It’s Christmas Eve tonight, one of the big events on the Christian calendar. This, of course, got me thinking about faith. No, we’re not going to get into religion in this space – we avoid it as we do politics (didn’t anyone ever teach you those aren’t topics for polite conversation?). Instead, I want to tackle faith from a business perspective (and just maybe you’ll extend it elsewhere).
The dictionary definition of faith is firm belief in something for which there is no proof. Complete trust is another way of looking at it. I like to think of faith as the bridge between belief and certainty. In business, faith is what lets you hand off projects to your people. You believe they can handle it. There’s always uncertainty – they can get sick, they can get distracted, they can just plain screw it up – but faith is what lets you tell your boss it will get done on time and on budget it bridges that gap from believing it to knowing it.
Faith is what lets you take on new technology and try new things. Think for a second about some examples of those who don’t have it. HR always insists people are on probation for a period of days when first hired. To me, they can’t bridge the gap to certainty about someone – they believe you when you make the hire but they hold back. No faith. IT doesn’t want to change to a better operating platform – they hear it’s good (belief) but have no faith even though it might improve the business and save a few bucks. They can’t bridge the gap to certainty.
Salespeople are the worst when it comes to lacking faith – they always hedge their numbers (I say this having been one so I know!). “There is always doubt” they will say. “That’s why you need faith”, management should reply. And that’s why the revenue spreadsheets don’t have a ton of (if any) footnotes – management has faith in sales and got to certainty!
If we go through our business lives never being certain of anything, the only certainty is failure. I believe in my people and have faith they’ll deliver. I believe in my plan and have faith we can execute. I believe in my abilities and have faith I can put them to good use. Is there a chance none of that will be true? Sure. But the faith is what gets me and my gang to certainty.
Maybe you’ll spend the next day or two thinking about faith for a little bit. Maybe not. Either way, your ability to have faith in something or someone is critical in business. Elsewhere too. Merry Christmas!