Friday, August 12, 2011

Your Work or Your Life? Don't repeat the mistakes of the past.

by Peter Briscoe - FCCI Director in Europe.  Peter is also the International VP of Crown Financial Ministries.

My first FCCI International Conference was in Cancun, Mexico in 2002.  Over the years these conferences have made a big impact on me, largely due to the practical application of faith in leading a business. At that time, I was just taking over as CEO of HE Space Operations, a company delivering specialized services to the European Space Agency at their main technical centre here in The Netherlands. As CEO of this hi-tech business, I was determined not to repeat some mistakes made during my very first assignment as CEO of a chemical company back in 1980.  My analysis of that period was simple. “ Success in business =  failure in life.”  Success in business came at a price that was not worth paying; my relationship with my wife and family,my health and my relationship with God all suffered.  The lessons I learned through FCCI helped me to understand the life/work balance much better.

  A survey conducted by the advertising and marketing firm Ogilvy & Mather showed that people would rather get out of the rat race than climb the corporate ladder. 76% said they would rather spend more time with family than make more money and 75% responded that they would trade job security over a job that offered an opportunity for a pay increase.

  Graceann Bennett, Managing Partner and Director of Strategic Planning at Ogilvy & Mather Chicago commented, “The most surprising thing about our study was how much consumers were saying what they would NOT do for money, even when money worries are high on the list. Prioritizing your life based on money is seen as a sure way to be disappointed since the pursuit of money is often reliant on factors outside of consumers’ control. They have gone down this road before and are saying that they are not necessarily happier or better off as a result.”

This reminds me of the words of Jesus when He warned, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his life?” Money always promises much but delivers little. You can buy a bed, but not rest; medicine but not health; a house but not a home. I know from my own experience that you can be a success in business but fail at life.  John D. Rockefeller said, “The poorest man I know is the man who has nothing but money." An old mentor of mine said many years ago that when you get to the end of your useful working life, you will never regret that you didn’t spend enough time at work. You will regretthat you spent too little time with your family!

Thanks to FCCI, I am much better equipped to manage my career and family choices in line with God’s greater plan.  I encourage you to come to the 2011 International Conference and discover what God has in store for you.

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