Q is for Queen Esther

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    I’ve got to admit that I really struggled with Q. With most of the other letters with this case study series who to highlight just came to me. With this one, I needed to search out someone to study and share. So I present to you Queen Esther. She has a book in the Bible about the important role in her work at an important time in her nation’s existence.

    She was originally brought to the king’s palace because she was beautiful to look at. This probably isn’t what she had intended for her work, but she obeyed her place in the kingdom and purpose for it at this point. Just like us, we often find ourselves doing work that we didn’t intend originally. Sometimes the work falls into our laps and is a good fit. Other times we question why we are even doing what we are doing.

    When Esther found out that some of the king’s helpers were going to exile the Jewish people, she was the only one in position to petition for their survival. While the king didn’t know at the time that she was Jewish, he later found out once she shared her plea with him. In order to petition the king, now her job was to really step it up and be bold and courageous. What she was about to do to approach the king could render her dead. But she replied with a firm presence to do and complete her new mission saying, “if I perish, I perish.”

    Many times in our work, we will be asked to step out of our comfort zones to lead into new areas of our lives that we’ve never explored “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:12). We will need to take risks that we’ve never taken before. Just like Esther we will need to be bold and courageous. She was willing to risk her position in the kingdom for the greater good of the people. We too might be asked to do something similar at some point in our lives.

    In order to fulfill this great mission, she knew that it would require supernatural strength and thus cried out to God for help. She prayed and fasted. It didn’t just include her either. She asked others to pray and fast for 3 days for this mission.

    When it was time for her to put this mission into place, she used God’s guidance to approach the situation very carefully. She was deliberate and took her time. She hosted a banquet in the king’s honor as well as his helper (the leader plotting against the Jews). The first time she didn’t reveal her request to the king. At the second banquet is when it happened. She gave her plea and had amazing savvy to manage the politics of the kingdom. Our workplace is no different. The politics are a huge part of learning how to best connect with others and navigate the many challenges thrown our way.

    As she built trust with the king and treated him respectably, he granted her request in the end. When we have an important relationship that we need to influence, especially one in which we need to manage upwards, think about how the lessons from Queen Ester could help you – be bold and courageous, ask for supernatural strength and unwavering faith and have the necessary political savvy.

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    For more resources, see our Library topic Spirituality in the Workplace.

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    Janae Bower is an inspirational speaker, award-winning author and training consultant. She founded Finding IT, a company that specializes in personal and professional development getting to the heart of what matters most. She started Project GratOtude, a movement to increase gratitude in people’s lives.