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How To Be An Asset in 2023, Not A Liability

Happy new year NSR listeners! Christians should be the standard-bearers and standard setters in all avenues of life. We should strive for excellence in everything we do. Let’s set goals this year to grow in all areas of our lives. 

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I want to share with you some bullet points from a teaching and lecturing curriculum that I put together that I take our staff through every year. This is our seasonal summer staff and our year-round interns, so these are typically college-aged folks. And we go through this, it’s called… This document that I’m working off is called, Becoming an asset, not a liability. And the context for this would be, like I said typically, I’m with new trainees. We try to walk our people through what our mission statement is, what our core values are. And these are just some principles of becoming an asset in your organization.

10 Steps To Being An Asset And Not A Liability

That could be in your church, that could be in your school, that could be on your team, that could… Just in life. And I’ll tell you this morning, in our eight o’clock meeting, I’ve noticed a slow gravitational shift of my younger staff predominantly sitting in the back of the room. So, set the stage for you, we do an eight o’clock in the morning meeting. At Snowbird, people… Day to day work, 60 of us that come to that meeting. Day to day work, most people are wearing Carhartt’s and work boots or old ratty tennis shoes and older work clothes, an old hoodie or flannel or whatever. And so you don’t have to come to… Most people, their job doesn’t require that they come looking super professional. Now, some people do. Our marketing team, our front office folks, those folks, they’re gonna come to work looking sharp, but most of our crew, we’re getting dirty, we’re working, we’re hanging drywall, patching OSB… Imagine what it takes for a kid to put a fist or an elbow through a OSB board.

We side a lot of our cabins with OSB because it’s so much more durable than drywall, you’re doing stuff like that, repaired and patching and working and digging ditches and blowing leaves and cleaning gutters. So you get to come to work not too gussied up, but I’m noticing this shift where everyone’s sitting in the back of the room. So it’s a room that’ll seat 200, 300 people, probably 300 people. And I got 50 to 60 people in a meeting. All the adults tend to sit towards the front. And I say adults a little bit facetiously, ’cause everybody in that room is technically an adult. But I’ve got the 18 to 24-year-old crowd all sitting in the back two or three rows. A lot of times, the posture is shoulders slumped, they get their hood pulled up. It’s eight o’clock in the morning and they look like they’re at home room. And I’m like, “We’re not freaking High School, man. We are professionals. We’re professionals at what we do.”

Be Professional

And having a mindset of being a professional, I’m gonna rant a little bit today in the next half hour, I’m gonna rant on this episode, because Christians should be the standard bearers and the standard setters in whatever avenue or venue you’re working in. So like, if you’re gonna be an athlete, if you’re gonna be a musician, if you’re gonna be in corporate America, if you’re gonna be a small business owner, if you’re gonna climb the corporate ladder, if you’re gonna be a firefighter, whatever you do, you should be the one who sets the standard that everybody else is looking to and learning from. That’s just how it ought to be. Because we represent Christ. And so this morning, I told our crew, I was like, “Hey, moving forward, everybody is in here, sitting in the front. We fill from the front back, and we don’t sit in the back of the room. And take your hood down and make eye contact with me when I’m talking, and whoever’s up here talking, ’cause it’s not always me. It’s not always me that’s leading the meeting.

And let’s be adults and let’s be professional. And one of the things that I’m so grateful for is when a young man or a young lady, 20-year-old person is squared away, is engaged, is not acting and behaving like a child. So what does it look like to be an asset in an organization? From physical appearance, to posture, to eye contact, to the way that you do the things that you do. I wanna share with you bullet points from this document. There’s a bunch of them, but I hope you enjoy listening to them and maybe get some feedback, maybe we’ll get some feedback. Thank you, I think you can be cool. Okay, number one, these aren’t gonna be numbered. But the first one is, be professional, be professional.

Learn how to dress, learn how to communicate, learn how to interact, whatever your job is, learn how to dress in a way that you look sharp at work. If you work in fast food, be presentable, make sure you’re clean and presentable as much as you can be. If you work on a construction site and you get the good fortune like most of us do of, you’d wear t-shirts and Duluth pants or Carhartt’s every day.

Great, but you can do that and look presentable. Learn to be comfortable and not forced in the presence of mature people, adult people. So learn how to interact with people who are professionals, who are adults, who are mature. I don’t wanna use the word adults. So the way I’ve got this is, learn to be comfortable and not forced and awkward in the presence of mature people. So the idea is not just legal adults but mature people. Don’t try too hard to act like an adult.

