Here are four big ideas from his book that go to the heart of the biblical and Reformation understanding of faith and work. If you reflect on these ideas, you begin to see how truly transformative they are.
- One of the chief insights of the Reformation is that we can (and must) find God in everyday life, not just in spiritual contemplation and devotion.
- We can find God in everyday life because he created it and is Lord of all life.
- This means that daily work is not a hinderance to the Christian life, but a necessary ingredient of it. We can find God in our work and work with him in it, as co-workers.
- God will judge your work.
One crucial aspect of productivity is getting into the context where you can be the most productive—which means getting the right job. When it comes to the job hunt, resumes are still an essential tool.
- Don’t fudge the facts
- Do include jobs you think nobody cares about
- Don’t make spelling and grammar mistakes
- Do invite people to critique your work
- Don’t assume a good resume will get you a job
- Do know your resume inside and out
If you haven’t seen it on social media, I have an update: Last year I started as director of career development at The King’s College in New York City. In my role I help students launch meaningful careers that will impact the culture through remarkable excellence, professionalism, and service.
I am thrilled to be at King’s and it is a great place. One reason it is such a good fit is that I believe that Christians are called to influence culture, and that is exactly the mission of King’s:
Through its commitment to the truths of Christianity and a biblical worldview, The King’s College seeks to transform society by preparing students for careers in which they help to shape and eventually to lead strategic public and private institutions, and by supporting faculty members as they directly engage culture through writing and speaking publicly on critical issues.
King’s has a fantastic philosophy of education that focuses on seeing the connections across disciplines, and is one of the best Christian colleges in the nation. The opportunity to obtain a rigorous Christian education in the heart of NYC is something that you cannot find anywhere else, and I believe that through this King’s is making a crucial contribution to the call of the gospel to engage the culture winsomely. You can learn more about my role here.
What does this mean for WBN? We are expanding! As we mentioned the other day, Daniel Kaufman, who has many years experience doing training for Chick-fil-A, just joined our team as our newest coach. I highly recommend reaching out to set up a series of coaching sessions with him. I am also available for our 2-Hour DARE coaching package.
My plan is to resume posting regularly and continue creating new products. We have a new book coming in the months ahead, which we will be sharing more about soon. And in December a new study guide and video curriculum for What’s Best Next launches from Zondervan.
In sum, Lord willing, great things are ahead!
At What’s Best Next, we pick our coaches carefully. We can’t just be thinking about productivity in the abstract, we need to know how to understand someone else’s challenges and help them make meaningful change.
That’s why we’re excited to introduce you to our newest coach, Daniel Kaufman. Daniel hails from the southern U.S., where he spent over a decade at Chick-fil-A helping train restaurant leaders and operators. He brings to our team a passion for organizational health, building successful teams, and gospel-driven change.
Here’s a brief interview we did with Daniel.
Please tell us a little about where you’re from.
I’m a Georgia native, born and raised, and I’ve lived in the same 45-mile radius my whole life. I graduated from a two-stoplight town to another two-stoplight town called Senoia, GA. I grew up in a Christian home, but didn’t become a Christian until my early 20s—a common Bible-belt story. I have 3 siblings and some nieces and nephews that I adore.
What do you like to do for fun?
When I have spare time, I like to practice humility by playing disc golf at one of the local courses. I don’t always make it through all 18 holes, but that’s fine because I stop trying to keep track of my poor score around hole 12. If you walked into my house, you’d notice some musical instruments as well as board games. Both are go-tos when I or my roommates have the time.
How did you begin working with What’s Best Next?
Well, it started with me growing in my walk with the Lord from reading the book What’s Best Next. I had been interested in reading productivity and consulting books through the lens of Scripture. I would write notes in the margins about how something did or didn’t align with the Bible. Matt’s book was the first one I read where the author had already done that work, and I really fell in love with the truths and principles he was teaching.
Jump forward a few years—I was using What’s Best Next and The Advantage (I’m also a huge Patrick Lencioni fan) to build my teams, but I hit a slump. Somewhere along the way, I learned that What’s Best Next provided productivity coaching. I signed up and started working with Matt. Those times were a huge encouragement to me, but an unexpected side effect was how much I developed a desire to work more with What’s Best Next one day and help others in the way I was helped. What’s Best Next was starting to expand coaching, but the time wasn’t quite right. That was a few years ago. This spring, the timing worked out and I’ve now been coaching officially with What’s Best Next for a few months.
You’ve done a lot of reading about work strategy and tactics. Any favorite tactics or tools you’ve found over the years?
I really like a lot of Patrick Lencioni’s models and checklists. They have helped me significantly. I’m a fan of What’s Best Next’s DARE framework and asking myself the question, “what’s best next?” in a prayerful way. I also use the 5 Whys technique for help in cause and effect problem-solving. A final favorite is the idea that simpler is generally better. We talk a lot at What’s Best Next about sticking to our core mission and centering our work around the right principles. I suppose you could say a favorite “tactic” is pruning to keep things from becoming too complicated.
What’s one of the toughest productivity challenges you’ve faced?
There was a point in my career where my team and I all felt stuck and I was exhausted. We were doing too much and it wasn’t super clear how to make changes within the current system. But we pushed forward and experimented and kept working. I was able to grow in more effective delegation and allowing others on the team to step up and grow. Eventually we got unstuck and after two years we even saw some of the changes we made in our team implemented across the organization, but at the time it felt like we would never make progress.
Do you have a favorite part of working as a What’s Best Next coach?
