Category Archives: Business Principles

Jesus is CEO of Top-Branded Honey Company.

Nature Nate’s is the top-branded honey in America, but the company’s president, Nathan Sheets, refuses to take credit. Instead, the marketer-turned-beekeeper attributes his business’ rapid success and growth to Jesus.

“The overwhelming theme that engulfed me as I started really focusing on Nature Nate’s was ‘God is our CEO, and I’m simply the chief steward of what He’s entrusted to us,'” says Sheets of his McKinney, Texas-based company.

Sheets pursues this theme not only by cultivating a healthy work environment for his employees but also by using the company’s finances and influence to share the love of Christ and strengthen families and communities.

For instance, Nature Nate’s has launched the Honey Gives Hope corporate giving program and was the presenting sponsor of the 2017 GMA Dove Awards honoring the best in Christian music. The company partnered with the Dove Awards to promote Show Hope, an organization seeking to unite orphans and loving families as quickly and easily as possible.

Sheets believes exercising this kind of stewardship has a positive impact on the company overall.

“The success of Nature Nate’s isn’t because we’re great branders or we’re great marketers,” Sheets says. “I believe the success of Nature Nate’s is because we truly want to use this platform to make a difference for eternity.”

Falling in Love With Bees

“We went from this teeny-tiny honey company in 2012 to five years later, we’re the No. 1-branded honey in America [according to market research firm IRI],” Sheets says. “It’s just a total God story.”

 

Sheets realised that the regional focus of the North Dallas brand would keep the company from growing in popularity across the U.S. After much prayer, he decided to make two changes: personalise the brand name and shift the focus from the honey’s local quality to its raw, unfiltered characteristics.

Sheets’ wife came up with a significant idea: using his college nickname, “Nature Boy.” Together, they settled on renaming the company “Nature Nate’s.”

“We rebranded and did the labels so that 80 percent of the label focus is on raw and unfiltered,” he says. “And man, we were just blessed to be at the right place at the right time in the right industry.”

Selling to Advance the Kingdom

Indeed, 80 percent of the label’s focus is on the honey’s “raw, unfiltered” quality, but 100 percent of the company’s focus is on making an impact for Christ.

“I just came to realise that as a honey company, we don’t have to raise money,” he says. “We can make money, take that money, go do projects and make a difference in people’s lives.”

For Sheets, the company’s impact begins and ends with stewardship.

“I want to steward our people resources, the people who work for us, first and foremost, to make an impact on their lives,” he says. “I want to steward the financial resources and try to make as much as we can, live on as little as we can and give away as much as we can. And then I want to focus on stewardship of our influence and try to use the influence we have at Nature Nate’s to share Christ with people. Then [we can] challenge believers to look at the lens of their business as possibly the biggest opportunity to make a difference for Christ where they are 8 to 5, five days a week.”

Pointing Employees to Jesus

It’s not a requirement to be a Christian to work at Nature Nate’s, but the company’s Christ-focused atmosphere is evident.

Becca May, director of brand management, comes from a non-Christian background, but Sheets has made it easy for her to fit in with company culture.

“I grew up in a Jewish home, and so I was bat-mitzvahed when I was 13,” May says. “I went to a Hebrew school until I was 18. It’s the only faith-background and exposure I’ve ever had. … [Working at Nature Nate’s has] been life-changing and eye-opening—and beyond [our] being welcomed and understood and treated with so much love and respect, Nathan continues to share with us … the lessons and the roots that we find in [his] faith that guide everything we do.”

Several of Sheets’ employees have become believers through personal evangelistic efforts, but his overall focus is on demonstrating and encouraging biblical values. He does this in several ways, such as what he calls “Bee-attitudes”: “Bee passionate,” “Bee creative,” “Bee generous,” “Bee loving,” “Bee faithful” and “Bee honest.” The company rewards employees each month for exhibiting these characteristics. For instance, some employees chose to exercise the “Bee passionate” and “Bee generous” principles by spending their own money to buy needed supplies for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

Nature Nate’s has also offered practical help to employees in a number of ways, including setting its minimum pay above minimum wage. Sheets’ employees have benefitted from his generosity and also have supported each other in times of need. The company also offers monthly financial management classes to any interested employee.