Learn to sit at the big table and fit in. This is usually gonna mean more… This is usually gonna mean being quiet and making eye contact and using real words that have appropriate meaning and not using filler words like “Like” all the time. In a sense, you’re learning how to communicate more with fewer words and less busyness. So learn how to dress, learn how to communicate, learn how to interact, learn how to be an adult, learn how to be mature in conversation. This is so important because we have so many… We see a lot of people come through our organization that are in that 18 to 23, 24-year-old crowd, it’s like, “Man, they don’t behave in a way where they’re not awkward around adults.”

The other day, I’m not gonna say names and I don’t wanna throw anybody under the bus. The other day, I’m in a meeting and I ask for a show of hands, how many people were… There were about 35 of our people in this meeting, I’m like, “How many of you are… ” And I asked a question. And the responses I got from some of the younger folks were very childish. It was the way you would expect immature people to interact, and I just said, “Hey, don’t screw around, don’t play games with your words. Answer the question with eye contact in the affirmative or in the negative in a complete sentence that is concise and to the point. You’re not rude, you’re not overly nice, you’re not manipulative, just learn how to communicate.” So that’s important. So in 2022, that might be a good goal for you. Learn to be professional, just learn to move in the direction of being a professional person.

Be Proficient

Next, be proficient. Learn the necessary skills to not only get the job done, but to get the job done well. Be proficient, whatever your job might be, learn the job of the person beside you, the person above you or behind you. Be proficient. Next, be proactive. Don’t wait to be told what to do. When you finish a task that’s been assigned to you at work or at school or on your team, find the next task to do and do it. Be proactive. I think that’s so important. Be proactive. Too many people… We talk about… A lot of times, we talk about being in an entitled society, we’re an entitled people. One of the things that comes with entitlement is doing the bare minimum, and then wait until somebody tells me what else to do.

I remember a young guy who’s now an incredible young man, who’s making a lot of progress in life and in the world, he’s a husband, he’s started a family, he’s an awesome dude. I remember when he was about 19-years-old, he was one of the guys that came to work for us in our year-round internship program called The Snowbird Leadership Institute. And he had a ton of a… What do you call it? Potential, which… How many times have you heard that, here’s a person with potential, but he wasn’t realizing it. And I remember one of the things I had to really try to work through with him is, “Hey, when you finish a job, find something to do. If you don’t have a supervisor around or somebody that can tell you what’s next, find something to do.” So being proactive will get you far in 2022.

Strive for Mastery

Next, strive for mastery. Don’t just settle for getting by, strive for mastery. Too many people are content to do the bare minimum. But for leaders, for men and women who are reflecting and representing God, represent the name of Christ, “Good enough… ” In quotes, “Good enough should never be good enough.” I wanna master what I do. Anything I do, I wanna do it with excellence. So this is good, if you’re a middle schooler listening to this, if you’re a high schooler, if you’re a high school athlete, if you’re somebody who works bussing tables or waiting tables, be a master of your craft. Strive to be the best at that, don’t just find what you can settle for and get by with.

Don’t Blow Off Mistakes

Next, don’t blow off mistakes, take them seriously and set out to correct what mistakes you make. Don’t blow mistakes off. When you make a mistake, don’t just say, “Oh well, oh well.” Take it serious, don’t let it sink you, don’t become depressed or totally overwhelmed with discourage because you made a mistake, but at the same time, don’t blow it off. Take it serious. Next, finish what you start. Fulfill your commitments. Know the difference between excuses and reasons. You can likely… Listen, you can likely talk yourself into breaking a commitment, and you can likely then justify your actions, but ask yourself the question, “Am I simply making an excuse for breaking a commitment and actually am I just simply going back on my word?” So know the difference between excuses and reasons. Sometimes I’ve got a legitimate reason, legitimate excuse to not be somewhere or to pull out of and withdraw from a commitment. But a lot of times, I’m just making an excuse. I’ve convinced myself of a specific reason.

Expand Your Vocabulary

Expand your vocabulary. Now this is both professionally and in life in general. Just learn to articulate, learn new words, learn new ideas. I think that there’s such a danger that we stop learning the older we get. So expanding your vocabulary is a great way to continue the learning process, the growth that comes with that.

Refuse to Settle for Failure

Aim for success and refuse to settle for failure. So sometimes you’re going to… I don’t wanna say you’re gonna fail, you’re gonna make mistakes, that sounds kind of cliche, like, “Do your best and sometimes you make mistakes.” But the idea is, especially as someone who reflects Christ, we should strive to be the best and to be perfect in everything that we do. And then not set… That idea of not settling for failure is kind of…

I remember reading an article one time about a guy named Howie Long, Howie Long is now a sports commentator for the NFL on one of the TV channels, but… He was a professional football player. He was defensive lineman for the Oakland Raiders, I think it is Oakland Raiders, it might’ve been the LA Raiders at the time, I don’t know, but it was for the Raiders. It was before they were Las Vegas and this was in the ’80s, I think, maybe early ’90s, but I think ’80s. And he said he knew his career needed to be over when he was on a flight home and they had lost a regular season game that didn’t really matter in the play-off picture. I think it’s one of those things where either they were already in the play-offs and their seed was set, or… They’re the three seed or whatever, or it was, they didn’t make the play-offs. They knew they weren’t gonna go, whatever it was, they lost… The game didn’t have any bearing on the season statistically and numerically.

