In the Joseph story, Pharaoh is the supreme ruler of Egpyt. He discovers Joseph and appoints him as his second in command over Egypt. From Joseph’s perspective he has finally learned how to present his talents to someone in a way that does not incur jealousy or worship. A close examination of how Joseph presents his talents to Pharaoh will reveal what he has learned. Firstly, he doesn’t attribute his talents to himself. He identifies G-d as the source of all his talents.This is in contrast to his previous attitude towards his talents where he uses his talents to watch over his brothers and patronize them.
Joseph is a paradigm of the attitude that talented people should have to themselves.Talented people should see their talents as gifts from G-d to be shared with the rest of humanity. A talented businessman or a talented doctor’s primary goal should be to help people. We live in an information age when so many things in our life have been reduced to numbers and to business models and the human element is forgotten. Understanding that our talents are from G-d and are to be used to serve people created in the image of G-d is the proper way to do business. It may even prove more beneficial. Another ingredient of life that is missing as a result of today’s fast paced information age is meaning. People crave meaning in their live’s. Making your business a meaningful business by giving it a purpose and a mission will help motivate the people in the business to perform at their optimal level.
In my first few years I worked at a family business that dealt with early intervention home care. The business was mostly a filing shop. People spent all day behind computers filing away notices and records of the baby’s treatment. People complained about the work, there were constantly new regulations from the state. People were happy to be there but through all of the data that they were dealing with they had forgotten that they were doing G-d’s work. They were helping children get treatments that were essential to their development. If the children didn’t get the treatments at this young age they would incur much more complicated problems later on. The business, as it appeared to me, was pregnant with meaning. As the community initiatives coordinator I made it my job to ensure that everyone of the employees was seeing the big picture behind the work. Seeing the big picture would help alleviate some of the stress and hopefully imbue the office with excitement and enthusiasm for work which would lead employees to function optimally. Our first year we grew 30% in business, the second year we grew 40%. The most satisfying part of the job was writing a company newsletter which detailed stories about early childhood issues and success. Additionally we ran toy drives, company picnics, and office luncheons to drive office cohesion. After my two plus years there I returned for an office luncheon and witnessed my greatest success. It was the holiday season and the company took the lunch hour to do the secret santa ritual. Gifts were exchanged by all. Smiles and excitement beamed off of people’s faces. Through all of the programming and marketing work we had returned a sense of enthusiasm and purpose back to the business and the profits followed. In an age when everything is quantified and measured I would have liked to have put down on my resume how many smiles I saw and how wide the grins were on that day. Restoring a sense of purpose and meaning to a buinsess is not something that can be quantified. Building relationships within the organization in order that it can function better externally is not something that can be quantified and will often times go under the radar of your resume. However, a sensitive leader is one who’s finger is on the pulse of the hearts and minds of the people around him. A leader of that caliber knows when those hearts and minds need a retuning.