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Redefining the Workplace - An Introduction

Within the Jewish tradition, there is a teaching that suggests “What I do in business and what I do in the house and what I do in the synagogue should be one” (Manz, Manz, Marx, & Neck, 2001, p. 13). This workplace definition is not new, and can be traced back to “The most popular religious book of the 1920s” (Elmes & Smith, 2001, p. 41) Bruce Barton’s (1924) The Man Nobody Knows. According to Elmes and Smith, “Great progress,” (p. 41) said Barton,

Will be made in the world when we rid ourselves of the idea that there is a difference between work and religious work… All work is worship; all useful service prayer. And whoever works whole-heartedly at any worthy calling is a co-worker with the Almighty in the great enterprise which He has initiated but which He can never finish without the help of men. (p. 41)

Schaff (1968) similarly believed that “As every place, so is every day and hour alike sacred to God, who fills all space and all time, and can be worshipped everywhere and always” (p. 476). Building upon the expanded definitions of Barton and Schaff, the term workplace, can include anywhere individuals are utilizing the spiritual gifts they believe they possess (McGraw, 2003a; Neal, 2000) which include individuals’ communities, places of worship, homes, and organizations (McGraw, 2003b).  

Fuller (2001) believed (as do I) that young or old, once an individual is filled with God’s Holy Spirit, they are also given (at least one) charisma to use for the betterment of society. Let’s take a look at how we might go about using our gifts in various workplaces.

Education / Inspirational / Lifestyle

Excellence At Work with Dr. Marilyn combines faith and tenacity to help individuals achieve excellence through keynote speaking engagements, individual and corporate coaching, training, meeting facilitation, and retreats. Whether working with an individual client or a team, the focus is on the achievement of personal and professional goals that facilitate individuals’ abilities to create positive outcomes within their households, organizations, places of worship, and/or communities.  Through motivational speaking, life coaching, and corporate interventions, Dr. Marilyn has developed a “just do it” style that motivates and encourages clients to achieve higher levels of personal and professional effectiveness. She is the author of Running Away for Three Weeks, an inspirational autobiography designed to prepare readers for maximum effectiveness in the workplace; creator of Discovering Your Workplace Gifts, an assessment to help individuals identify the gifts they were motivated to discover in Running; and author of Six Steps to Excellence for Leaders, a roadmap to personal and professional excellence for all leaders.