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Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in business, Work | 0 comments

The Four Postures Toward Faith in the Workplace

The Four Postures Toward Faith in the Workplace

By Jeff Haanen How do should I think about the role of faith in my company? How do corporations in America today handle issues surrounding spirituality in the workplace? I recently had this conversation with David Miller who leads Princeton University’s Faith at Work Initiative and is the author of God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement (Oxford University Press, 2011). He’s been asking these questions for decades and has worked with everybody from Tyson Foods to, more recently, the executive team at Citigroup. As a trained ethicist, he often is called in to field thorny moral questions among America’s corporate elite (The Banker Turned Seminarian Trying to Save Citigroup’s Soul, Wall Street Journal). But he’s also a trusted voice among Fortune 500 CEOs on the role faith should – and should not – play in the workplace. David has proposed a simple model that I find incredibly helpful, especially for leaders of publicly traded companies or companies with co-founders or investors who...

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Posted by on Oct 30, 2017 in Education | 0 comments

“Waiting for Superman”: Tenure, Unions and a Real Superhero

“Waiting for Superman”: Tenure, Unions and a Real Superhero

  Anybody with even a cursory interest in the 57 million children in America’s public school system should see the 2011 documentary Waiting for Superman.  Davis Guggenheim’s documentary on failing American public schools succeeds on many levels. First, it’s a helpful overview to how the school system works.  The complexities of federal, state and local power in public schools are made clear, and quirks like the tenure system in K-12 education are brought to light.  Second, it succeeds emotionally.  Following the stories of five families from low income areas, and their struggles to provide a decent education for their aspiring children, had my wife and I at the edge of our seats at the conclusion of the movie. Third, it succeeds as polemic.  The film is obviously biased against teacher’s unions and in favor of charter schools and other public school alternatives.  But it is biased with good reason.  And this is the point of this posting: introducing competition, even mild competition, to the school system will reap great benefits...

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Posted by on Oct 23, 2017 in Education | 0 comments

Developing Grit…and Character

Developing Grit…and Character

  A 2011 article in the New York Times Magazine highlighted Riverdale Country School in New York City, and their eccentric headmaster Dominic Randolph. Riverdale is a “TT” (Top-tier) private school, whose tuition begins at $38,000 for prekindergarten, and commonly sends graduates to Harvard, Princeton and Yale. Yet when Randolph came to Riverdale, he immediately did away with AP classes, encouraged teachers to limit the amount of homework they assign, and cut many standardized tests for admissions. According to Randolph, the missing piece to the Riverdale curriculum was character. His curiosity in character development led him to meet with Martin Seligman, one of the founders of the Positive Psychology movement and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and David Levin, founder of the KIPP network of charter schools, primarily for students in low-income urban areas. Levin had stressed character for years in the KIPP movement: walls are decorated with slogans like “Work hard,” “Be nice,” and “There are no shortcuts.” Seligman, on the other hand, had written an 800-page...

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Posted by on Oct 19, 2017 in Art, vocation | 0 comments

“Every Mother Every Father” – Work Songs: The Porter’s Gate Worship Project

“Every Mother Every Father” – Work Songs: The Porter’s Gate Worship Project

    “Every Mother Every Father” [Verse] Every mother, every father Called to raise up sons or daughters May your heart be patient May your mind be clear May our God be with you And calm your fears [Interlude] [Verse] Every mother, every father Called to raise up sons or daughters May your heart be patient And may your mind be clear May our God be with you And calm your...

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Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Art, vocation, Work | 0 comments

“Wood and Nails” – Work Songs: The Porter’s Gate Worship Project

“Wood and Nails” – Work Songs: The Porter’s Gate Worship Project

  For the next several days, I will be featuring new songs from a beautiful new project I had the chance to witness in person recently in New York City: Work Songs: The Porter’s Gate Worship Project, Vol. 1 (Live) Back in June 2017, a group of talented musicians, such as Josh Garrels, Audrey Assad, and Latifah Alattas, was convened by Isaac Wardell, the Director of Worship Arts at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia. Wardell noticed a surprisingly lack of mainstream worship songs focused on the theme of vocation. So he convened a community of leading worship artists and the result was a new album that, in my view, is the finest musical contribution to the church on the theme of vocation since the era of the Reformation.    The first song I’ll post here is “Wood and Nails (featuring Audrey Assad and Josh Garrels).” Enjoy – especially on your way to work this week.      “Wood and Nails”  [Verse 1] O humble carpenter, down on Your hands and...

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