Innovating for Better Health

The concept of good stewardship pervades not only the work culture of Nature Nate’s but the company’s goals for the future too. Sheets lists his top three, the first of which is to give away $5 million.

“I used to say we want to be there by 2020,” he says, though he wants to take care that his goal doesn’t become a personal idol that consumes his focus.

Another goal on Sheets’ heart is to hire thousands.

“That’s an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people,” he says. “On one hand, it really excites me, and on the other hand, it really freaks me out because I know that if you create a machine like that, you’ve got to keep going and growing, and there’s just a lot to that.”

Sheets’ final goal for Nature Nate’s is to create better-for-you products that use honey instead of less-healthy sweeteners such as processed sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.

In January, the company will launch four new nut butters, three jams, a syrup for Kroger and a single-serve snack for Walmart.

“We’re really driven by innovation,” Sheets says. “We don’t just want to be the No. 1-branded honey company in America. We want to be one of the No. 1 better-for-you food companies in America.”

The only way he sees these three goals coming to pass, though, is by depending on and emulating Jesus.

“It says in Ephesians that we’re to smell like the aroma of Christ,” Sheets says. “And as we live our lives and live in authenticity and transparency, people recognize that there’s just something different. It makes people inquire, ‘What’s different?’ And that’s what draws people to the Lord. So we just try to live that out.”


adapted from article by Jenny Rose Curtis, assistant online editor for the media group at Charisma Media 

EMPOWER EMPLOYEES AND UNLOCK PRODUCTIVITY

Empowering people is such a key to unlocking productivity, yet so few do it well. Bill George of Harvard asks the question for Huffington Post.

Stepping into a Zappos Call Center is like walking into a circus. Phones ring, voices rise, and laughter bounces around the room. If you closed your eyes, you’d think you’d entered a loud family reunion, not a billion dollar company.

Zappos employees work in a fiercely proud culture. Only 16 years after founding Zappos, CEO Tony Hsieh has made the online shoe-retailer into one of best places to work in the world. Zappos employees not only love their work, they care deeply about others in the community.

How did Hsieh do it? He did it by empowering his employees to lead. In Eyewitness to Power, David Gergen writes, “At the heart of leadership is the leader’s relationship with followers. People will entrust their hopes and dreams to another person only if they think the other is a reliable vessel.”

There was a time when leaders thought their role was to exert power over others. No longer, today’s best leaders — people like Ford’s Alan Mulally, General Motors’ Mary Barra, and Google’s Larry Page — recognize their leadership is most effective when they empower others to step up and lead. That’s exactly what the new generation of Gen X and Millennials expect from their leaders, and they respond with great performance.

Tony Hsieh focuses on relationships first and business second. In good times and bad, Hsieh’s communications are authentic, funny, and informal. He speaks directly and personally to his colleagues. As Hsieh says, “if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff…will just happen naturally.”

Hsieh reflects traits of an “empowering leader.” These leaders have discovered that helping people find purpose delivers superior results than forcing subordinates to be loyal followers. By giving others the latitude to lead, they expand their own potential impact.

So, how can you empower others? In Discover Your True North, I profile five things great leaders do.

  1. Treat Others as Equals: We respect people who treat us as equals. Warren Buffett, for example, gives equal attention to every person he meets. He has the same sandwich and Cherry Coke combination with a group of wide-eyed students as he does with his close friend Bill Gates. Buffett does not rely upon his image to make people feel he is important or powerful. He genuinely respects others, and they respect him as much for those qualities as for his investment prowess. By being authentic in his interactions, Buffett empowers people to lead in their own authentic way.
  2. Listen Actively: We are grateful when people genuinely listen to us. Active listening is one of the most important abilities of empowering leaders, because people sense such individuals are genuinely interested in them and not just trying to get something. The leadership scholar Warren Bennis was an example of a world-class listener. He patiently listened as you explained your ideas and then thoughtfully contributed astute observations that came from a deep well of wisdom and experience.
  3. Learn from People: We feel respected when others believe they can learn from us or ask for our advice. The best advice I ever got about teaching came from my Harvard Business School (HBS) colleague Paul Marshall, who was one of HBS’s greatest teachers. He told me, “Bill, don’t ever set foot in an HBS classroom unless you genuinely want to learn from the students.” I have taken his advice into every class I have taught for the past 12 years, telling MBA students and executives, “I feel certain I will learn a lot more from you than you do from me.” The students find that hard to believe at first, but they soon see how their feedback helps me understand how today’s leaders and MBA students think.
  4. Share Life Stories: When leaders are willing to be open and share their personal stories and vulnerabilities, people feel empowered to share their own stories and uncertainties in return. On Thanksgiving eve in 1996, I sent an e-mail to all Medtronic employees, expressing my gratitude for the support Penny and I received following her ordeal with breast cancer and chemotherapy. We were overwhelmed by the number of people who spontaneously shared their stories with us.
  5. Align around the Mission: The most empowering condition of all is when the entire organization aligns with its mission, and people’s passions and purpose synchronize with each other. It is not easy to get to this position, especially if the organization has a significant number of cynics or disgruntled people. Nonetheless, it is worth whatever effort it takes to create an aligned environment, including removal of those who don’t support the mission.

