October 9, 2009

Management By Objectives

Written by Boyd Bailey

Management By Objectives… “…Aaron and his sons are to go into the sanctuary and assign to each man his work and what he is to carry.” Numbers 4:19 b

The Lord expects leaders to manage through delegation and precise instructions. It’s responsible and right for a leader to invest time in the management process. Good managers understand what’s going on and are there for support. They make expectations crystal clear and ask insightful questions. Clarity comes through repetition, hands on explanation, written instructions and follow-up. This is one reason the Bible uses the word “remember” 233 times. “Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent” (Revelation 3:3). Good managers remember to ask good questions.

Some people do not understand after the first attempt at explaining to them their responsibility on a project or in their job. Its vitally important that they comprehend their role and the value they are to accomplish in the overall mission. On the job training is important so that they have the opportunity to watch you or someone else complete the work with excellence. This also allows them to ask questions and interact with the trainer. In the long run your investment in people saves you time, money and personnel turn over.

So how can you specifically improve your management skills? First, make sure you are managed well by your supervisor or Board of Directors. You are likely to manage well if you are managed well. Secondly, have regular performance reviews. We do better when others are watching. The review needs to be relational, clear and results oriented.

Thirdly, walk around among your team. Seek to understand each person’s role and what is expected of them. Take the time to follow up with tasks you have delegated to others and follow through with your commitments. Effective leaders manage in person, not in isolation. Recluses manage unrealistically, but engaged managers manage in reality.

Lastly, challenge the management process. Do the systems of your enterprise facilitate management or stifle management? In other words, do you get the proper data needed to evaluate a person or situation or are you guessing and making assumptions not based on facts. Perhaps you regularly audit yourself with insightful questions. Am I managed well? How can I manage well without micromanaging?  “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds” (Proverbs 27:3).

Related Readings: Genesis 39:4-5; Luke 12:42; 16:1-8; 1 Timothy 3:4-5

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