Across my career, I’ve had the opportunity to help a lot of people. It started with helping the person sitting across from me. As I moved into management, my goals extended to wanting to help families, then communities, the state and the country. Continually moving toward higher levels of influence with the same passion and an unwavering commitment to do it for the right reasons does help people live greater lives.

As I grew my career and experienced new things, I also wanted to make sure I continued to invest in my personal capabilities. I sought out wisdom from my mentors, and many of them had studied at higher education institutions. They said that while you learn a lot on the job, a strong curriculum can accelerate your learning and provide life experiences that will ultimately help you to make a greater impact.

After earning my bachelor’s degree from Cornerstone University, I was ready to go back for my master’s. I knew I’d learn things I could use and were relevant to my day-to-day business life. I also knew I would develop my spiritual life as I learned from a Christian worldview.

While my professional development motivation has remained relatively the same, my ability to achieve my goals has become much greater. As I’ve moved through my career and gained additional understanding, education and experience, I’ve been able to help even more people.

Next Steps in Influence

When I got my first supervisor job, I got a business card holder with a nameplate to engrave my title on. But I never did. I didn’t want to put a title on it because that’s not what I’m going after. If I did, I felt like I would potentially miss out on my purpose or limit what God had in store for me.

When I think about my career, I can see how God worked in my life. It wasn’t as easy to see the plan at the time, but as I look back, I see God’s faithfulness. In the end, I want to be able to know that I honored God and made an impact in the lives of the people I had a chance to interact with. By being intentional with my words and actions, I can use my talents to be a better father, husband, co-worker and community leader. This focus on following God has worked well for me, and I’m going to continue to do it. It’s energizing to know that God has a plan, even if I don’t always see it.

Intentional, Continual Professional Development

With anything in life, It’s important to be intentional. Often, we are tempted to go on autopilot or to be distracted. But the good news is that we can also choose to be intentional about the time we spend with our children, our spouse, our work and our communities. That includes being intentional about finding time to invest in a degree. A degree is more than just a piece of paper. A degree is a multiplier. As we invest in our education, the long-term benefits impact every facet of life.

I’m always looking for ways to grow my skill set and expand my talents. This allows me to do my meaningful work more effectively. Whatever talents I have, I want to be a good and faithful servant and know that I used them to make a greater impact.

I encourage everyone to never stop learning. Secure as much knowledge as you can and seek to understand different opinions and views. Understanding one another can help us get to the root of problems and truly solve them. When I began to broaden my horizon, I realized there’s a lot I needed to learn. I also realized that I had something to contribute. While I still don’t have all the answers, I know God has a plan. My hope for each of you is that you will see how God was faithful when you look back and how your intentional actions were honoring to Him.

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