Leaders of every organization have an important responsibility to articulate how their company contributes to humankind. At Medtronic, our mission was to restore people to full health and wellness. At Disney, it’s to make people happy. Even at the most “boring” business-to-business company, the business can play a powerful role in improving the lives of its stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, and community.

With leadership comes responsibility. As Clayton Christensen wrote, “No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement.”_______________________________________________________

It’s time to lead authentically as God designed us to do.  You can do so by focusing on empowering others. “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

 

Empower people and unlock productivity

Empowering people is such a key to unlocking productivity, yet so few do it well. Bill George of Harvard asks the question for Huffington Post.Rowing eights

 “Where is the spiritual value in rowing? It is in losing of self entirely to the cooperative effort of the crew.” — George Yeoman Pocock, boat builder, 1936 Olympic gold medal winner

Stepping into a Zappos Call Center is like walking into a circus. Phones ring, voices rise, and laughter bounces around the room. If you closed your eyes, you’d think you’d entered a loud family reunion, not a billion dollar company.

Zappos employees work in a fiercely proud culture. Only 16 years after founding Zappos, CEO Tony Hsieh has made the online shoe-retailer into one of best places to work in the world. Zappos employees not only love their work, they care deeply about others in the community.

How did Hsieh do it? He did it by empowering his employees to lead. In Eyewitness to Power, David Gergen writes, “At the heart of leadership is the leader’s relationship with followers. People will entrust their hopes and dreams to another person only if they think the other is a reliable vessel.”

There was a time when leaders thought their role was to exert power over others. No longer, today’s best leaders — people like Ford’s Alan Mulally, General Motors’ Mary Barra, and Google’s Larry Page — recognize their leadership is most effective when they empower others to step up and lead. That’s exactly what the new generation of Gen X and Millennials expect from their leaders, and they respond with great performance.

Tony Hsieh focuses on relationships first and business second. In good times and bad, Hsieh’s communications are authentic, funny, and informal. He speaks directly and personally to his colleagues. As Hsieh says, “if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff…will just happen naturally.”

Hsieh reflects traits of an “empowering leader.” These leaders have discovered that helping people find purpose delivers superior results than forcing subordinates to be loyal followers. By giving others the latitude to lead, they expand their own potential impact.

So, how can you empower others? In Discover Your True North, I profile five things great leaders do.