And so guys are just partying, laughing, joking, it’s just obnoxious noisy on the flight home. And I think this was late in his career, he’s like in his 30s, and so he got a bunch of guys in there that are still in the early 20s, and he said, “You know, I realized on that flight, I’m so not okay with failing that I can’t do this anymore. These guys are all just laughing it up on the flight home.” So that’s the idea I think that when it comes to having the professional mentality of someone who’s gonna succeed, you’re not gonna be okay with failure.

Kill Entitlement

Next, kill entitlement. Kill entitlement. There should be no place for a sense of entitlement in the life of a believer. We’ve been given God’s grace. We’ve been given salvation. We deserve nothing more, we didn’t deserve that to begin with, we are not entitled to anything, even Jesus in the Scripture teaches, man if you’ve got food and water and shelter, you should be happy and content. And so kill entitlement, don’t have a sense of entitlement. Don’t… We’ve talked about this before, some of you remember the story of milkshake guy and french fry lady, and that idea that, “You owe me something here, just because… ” Doesn’t work that way.

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Surround Yourself With Lions

Next, surround yourself with lions, surround yourself with lions and gunslingers, not butterflies or sloths. Lions make things happen. Gunslingers make things happen, they get after it, people that get after it. Sloths make excuses for laziness, so surround yourself with people that are gonna pull you up, not push you down. When you do fail, and sometimes you will, accept, learn from it, correct it, move forward.

Your Not A Victim

Next, you’re not a victim. Victims are now celebrated in our culture, our society, we are not victims, you’re not a victim. You may have been abused, you may have endured horrible sexual abuse as a child, you’re not a victim, you’re a conqueror through what Jesus has done. The Scripture says that through Christ, we overwhelmingly conquer. Don’t be a victim. Refuse to be a victim, don’t celebrate victimhood, don’t let that be the world you choose to live in. You’re not a victim, you’re more than a conqueror through Christ. Jesus has called you to overcome your past and your brokenness and your fears and your anxieties, overcome that, there are days… Go back to the previous point. When you do fail, and sometimes you will, sometimes you’ll struggle, but recognize and remember who you are.

You Work For The Lord

You do this by the next point, remember who you ultimately work for, the Lord’s being reflected in everything that we do. Expand and grow, always, don’t achieve a level of efficiency and then settle for that. Remember we want proficiency. The best leaders learn from following, and from learning. In order to be a good leader or a team player, we must first learn to take orders, accept responsibility, get the job done, don’t just maintain a sense of entitlement.

Leadership Principals

Now, I get into these last few. I’m gonna share with you some sort of some leadership principles that guide the way that I do, kind of… Guide the way that I do what I do daily as a leader, okay, and hopefully these will help. I’m hoping that this will help you in whatever role you play in life, even if you’re someone who works solo or you’re a stay-at-home mom, or you’re homeschool mom, or you’re someone who doesn’t lead people specifically in the corporate America or in ministry, or in combat, or whatever. I think there’s still principles here, so some principles of leadership in terms of how I kinda… These are guidance for me day-to-day.

Stop Saying Can’t

Fire anyone who uses the word “Can’t” more than once in a conversation with you or whose daily lexicon is filled with excuses about why something is not possible. So fire anybody that keeps saying, “I can’t, I can’t, we can’t. Here’s why we can’t do that,” negative, negative, negative, get rid of that person.

Create Opportunities

Next, look for opportunity where others see despair. You will likely find it. Everything that happens creates opportunities. Study the art of finding opportunities in the midst of despair. Next, don’t make excuses. Rather accept responsibility for your actions. Next, don’t leave any task unfinished, this may mean working late or arriving early. Next, get rid of the mindset of showing up at the last minute and then leaving punctually on time. Next, if you hit a wall and don’t know what to do, find someone who can help you get over the hurdle or figure out a way to tear down the wall.

Maker Yourself Indispensable

Next, do everything you can to make yourself indispensable. Do everything you can to make yourself indispensable. “We gotta have her here, this company is not the same without her.” “We don’t have anyone that can replace him, there’s nobody here that can do what he can do.” “She brings something to the table that we need.” Make yourself indispensable. Next, learn how to do the jobs of those above you and around you, talked about that earlier. Next, go the extra mile. Next, encourage teammates. You wanna be liked and enjoyed by more than just the boss, so being an encouragement to those around you, your teammates. I think that’s so important. Place yourself above the daily groanings and whimperings of common people. You ever notice how we live in a society of complaining? We just do. So, place yourself above that. Next, set goals and move aggressively toward those goals. That’s kind of a generic, here we are at the beginning of a new year, set some goals, but set a course to move aggressively towards fulfilling those goals.

