When my kids were teenagers, they…er, I mean WE had a paper route.
It was hard work. We had to pick-up papers by about 4 in the morning, stuff the inserts, etc., and then deliver them all by about 7. The newspaper company managers didn’t care if it was raining, hailing, snowing or if a volcano erupted in our neighborhood—papers had to be done by 7!!
The final straw for me/us was a blizzard-level snow storm. We were literally wading through snow up to our knees and it was still falling fast. We came to a street on a hill and our car couldn’t make it up. I tried several times and we could have carried some on foot, but it was a Sunday and the papers were too big such that we couldn’t carry enough to do the whole street.
I called in and said we’d come back to deliver those once the streets were plowed. “People are complaining,” the manager said, “Can’t you just finish your route?” “What part of ‘We can’t make it up the street in the storm’ don’t you understand?” I asked. “Tell the customer that if he can make it to 7-11, he can get his paper on time. Otherwise, he’ll get it when I can get to him!”
That was our last day on the job….
Experiences like this one have molded and shaped my approach to management. It seems to me that the biblical approach to leadership and authority is the best. Paul wrote, "Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven (Col 4:1)."
Pretty simple eh?
Another way to say this is, don't ask them to do what you wouldn't/shouldn't do and remember that you'll answer for your treatment of others when you face your Creator in the end. Asking too little is liberalism and produces waste and failure. On the other hand, asking too much is legalism and produces discouragement, rebellion, and condemnation.
So--to the managers I've had who were unreasonable, I say, "Thank you." I've learned what NOT to do...now I need to continue to live-out the truth of how TO be a boss/manager who reflects Christ.
To that end,