by Dave Hataj
Business, at its most basic level, is a series of relational transactions. I may have to deal with a disgruntled or struggling co-worker. Or I may be struggling and I don’t want to project my stress onto others. We may not have met a customer’s expectations, and they’re ticked off. A vendor may have screwed up and may or may not want guidance on how to fix the problem.
My day gets overwhelmingly stressful when I have too many relational transactions. Too often, this is when I make poor decisions, offend someone, or fail to serve the other person as I should. I’ve come to understand that business = the sum of relational transactions. Therefore, successful business = the sum of all successful relational transactions. So, my challenge is how to be certain that at least the majority of my relational transactions are successful.
The world’s goal of doing business is to make money. To make money, we need to make sales. To make sales, we must have an attractive product that meets a customer’s needs or wants, and persuade them to give us their money for our product. For most businesses in the world, building a relationship with the customer is only a means to an end: to make a sale.
However, for a kingdom company, the relational aspect of the business transaction is just as important as making a sale. If we consider the two greatest commandments of loving God and neighbor, and we learned that our neighbor includes everyone we work with, such as customers, vendors, and coworkers, and we’re called to treat this neighbor as we want to be treated—then it follows that every aspect of running our business becomes a relational transaction. From product development, to advertising, to manufacturing, recruiting, hiring, training, sales, shipping, and invoicing—it’s all relational transactions.
Excerpted from Good Work: How Blue Collar Business Can Change Lives, Communities, and the World by Dave Hataj (Moody Publishers, April 2020).