TV Show with Workplace Theme catches America's eye
by Michael Tummillo
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According to an article on the New York Times website (NYTimes.com), “The biggest new hit on television is a reality show that did not get a head start in the summer, that remained dormant for half the television season, that seemed to have little chance to appeal to younger viewers, and that had to face formidable competition not only from “Desperate Housewives” on ABC, but also from three straight weeks of the Winter Olympics on NBC.”
It's called “Undercover Boss” and it's my new favorite TV show.
I'm not the ONLY one. According to the NYT, “...the evidence is irrefutable: “Undercover Boss” on CBS is — so far at least — the breakout hit of the year, with the largest audience, the strongest appeal to younger viewers and the best performance against the toughest competition.
“The show, which documents what happens when a chief executive works incognito with low-level employees, opened as the follow-up act to the Super Bowl and pulled in 38 million viewers, the biggest audience for a post-game series since Nielsen introduced the people meter ratings system in 1987.”
“Undercover Boss” has beaten “Desperate Housewives” every week and nearly topped the closing Olympic ceremonies.
NYT said, “...most startlingly, “Undercover Boss” has been attracting bigger numbers with young adult viewers than existing hits like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “House.”
As a Workplace Chaplain – no...scratch that – as a Follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ, I appreciate the Christ-like message the show portrays. Before you accuse me of spiritualizing everything, remember that God will speak out of a donkey or cause rocks to shout if necessary. Why wouldn't He use a “least-likely” TV show to speak to a nation and showcase His nature and character?
In every episode (I missed the “Hooters” segment), the Boss winds up partnered with some very hardworking folks and, after shedding his vest and visor for a 3-piece suit, invites them to HQ, re-introduces himself as the Big Cheese and blesses them by meeting them at the point of their need. It's emotional! I've become more than a little verklempt on several occasions. Mortgage money, a new van, exercise equipment, education, training, promotions, pay raises, scholarships... these are examples of the things used by the “Bosses” to bless the peopele they worked with. Not only did they bless their employees, but they, too, were blessed by the experience. With each episiode, I could see Jesus saying to You and me, “Well done, good and faithful servant! How can I bless you? What do you need from me? You've proven to be faithful with what little you had been given for the of building my Kingdom... I'm excited to see what you will when I increase your blessings!”
I am blessed to have worked for/with some amazing people. For example, an Ad Exec who would pray for his clients and staff; I was impressed when former employees would call asking for counsel.
Another employer would take the eighbors on his cul de sac to dinner every Friday after work. He treated me – and gave me permission – to treat my staff similarly (cash, movie and dinner passes for Top Producers, he even invited me to continue my ministry to them saying, “For all the changes I've seen around here, I'd be a fool to ask that you stop!”).
The biggest supporter of this workplace ministry (TCAW) hired me to tend to the spiritual growth of her 500-member staff nearly 4 years ago. I am often impressed by the kind words spoken about her by so many who know her in the workplace AND around town. In her community and beyond she and her husband are well-known for being “givers” and as folks who really care.
If you, as a Business Owner or Community Leader, are driven by career, status, prestige and popularity, you're missing the proverbial boat. We can NEVER go wrong by investing in people. NEVER! Let THAT be what motivates you every day. Otherwise, no matter how outwardly successful you may appear, fact is, you're still exchanging time for money.
Need help? Let's talk!
Founder of The Church @ Work (TCAW)
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