Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hate The Phrase; Love The Concept

It must be time for me to write something about accountability. Today I was reading an article on Lifehacker called "Do You Have A Work Buddy?" A solid article explaining the benefits of working with someone who can sharpen you, strengthen you, motivate you, encourage you, etc. I have to say I hated the phrase ("work buddy") but loved the concept.

This evening Erin and I had my brother in law, David, over for dinner. As we were talking together afterward he began telling me about how encouraged he's been working a lawn care job on the side that he and a buddy started this year. He said the best thing he's enjoyed about it was the opportunity to do it with someone. Having this business partner (who also happens to be his friend and roommate) has allowed for a higher pursuit of excellence and a challenge to be the best they can be at their craft all the while enjoying each others company. A reiteration of the "word buddy" concept above.

As if that weren't enough, a dear friend and colleague of mine shared an interesting business concept that he discovered with a software development consulting group we have employed for some work and training. He explained to me how this company provided not one contract resource, but two contract resources for the project we hired them to accomplish. The one contractor is called a "driver". The other is called an "advisor". The idea being one is primarily responsible for the focused work of coding while the other observes - making suggestions, critiques, and affirmations on the progress of the coding in particular and the project overall. Another type of example of the "worker buddy".

There's a lot to be said about this concept of accountability and encouragement. It is absolutely vital for everyone to have such a person in their life. The Bible has much to say on this. A classic passage on this type of concept would be Proverbs 27 (NIV). Here are a few thoughts from there on this type of friendship and relationship:

  • Don't seek praise - v.2 "Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips."
  • Be critical with purpose - v. 5,6 "Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."
  • Enjoy godly counsel and communion - v. 9 "Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel."
  • Don't quit on your friend - v. 10 "Do not forsake your friend."
  • Challenge to excellence - v. 17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."
  • Be humble when praised - v. 21 " is tested by the praise he receives."
Do you have this kind of "buddy"? Are you this kind of "buddy"?

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