For us, that means we are good stewards of whatever God entrusts to us. We don’t treat this company like we own it, because we believe God owns it and He has put each of us in charge of managing it well in different ways. When you are handling something that doesn’t belong to you, you typically handle it with more care.
A great example of this is the way we handle our clients and team. We certainly don’t “own” them — we simply manage the relationship we have with them. Our daily actions with our clients and team will either demonstrate good stewardship (showing care) or bad stewardship (not sharing care).
As Luke 16:10 says,“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.”
When we are transparent with one another, we build trust and cohesiveness with our clients and as a team. Transparency does not mean that we disclose every detail of our lives to one another, but it does mean that we demonstrate openness and honesty in our relationships.
For example, I’ve battled depression for most of my life. If I wake up feeling depressed, I don’t need to dump all my emotions on my team and tell them all the depressing thoughts I’m having. Instead, as the founder and CEO of this company, I can display a healthy level of transparency with my team by telling them I’m feeling depressed and asking them for their support. We can also be transparent with our clients. There have been times when clients are not making adequate progress in our program. When that happens, we should exercise transparency by letting the parents know exactly what’s going on.
John 8:32 says, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Most companies are profit-focused first and relationship-focused second. We, on the other hand, put people first.
That does not mean that we don’t want to make a profit, but it does mean that we see people as more than a dollar sign — we value them over their pocketbooks. At one point, we had a trainer who was training a young man named Jackson. After a year of training, Jackson’s parents decided to put in their 30-day notice of cancellation for financial reasons. The trainer had built such a great bond with Jackson and didn’t want to lose the relationship, so he offered to train Jackson for free.
Jackson’s parents were so impressed that they decided to continue training and pay for the services, even though they could have had it for free. That’s a great example of staying true to your “why,” which is the fuel behind being relationship-focused. As soon as you forget your “why,” you’ll start seeing individuals as dollar signs instead of people who have needs just like you do.
The Gospel of Matthew tells us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
The fastest path to personal growth and success is ownership. Ownership can be summarized in two words: NO EXCUSES. Reasons are acceptable, but excuses are not.
As an example, if you come into work 15 minutes late, the reason you were late was that there was a car accident and you got stuck in traffic, but that’s not an excuse for being late. Someone taking ownership would say, “Next time I’ll leave 15 minutes earlier in case something like this happens again.” An excuse maker would say, “If there hadn’t been any traffic, I wouldn’t have been late!” Making excuses will never help you — it will only hurt you and stunt your growth.
Taking ownership reflects these words in Matthew 25:23, “You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.”
We are a faith-based, Christian company. That does not mean that we only work with and hire Christian people. Jesus had a reputation for spending time with people of other backgrounds, beliefs, experiences, styles, and ideas. We choose to accept others where they are without judgment — physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
As an example, many of our Special Strong team members and franchisees are not Christians. We do not judge them or think any less of them — we treat them as we would any Christian team member, which is to love them and serve them like Jesus.
As he says in Matthew 7:12, “Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
It’s been said that the currency in heaven is generosity. Most people immediately think of money when they hear the word generosity, but that’s only one component. There are three primary ways you can express generosity: through the giving of your time, treasures, and talents.
Spending an extra 10 minutes with a client when their session is over is being generous with your time. Buying your client or their parents a gift for Christmas is being generous with your treasures. Going above and beyond to teach a new Special Strong trainer how to be an adaptive trainer is being generous with your talents. Part of our company’s vision includes being generous with our treasures.
In the future, we will donate a certain percentage of profits to help those in need, inspired by the words of 2 Corinthians 9:6: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”