Know When To Quit

Next, know when to quit. Okay, so that seems like an oxymoron, “Wait, I don’t think we’re supposed to be quitters.” Nope, there’s a time and a place, and sometimes you gotta quit, you gotta walk away from something, it could be a job, it could be an argument, it could be something that’s not worth compromising your testimony to fight over, whatever it is, know when to quit. Next, it really is all about winning. You hear people say, “It’s not about winning or losing.” It really is about winning. When it comes to the gospel, we are laboring for the souls of men, and losing is not an option, it’s all about winning, but it’s about winning, understanding the context we’re talking about winning. Next, you can be right and still be ineffective. You ever had that situation where you argue, argue, argue, to prove a point that you know you’re right about, and then you finally prove it and you’re like, “Yeah, but that didn’t really help anything, that was not effective?”

Always Be Learning

Next, spend more time learning and building skills and less time showing off what you already know. Nobody cares what you know, nobody needs to be told what you know. So just keep learning, build skills. Next, never think that the delay of consequences is the same as the absence of consequences. Sometimes there’s a delayed consequence to something, just like, it happens, that doesn’t mean there’s no consequence. Consequences sometimes outlast forgiveness and reconciliation. In other words, there’s times where the consequences to your actions linger long after God’s forgiven you and people have forgiven you, you gotta live with it, learn to live with consequences. Next, know what you don’t know. Know what you don’t know. In other words, don’t be a know-it-all. [chuckle] Don’t be so proud of what you do know that you forget that, “Man, there’s a lot to learn.” Next, don’t fall for your own publicity. You might be your own biggest fan. Flipside of that is you might be a person that really struggles with identity and self-confidence, so recognize that too.

Don’t Underestimate Others

Next, don’t underestimate the competition. In corporate America or in sports or in whatever, don’t underestimate the competition, and especially in the spiritual world, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, so don’t take lightly the battle and the war that we’re in.

Have A Constant Attitude of Service

Next, embrace and maintain a constant attitude of service. Serve others, care about other people, care about other people more than you care about yourself. Seek responsibility, but prove that you are responsible. Seek responsibility, but prove that you’re responsible.

Be An Example

And last one, I wanna… Well, let me give you two more. Lead by example, be an upward pull, not a downward push. Talked earlier about surrounding yourself with people who are that, people that are gonna pull you up, not push you down, or not hold you back. Be an upward pull, not a downward push.

Be Teachable

And then the last thing is, I think that’s so important is be teachable, don’t be a know-it-all. Be teachable. Let’s be teachable. I wanna be teachable, it’s something that… I don’t know if this is just a man thing or a human flesh thing, but I like for people to think I know more than I know, and that’s not helpful. So, be teachable, don’t be a know-it-all.

That’s some things that might help that not necessarily like that each one of those is a goal that you should set for 2022, I’m not saying that, but I just thought this is a good time to throw out some of that sort of more, I guess the genre being inspirational, you know what I mean? Like that inspiring kind of talk, like, “Inspire me, inspire me to greatness, inspire me to do something great in 2022.” I don’t know what God’s got for you in ’22, I don’t know what He’s got for me in ’22, but man, I think He’s got something, ’cause He’s always up to something. The kingdom is advancing, Jesus is building a kingdom and we get to be a part of that. And so, let’s do our best to be the best part of it that we can possibly be, and let’s make 2022 something that’s unforgettable, let’s make a gospel impact, let’s grow as people, read a book, lift a weight, run a mile, learn a language, pick up an instrument.

Let’s do something that’s gonna keep us from getting comfortable, don’t get comfortable, don’t slouch and slump into comfort. Disrupt something in your own life and soul in a way that will make you better, and move forward aggressively in 2022. I thank y’all for listening and for tuning in and for being supporters of NSR. Thank you, Ansley and Avery who are this week’s winners, giveaway winners. And I appreciate you guys all so much, and we’ll do some update stuff on numbers and how 2021 finished out at Snowbird Outfitters here in the next few weeks, but man, it has been an incredible season at ministry here. I hope that in 2022, you will get to come and visit Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters for an event, for an adult conference, for a youth conference, whatever age you are, wherever you fall into things, we’d love to have you, man, we’re expecting… We’re already looking at record numbers again, just keep growing like crazy, people come from all over the country, so hope you get to be in that number this year. God bless you. Have an awesome week. We’ll see you next week.

January 10, 2022

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