50% have one or more computers,
* 42% own their own homes,
* 96% said there children are never hungry due to a lack of money to buy food.

Compared to much of the world, these people are not poor. Contrast the poor in the U.S. with other countries like the Domincan Republic. Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols grew up in the Domincan Republic and never considered himself poor because he had one meal to eat a day, while others had none.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pop Culture Invasion

Pop culture can invade your home very quickly. It does not take much for a song, television show, news story, or movie to invade a home, even when you try to limit such influences. I was reminded of this when my seven year old daughter and I made a recent trip to BJs.

As a family, we do not generally listen to pop music. Most of it fails to meet the standard set forth in Phillipians 4:8, which instructs us to think about things that are true, honorable, pure, etc. So, I was shocked when, while checking out at BJs, my daughter asked, "Dad, do you hear that song?" I had heard the song, but it was one that I did not expect her to know. Katy Perry's "Firework" was playing. We do not listen to Katy Perry and I really wondered how she knew the song. "It is the song from 'Soul Surfer'" she proudly exclaimed.

I know she has seen the movie a few times and it is one of her favorite movies. However, she does not know the song from the movie. The song is not in the movie. From what I can tell, she heard part of the song one time - only one time. Our church was showing the movie. In order to promote it, they showed the trailer, which plays part of the song. She heard part of the song during a trailer that she only saw one time. Yet, when she heard the song in a store, she recognized it immediately.

This reminded me of how quickly pop culture, and its messages, can invade our homes. Fortunately, this song is rather benign and I do not care that she recognized it. But, how many other songs will she recognize and what other messages will be conveyed? What if it was one of Kay Perry's other songs?