Love Works Wednesday Linkup Week 7 – Forgiving

We continue the Wednesday series based on Love Works by Joel Manby.  In today’s post, Bill Grandi (The Cycleguy) and I are discussing the eighth chapter (Forgiving:  Release The Grip Of The Grudge).  Check out Bill’s take by clicking here.

As a reminder, Manby’s premise is that leadership is best when it comes from a position of agape love based on I Corinthians 13 (“…[love] keeps no record of wrongs”).  Since I already read the book, I thought it would be interesting to highlight some of the sentences I underlined when I read the book initially:

  • “I am not suggesting that we toss out our organizational standards and goals – simply that we keep our hearts soft enough to be open to forgiveness.”  (p. 140)
  • “Forgiveness releases you, not the person you are forgiving.”  (p. 146)
  • “An act of forgiveness is a pebble in the pond, and the ripples can continue far beyond our ability to know.”  (p. 146)

Forgiveness is an interesting topic when it comes to the marketplace.  So much of the corporate world is cut-throat and leaves little time for forgiveness and restoration.  If something or someone isn’t working out, they are quickly discarded.  And if someone wrongs the company, they are removed and their reputation is run through the mud.

As a manager in the corporate world, I see both sides of the forgiveness fence.  I have a responsibility to be a good steward of the company’s resources, and I am tasked with making decisions for the betterment of the company.  I am sometimes faced with employee issues that require tough decisions, disciplinary action, and removal from the company.  I also have a responsibility to my team.  I need to support them, to help them succeed, and to push them to improve performance.

I’m proud to work at my company and in my department.  Within the department management team, I have seen a desire for restoration whenever possible.  In the restoration process, forgiveness happens to the extent that an employee is encouraged to progress past previous lapses.  When an employee is open to personal changes, it is often possible to retain an employee, to forgive them, and to restore them to good standing.

Obviously, there are times when this isn’t possible.  If an employee is intentionally harming the company or threatening the well-being of fellow employees, it may be necessary to release an employee from the company.  Even when this happens, we can learn to forgive.

Failure to forgive can leave us crippled by the past.  How we respond with forgiveness impacts our own leadership in the office, at church, or in the home.  As leaders, we are an example.  I want to model forgiveness for those I lead.
Over the next two weeks, Bill and I will continue to explore love based leadership.  I hope you’ll read along, jump into the comments, and maybe even change the way you lead.  Until then, consider getting a copy of Love Works for yourself, and see how this book might change you and your leadership.

What is one thing you can do differently this week to become a more forgiving leader?  How have you been led with forgiving, love-based leadership?