  1. Treat Others as Equals: We respect people who treat us as equals. Warren Buffett, for example, gives equal attention to every person he meets. He has the same sandwich and Cherry Coke combination with a group of wide-eyed students as he does with his close friend Bill Gates. Buffett does not rely upon his image to make people feel he is important or powerful. He genuinely respects others, and they respect him as much for those qualities as for his investment prowess. By being authentic in his interactions, Buffett empowers people to lead in their own authentic way.
  2. Listen Actively: We are grateful when people genuinely listen to us. Active listening is one of the most important abilities of empowering leaders, because people sense such individuals are genuinely interested in them and not just trying to get something. The leadership scholar Warren Bennis was an example of a world-class listener. He patiently listened as you explained your ideas and then thoughtfully contributed astute observations that came from a deep well of wisdom and experience.
  3. Learn from People: We feel respected when others believe they can learn from us or ask for our advice. The best advice I ever got about teaching came from my Harvard Business School (HBS) colleague Paul Marshall, who was one of HBS’s greatest teachers. He told me, “Bill, don’t ever set foot in an HBS classroom unless you genuinely want to learn from the students.” I have taken his advice into every class I have taught for the past 12 years, telling MBA students and executives, “I feel certain I will learn a lot more from you than you do from me.” The students find that hard to believe at first, but they soon see how their feedback helps me understand how today’s leaders and MBA students think.
  4. Share Life Stories: When leaders are willing to be open and share their personal stories and vulnerabilities, people feel empowered to share their own stories and uncertainties in return. On Thanksgiving eve in 1996, I sent an e-mail to all Medtronic employees, expressing my gratitude for the support Penny and I received following her ordeal with breast cancer and chemotherapy. We were overwhelmed by the number of people who spontaneously shared their stories with us.
  5. Align around the Mission: The most empowering condition of all is when the entire organization aligns with its mission, and people’s passions and purpose synchronize with each other. It is not easy to get to this position, especially if the organization has a significant number of cynics or disgruntled people. Nonetheless, it is worth whatever effort it takes to create an aligned environment, including removal of those who don’t support the mission.

Leaders of every organization have an important responsibility to articulate how their company contributes to humankind. At Medtronic, our mission was to restore people to full health and wellness. At Disney, it’s to make people happy. Even at the most “boring” business-to-business company, the business can play a powerful role in improving the lives of its stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, and community.

With leadership comes responsibility. As Clayton Christensen wrote, “No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement.”

It’s time to lead authentically. You can do so by focusing on empowering others.

Follow Bill George on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Bill_George

Be Organised to be Productive – helpful tips

The first step to improve your productivity is optimize your office to get the most out of your work.

Put your I/Smart Phone Away

Smartphones have come along with their own set of problems – namely, that they’re designed to be incredibly distracting so you’ll pay as much attention to them as possible.

Set your phone to silent mode and keep it in your jacket, desk, or somewhere else that’s out of arm’s distance.

Establish a schedule to check it e.g. every two hours.

Minimize Distractions from the web.

Your web-surfing habits are probably also causing you to bleed a lot of otherwise productive time.

Get rid of your “bookmarks bar” entirely.

Try a site-blocking application like Anti-Social that will block your browser from accessing certain sites for a set length of time.

Partially Quit Facebook

Very few people can actually get completely off of Facebook – it’s the new Web within the Web, and so many events, conversations and other social interactions take place on the platform that if you disable your account, you’re just going to run into trouble.

That doesn’t mean that you need to see a picture of every meal every one of your old high school acquaintances posts, though.

If you’re getting a steady stream of new updates, you’re getting a steady stream of new distractions.

It’s possible to partially quit Facebook by designating all of your “friends” as “acquaintances.”

You’ll continue to get updates from people, but you’ll only see between two and five new posts a day, versus the hundreds that are now clogging your News Feed and notifications bar.

If you have hundreds of friends that are currently blowing up your phone with inane comments and pictures of their kids (and you’re able to break your addiction to these constant distractions) you could end up saving a lot of time.

Dont’ Waste the Time You’ve Got at Your Desk.

Maximize the use of your I/Smartphone. You can handle email and many other tasks while you are on the go.

Protect Your Most Productive Time

Everyone has a few “golden hours” in every day where they get the most work done. You need to learn when yours are, and go into “Airplane Mode” during those times.

Use that crucial time to tackle the biggest, most difficult problem standing between you and your goals.

All of your other busywork and less pressing (and vexing) tasks can be accomplished on either side of your “golden hours.”

Clean up your work space!

A cluttered room leads to a cluttered life and a cluttered mind

Purchase an inbox, a tickler file and other organizational tools to get a system going that will help you feel more focused and less stressed out.

When everything is in its right place, your mind will feel at ease, and you’ll be able to focus more on what’s important – thus getting a lot more done.

Get Your E-Mail Set Up For Success

We all waste too much time reading e-mails, and most of us get too many of them to ever achieve the elusive goal of “Inbox Zero.”

