2015-10-14

7 Management Principles of Jesus in His Letters to the Seven Churches

From Jesus' letters to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation, we can learn seven principles of good management. They can be stated as mission/purpose, monitoring, praise, critique, correction, warning and rewarding. Learn how to do them rightly here and become a good manager.
The letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 follows a fixed pattern. The pattern provides us the clue as to how Jesus manage his churches. Here is an example from the letter to the church at Ephesus.



The Seven Principles of People Management from Jesus:

  1. Establish the Purpose - Define the Mission, Vision and Values of the organisation.
    In this case, it is the church, with Jesus as the Head and His Words as the values. See Knowing Jesus through the Seven Churches of Revelation for the details. Do you understand and fully absorb the mission, visions and values of your organisation. What about your own personal mission, visions and values. Do they match? If not, choose a company or start up one yourself that reflect the values and the mission you believe in.
  2. Monitoring - Know What are happening first, to the external situation and the internal people affairs.
    Jesus loves His church and keep a close watch of His people, being every ready to guide, protect and correct them. Do you keep track of what is happening with your staff, the company and the changes in the external environment? Are you aware of the challenges and pressures of your staff? Do you understand their needs? Do you see their performances? Do you see their obstacles? Do you see the infighting? Before you just jump in too quickly to give your pet advices and claiming to know all with your prejudgements and even prejudices, can you investigate and discover the real happenings first. Can you see things objectively and from multiple angles of different angles, different roles, internal and external views. After knowing objectively what is going on, then perhaps you are in the position to offer your wise counsel. The following 5 more principles show you how to do that rightly.
  3. Praise - Point how the things and behaviour that they are doing it rightly.
    Always begin first by pointing out the right and good things that your staff are doing. They must be specific and not a general motherhood statement. The specifics show them that you are really concern and have done your due diligence. Specifics also allow the staff to challenge and correct your misunderstanding if there be any. A dialogue to clarify matter and improve the relationship and establishing greater trust. Top leader like Jack Welch of GE, Frank Blake of Home Depot write personal letters to staff to praise and show appreciation of their work and behavior. Praising encourages more repeat of the right behavior. Be not stingy with your praise and make them specific.
  4. Critique - Point out the errors or bad behavior from bad attitudes.
    Often, we are blind to our own bad behavior and work. It takes someone else to point them out to us. If the company has good quality systems and measurements, we can also find them out. What is good or bad? How do you judge for things like behavior? Right or wrong is established in the first principle of purpose, mission, visions and values. Such are the yardsticks for right or wrong.
  5. Correction - Show them the Right Way or Right Behaviour.
    Pointing out an error is half of the job done. You must them what the right way is so that they can follow the right way. Just telling a person what he has done wrong is not good enough. You cannot let him find out the right way by trial and errors. They will take too long and be too costly. Show them the right way.
  6. Warning - The bad consequences that will arise if they don't change.
    Most people are happy to correct their errors once you point them out and show them the right way. However, there will be some who are driven by sufferings. Good managers and good parents usually let the bad consequences to do the teaching. Saving children and staff from the bad consequences from their errors will not lead to learning and will result in misguided decision making in the future. Always let the consequences be the teacher, except for fatal or serious situations. Too much kindness and love will result in a corrupted and confused world.
  7. Rewarding - Promises and Delivery of the Promised for good work.
    People are motivated by rewards, whether intrinsically by growth in maturity or externally by recognitions, monetory rewards, promotions or other benefits. We must be specific in the rewards and also be generous in awarding them. One shall not promise much and the deliver with discounts when staff achieved the agreed targets. 
Can you go through the seven principles and see which area you can improve upon? Hope you can and will become a better manager.

Hope you can see that Bible Study is more than just a spiritual matter but a very practical business matter. Don't divide your life into spiritual and carnal/business matters. You are an integrated whole person. Act out from your spiritual maturity to be a better person in the affairs of the world, especially your business or career. Let them be good testimonies to God. See also  10 Kingdom Laws for Business Success.

Lim Liat (c) 14 Oct 2015


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