There is a question that often emerges from the sermons, lessons, and bible studies in our churches. Out of those experiences, we develop a perspective of the concept of blessings. Most often our perspective and understanding of “being a blessing” or “receiving a blessing” is embedded in the understandings and practices of our faith. The questions we often wrestle with are: What is a blessing? Can I give/be one? Can I receive one?
In a business environment, the concept, idea or issue of blessing is not a generally acceptable topic. However, let me wander down this road just a bit. Our attitude and approach in a relationship driven business with members of our team(s), agents who represent us and with the client who buys our insurance products, give us the opportunity blessing. It seems to me that purposely looking to be a blessing moves Mennonite Mutual Insurance Company beyond intentionally delivering superior products and services to making a real difference in lives, both ours and theirs. It seems that this is a place where living with purpose and true passion is a prerequisite.
When we look at the blessing from a broader perspective, we begin by reviewing the definition of blessing where we see words such as: approval, encouragement, conducive to happiness or welfare, brings joy and satisfaction, grateful. Who wouldn’t like to be a source of action, attention to detail and bring attention to a relationship that would generate these descriptors? What is really unique about the whole concept of blessing is that the sense of feeling and fulfillment go both ways in a relationship.
Our team at Mennonite Mutual Insurance Company experienced the sense of being and receiving a blessing during our annual Christmas lunch. A few years ago we decided to give up the practice of exchanging small gifts during our annual Christmas celebration. In place of that practice we decided to collect contributions and hold an auction with proceeds going to a local non-profit organization. These have proven to be wild and wildly successful experiences.
During our 2011 Christmas lunch a few weeks ago, our team of 25 people raised $4,125 for the Orrville Area Boys & Girls Club. To say that I was humbled, grateful, proud and blessed is to put a fairly mild definition to my sense of awe following that lunch and celebration. This experience caused me to think about the whole idea of being a blessing and receiving a blessing. It also made me wonder how the impact of that day and our own personal perspective allowed/created such an experience and what the impact on life, and business in general, might be.
- The giver: out of our thankfulness, ability and acknowledged blessing, we give.
- The buyer: out of our blessing and being content with what we have, we contribute much more than the value.
- The participants: with their encouragement, prodding and challenges, they assisted the auctioneer (then cheered wildly for each sale).
- The non-profit organization: someone else realizes the true value of what they give their lives and resources towards.
- The clients: someone who has been blessed chooses to, with intention, make a real difference through multiplying the blessing.
Since this is a business, our first objective (according to Peter Drucker) is to attract, grow, and retain customers at a profit. However, at Mennonite Mutual Insurance Company, we also have two other bottom lines. The second is: to create an environment and culture of encouragement and enablement, in which we are a unified community, committed to the personal growth and development of each individual’s body, soul, spirit, and mind. The third is: through the development and sustainment of strong vibrant people, families, and business, we will give back to the community, impacting it in ways that truly make a difference thereby making it a community of choice.
The real value is ultimately seen and measured in the success of our business. However, it is the creation of this kind of culture that we can truly deliver products, services –and yes, blessings, where our partners and clients experience the fulfillment of our Value Proposition: “Personal Attention, Assuring Peace of Mind.” A blessing is impossible to quantify, however, we know it when we feel it.
Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your feedback!
DaveDavid L. Lehman President, Mennonite Mutual Insurance Company