First of all, go through all of your regular e-mails and newsletters and look for “ham.” Ham (sometimes also called “bacon”) is different from spam in that it’s e-mail notifications you signed up for, but no longer really read. Be brutal about going through and getting rid of all but the ones you really need to read. One easy way to see all of your subscriptions? Type the word “unsubscribe” into your e-mail search bar and it will bring up all of your ham at once.

Next, if you’re a G-mail user, consider using the G-mail Labs feature called “Auto Advance.” Essentially, the minute you archive an e-mail, it will automatically show you the next e-mail. This helps you get to “Inbox Zero” and also prevents you from reading the same e-mail more than once.

Follow the Two-Minute Rule

From David Allen’s Getting Things Done, the general principle behind this is that any task that comes up during the day that will take less than two minutes should be handled right away.

Don’t wait, don’t file it, and don’t let it clutter up your to-do box or inbox.

Do it, then forget about it and move on to whatever you were doing beforehand.

Of course, if something comes up during your “golden hours,” you should definitely hold off on two-minute tasks until you’ve got important project work out of the way!

Give Yourself Deadlines

Set a deadline for yourself on a specific task can help put external pressure on you to keep your focus sharp.

Of course, you’re not always going to be able to meet your self-imposed deadlines, but if you are consistent in trying to adhere to them, they’ll soon become a valuable source of motivation for you.

Prayer Time & Go Home Early

As you want to build a Kingdom business empowered by the Holy Spirit, I assume you commit all of what you plan to do and do daily to the Holy Spirit. “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thess 5:17. If you do, then this problem should not surface, but if you’re so far behind and you feel like there’s no possible way to catch up before you leave the office, go home early. Sounds counter-intuitive, but if you go home, spend time with family, get some good food, good rest and spend time in prayer, you’ll come in the next morning fired up and chomping at the bit.

BUSINESS PRINCIPLES based on the life of JESUS

CPi Terms of sale p2053

1. PURPOSE 

JESUS purpose was crystal clear – to save humanity from eternal damnation.

The purpose for your business also needs to be crystal clear. Successful Holy Spirit led entrepreneurs know why they are in business. In fact they started the business to fulfill God’s call on their lives. The product/service  must have a competitive advantage which gives you a story to tell.

2. STORY
JESUS had the GOSPEL.

What is your good news story. You need to have a compelling message which is the foundation of your brand and marketing efforts.

3. POSITIONING
Jesus had ALL of mankind as His target market however His strategy was to start with twelve and then go out to reach His market – the lost.

All of mankind is not the target market for most businesses. You need to know your target market. The customers that can benefit from your product or service. Positioning is about identifying your target market and then going to them with your message.

4. DISCIPLESHIP
Jesus knew He needed His disciples to carry on after He left this earth but when He left, the Father sent the Holy Spirit to empower them to do the job Jesus enlisted them to do.

Likewise you need to gather a team of Holy Spirit filled people who share your vision. Great businesses are the result of a group of individuals with different talents/skills who are working together with the same vision and purpose in view. What you build should outlive you.

5. INNOVATION
JESUS validated His message with signs and wonders. He proved All mankind needed what He had to offer – Eternal Life.

Likewise Holy Spirit led entrepreneurs will make things happen. Remember Jesus said “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes on Me, the works that I do he shall do also, and greater works than these he shall do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14: 12-13. Jesus will provide for the business He inspired in amazing ways.

My book “Build a Kingdom Business” provides evidence of a number of amazing miracles in the life of the Kingdom business I managed for thirty years.

6. PROFITABILITY
JESUS business was saving lives so profitability for JESUS could be measured in the number of lives saved. Now we know that ALL predestined by GOD will be saved so in that sense He will be 100% successful but sadly not ALL will be saved.

As a Holy Spirit empowered entrepreneur , part of building a business that matters is being profitable and inevitably the more your business matters the more profitable it will become. Businesses that matter generate profit in kind and cash. Profit in kind is the good the product/service you offer makes in peoples lives. Profit in cash is generated from the sale of the product/service to those people. The origin of the profit in both cases is value. It’s the good in your product/service that attracts people to pay you money in exchange for it

7. LEGACY 
What will you be remembered for?

Need I say it, JESUS legacy lives on. He needed to give His life for His purpose.
What will be the legacy of your business. Will it achieve God’s purpose for it?