The Closet Eclectic: Coming-out and Building a Company Culture

Feb 28, 2010, Written by Sue Miley

Before I was a Christian I wanted to be eclectic, edgy and maybe even a little irreverent.  Of course in a very intelligent, highly responsible, cutting edge, get things done way.

Before I was a Christian I didn’t own my own business and I didn’t work for a business that wanted to be eclectic, edgy and/or irreverent.  Of course they did want the very intelligent, highly responsible, get things done part.  So I was able to create a culture that was half me.  In a way it was more like 80% me, because I am not particularly eclectic, edgy or irreverent.

I am more like a “wanna be”.

A closet eclectic.

But I know that is really me, in the closet, because since working for other people I have taken up painting.  I am a wanna be artist.

I have started writing a lot.  Still hiding in the closet my authentic style.

I love the stock market.  I can sit and watch streaming quotes for a really long time and actually have fun.

A wine aficionado except that I have found that I can’t breath when I drink wine and am on day 13 without drinking any. (I am really liking the breathing part.)

And I absolutely love crafts.  Can you make scrap booking edgy and irreverent?  Don’t think so.

And I still have a high need for achievement and getting things done efficiently and creatively.   This is at least an eclectic mix.  So maybe I am eclectic.

And I now own my own business – which isn’t eclectic, or edgy, or irreverent.  However my business is blatantly focused on God and helping people.  Which is the very most important part of who I am!

And I worry that irreverent and God can’t go together.

So I have thrown out the eclectic and edgy part too.

Which doesn’t make sense because they are different.  And besides, I looked up the Webster dictionary definition of irreverent and it can mean “lacking in seriousness” which I think can be okay with God.

Think of the vision if I could have the mission of my business be God-centered and helping people on a foundation of the type of person I really am (or in my case “wanna be”).  Imagine if I hired people that matched the culture that was important to me.  If all of the people who worked on or in my business with me were focused on God, embraced helping people, and were creative, cutting-edge, and/or eclectic in their own right.

I imagine ideas that are out of the box.  Conversations full of passion.  People that want to work together and help support our mission of being God-centered and people helping!  The energy would be tangible.

This would be building a culture.

Creating a foundation for your business that is based on a mission and values and style that define your vision.  It is the core of your business.  It defines your brand and represents your business.

But how do you rationalize that building a culture for your business that matches you isn’t a selfish, prideful, endeavor?  I figure that God created each of us with specific gifts and talents.  He formed our personalities and our values.  If we establish a culture that we don’t truly believe in and embrace, not only will we be unable to sustain leading this culture, we may not be honoring God’s plan.  It says in 1Corinthians 12:27-31

27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31But eagerly desire the greater gifts.

God wants to use us.  He created us all differently so together we form the body of Christ.

14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.  1Corinthians 12:14 -20

Paul explains in these verses that we may not be like another person, but who we are is an important component of the body of Christ.  Therefore, it only makes sense that God made us the way we are for a reason and He would want us to be true to that character.

Does your business have an organizational or corporate culture?  Does it truly reflect your vision, values and character?  I say that we need to fully become who we are in Christ.  I am going to try to “be” instead of “wanna be” a more eclectic, edgy, God-centered, people helping (and loving) highly responsible, cutting edge, get things done kind of business.  With a slight twist of irreverence on occasion.  How about you?  How would you describe your company’s culture?

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Jimbo says

    Very good article… I notice that some of the things you wanna be but describe as eclectic or edgy are indexed against current culture. I too have been challenged to fully understand myself indexed against God’s standard in the face of my present worldly standard. In other words, I feel like you describe and am trying to “be” instead of “wanna be.” Be as God would have me be.

    • S_Miley says

      I need to try harder to “be” to because I believe that what I “wanna be” is what God created me to be. It’s the world thing that gets in the way!

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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