I’ve really enjoyed the role so far. The team is great to work with, and each person we serve has a unique story that we get to enter into. It’s a privilege to come alongside fellow Christians to support them. Growing up, I always wanted to be involved in so many different things around the world, and coaching has afforded me that opportunity as I work with people from Texas to Thailand.
Curveball. Do you have any hidden talents?
I don’t know about hidden, but I enjoy playing music every so often. Most people have never seen me play much guitar or piano. I studied theory early on, and can somewhat pick up and play any stringed instrument at this point—as long as it doesn’t require a bow!
Any parting advice if someone reading this is thinking about coaching others?
Pray for a genuine interest in the lives and good of others. Stay curious. People are fascinating, and there are always more layers and new insights to be learned for serving them better. You may know someone for years and then something comes up that helps you understand them in a fresh way. So stay curious!
Want to work with Daniel or another What’s Best Next coaches on the productivity challenges you’re facing? Learn more about our coaching options.
We’ve been planning ways to serve you better, and to grow sustainably at What’s Best Next. Lately we’ve focused a lot of energy on expanding our coaching center to help more men and women across industries.
Today we’re happy to announce we’ve increased our coaching capacity.
We now have more summer slots available for our 2 HOUR DARE sessions. Named after the Define, Architect, Reduce, Execute framework in What’s Best Next, these sessions can be a great entry level experience if you’ve never worked with us before—a focused chance to look at some WBN principles and frameworks with an experienced coach to then apply on your own. Or maybe you just need some immediate help tackling current work challenges or are stuck on a complex project.
If you’ve ever thought about What’s Best Next coaching, now’s a great time to jump in on a 2 HOUR DARE session. Spots are first come, first serve for each of our coaches. We look forward to serving each of you soon.
To learn more or request more information about our other coaching options, reach out!
We’ve been working behind the scenes to change a few things to serve you better. Here’s one of the resources we’re bringing back into our toolkit—the Best Next Steps Application Journal.
This PDF download is a simple tool designed to help someone get back to focusing on what’s best next in their life and work. It offers a taste of how the principles of God’s Word can help us address our motives and actions, and gives a simple way to organize thoughts and next steps.
I was on Bold TV a few weeks ago talking about What’s Best Next and how the Golden Rule is at the heart of how to be productive. I had a great time, and you can watch the segment above or watch it on their website.
Bold TV is a digitally native news network committed to bipartisan dialogue and innovation for people, businesses, and communities. It was founded in conjunction with Al Roker Entertainment. Bold hosts three one-hour online shows per week (Bold Politics, Bold Life, and Bold Biz), and you can also access the segments (as well as relevant articles) on their website. Their live shows run on their Facebook page on Fridays beginning at 10:00 Eastern.
Bold Politics is co-hosted by Carrie Sheffield and Clay Aiken. Carrie is the founder of Bold, a leading entrepreneur, a political analyst, and had an accomplished career in journalism and finance prior to beginning Bold. Clay, as you may know, should have won the second season of American Idol! (Though Ruben Studdard, who won that year, was great also.) He is also very sharp politically and in 2014 ran for congress in North Carolina’s second congressional district.
Here are two key things to note.
Digitally Native and Innovative
First, Bold TV is digitally native. That is, it has the principles of online communication and the new economy baked into it from the start. Instead of being a meatball sundae of taking an older business model and retrofitting the Internet on top of it, it shows us what a “digital first” media business model looks like. As such, it is at the leading edge of new media programming today.
Second, Bold is bi-partisan and dialogues respectfully about differing viewpoints. It seems like so much political discourse today is carried out with a bitter spirit, and that many news outlets today are profiting from conflict. Regardless of how strongly we feel about things, it does not have to be that way. You can disagree with someone and still respect them. This is how discussion and debate are supposed to proceed.
Bold embodies this, bringing on guests from both sides of the political spectrum. Further, the hosts themselves represent this, as Carrie is a strong conservative and Clay Aiken is on the liberal side.
Instead of seeking to profit from conflict, Bold is based on cooperation—which is a much-overlooked, but central, principle of the new economy. Businesses that seek to profit from conflict are operating according to the old model, and this will not last.
Bold’s style represents a much better way forward in the political discussion of our nation today. Bold TV is worth checking out and tuning in to as a leader in this much better (and, I would argue, more effective and more human) approach.
I was on Pete Mockaitis’s How to be Awesome at Your Job podcast the other day, and really enjoyed it. You can listen below or at the website, where you will also find helpful links to the various books mentioned and some relevant previous episodes (for example, his episode with David Allen).
Pete is doing great work and I highly recommend his website and podcast for specific, actionable insights that will boost your work performance.
Here’s a summary of the show:
Matt Perman explains how to tell the difference between important tasks and urgent tasks, and how to make room for what’s important in your life and work.
- Why you should plan your day with your time, not your tasks
- Four tips for effective personal management
- Two ways to prioritize like a pro
This is a basic marketing principle which Seth Godin summarizes very well. Seems obvious, but it is often overlooked!
If an Apple upgrade breaks your phone and you switch to Android, it costs Apple more than $10,000.
If you switch supermarkets because a clerk was snide with you, it removes $50,000 from the store’s ongoing revenue.
If a kid has a lousy first grade teacher or is bullied throughout middle school, it might decrease his productivity for the rest of us by a million dollars.
Torrents are made of drips.
The short-term impact (plus or minus) of our work or our errors is dwarfed by the long-term effects. Compounded over time, little things become big things.
In other words, courtesy and generosity are not only good for business — they are essential for business when you look at things from the long-term perspective.