Lead People; Manage Systems

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,” Deuteronomy 30:19

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One problem I noticed over the years with new supervisors and managers is the tenancy to manipulate people. In most cases, they do not realize what they are doing. They simply act in a way to get the results that they seek.

We see this with parents raising children. When one has young children, it is easy for the parent to control the actions of the child. They can use fear and punishment to produce the results that they desire. However, as the child grows and becomes a teenager, the parent needs to learn to adjust their leadership skills. For then, the child begins to reason and think for themselves. They are not afraid of the same consequences of their earlier childhood. Now the parent needs to take the time to reason and debate with the young adult. If not, the child will quickly rebel, and the conflict becomes a war zone. Likewise, when the child becomes a full adult, the relationship again changes. The parent cannot use the same techniques from childhood with their adult child(in most cases). Now the relationship is less about control and more about freedom of choice. The consequences may be the same, but the means change.

The same is true in the business organization where adults work with adults. Novice supervisors confuse the management of systems with the leadership of people. When one focuses on trying to manage people like systems, conflict will arise. Systems are designed to measure and move through a process to accomplish a specific objective. People are led through engagement and expectations of consequences. Systems are logical, heartless, and predictable. People are emotional, soulful, and unpredictable. Systems can be quickly changed and modified for expected results with little feedback. People need time to grow and mature until full mastery of the workload is learned.

Don’t confuse systems and people. Each are necessary for an organization to fully realize its potential and service for others. Yet both require a different approach. God doesn’t work with people the same way he works with animals. Animals are born with instinct. People are born with learned behavior. The animal’s potential is limited. The person’s potential is unlimited. Lead your people with the realization that their potential is greater than yours. Manage your systems with the realization that they give you the process and feedback to make you unique in the business community. But don’t confuse the two when working with each. How would you like God to confuse you with the inertia of gravity? Hope that isn’t too radical for you?

We are rooting for you!

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

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