Leaders, What’s Your “Go-To” in the OEM? Part 1 of 3

Welcome marathoners in and for Christ. (1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1; 2 Timothy 4:7) Exhausted, depleted from running the Godly, good, and being-a-blessing-to-others race? Welcome. Sit. Relax. Let’s feast.

Feast of the Heart exists to help bring about Christ-centered “reformation, revival, and constructive revolution” (Francis Schaeffer, Death in the City) so that God will be glorified and people blessed.

Reformation… we seek to abide by and serve up the true truth, pure doctrine of the Bible

Revival… we seek to model biblical Christians living in word and deed

Constructive Revolution… we seek to spread the true gospel right where God has planted us with urgency, compassion, and radical self-abandonment

Whether It’s Prosperity, Pain, Promise, Path-Breaking, or Any Particularity…

All people, leaders in this case, have a “go-to” type of spiritual, emotional, psychological-mental, and physical reaction to life’s circumstances. Let’s use just one handy name for what I’m referring to made famous, more understandable by Stephen Covey: What’s your paradigm?

  1. your  framework containing the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodology of approach to any given circumstance?
  2. your cognitive framework shared by yourself and/or members of any discipline or group?
  3. your set of known and unknown reactions to any person, or same-thinking group, and how you’re “spring-loaded” to carry it out?
  4. your “go-to” reactions, mostly visceral, ingrained from way-back-when, and well below the surface of your attention or even awareness?

[As a sidebar, what percent of leaders do you imagine have some robust, deeply-considered, and tested responses for the above-sort of suppositions?]

If anyone is remotely in touch with the reality of life’s complexities and radical up’s and down’s, he or she will first respond to an observation and set of questions of this kind by saying nothing more than, “It’s complicated.” That’s the wise thing to know and say. Because it truly is. And far too many people, having lived on the surface of a mostly comfy, untested life for a long time, will be ready to respond in far too simplistic [childish, naive, surface-only, devoid of context or wisdom] ways and/or reductionistic [reducing complicated problems to two or three solutions] way. Neither simplistic or reductionistic solutions EVER provide remotely robust, long-lasting, or deeply meaningful solutions, results.

No matter how much duck tape and bailing wire was applied to the Titanic… it was going down! Leadership arrogance and ignorance determined it’s destiny well before it left port.

Leaders Should Have a Helpful Leg-Up! BUT Few “Go There”… for Their “Go-To.”

This is an incredibly simple, yet highly complicated observation designed to help leaders [RE: all human beings really] live and lead fruitful lives and organizations: Unless any specific circumstance is more demanding than “Which pant leg should I don my slacks with first… the left or the right?” LEADERS now more than at any time in history need the “GO-TO HABIT” of referring to a “rung” on the Organizational Effectiveness Model [OEM] pictured herein. Which “rung” or part of the OEM depends on the circumstances or leadership call-to-action.

Mr., Ms. Leader, imagine an example of just about any circumstance you might find yourself in whereby you’re called upon to respond as a LEADER. I can double-dog promise, guarantee, fall on a thousand swords… you—on a really good day anyway—should be looking at the principles and practices contained within your organization’s:

  1. Vision
  2. Mission
  3. Core Values
  4. Strategic Roadmap
  5. Alignment
  6. Personal Responsibility
  7. Results

It’s all there. Or is it? It depends on whether any given leader… is leading.

This, This, This is Where You SHOULD “Go There” for Your “Go-To.”

Though, after having made this claim, please allow me to respectfully fill in the blank in far too many leaders minds—by means of some ballpark percentages of leaders who would offer a certain sort of response. Of course, my prediction is pure conjecture, but you might be surprised how accurate it is. In answer to the question akin to, “[Leader], are the seven parts of the OEM familiar to you? And do you regularly utilize them to LEAD? Or, put another way, if you were on trial for believing in such an OEM, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

Ballpark answers:

  1. “Absolutely bang-on! We are a Vision-Mission-Values-etc. driven organization. These principles and practices are deeply embedded in the culture, business process, and technology; we practice them in toto or in part every day. Frankly, it’s why I get up in the morning and tackle life as a leader…” [5%]
  2. “No question this is true. I totally get that… Now, at the present time our context, vocabulary, systems, rewards, and results tied to this model are a bit antiquated. We worked hard on that stuff a while back… Honestly? I… we really need to revitalize that whole thing. It’s works when you work it but I, we just got too pressed to keep it a vital part of what we are and do…” [25%]
  3. “Sure. I get that… But our business [organization] is going so well… [or so horribly…] that I, we really don’t have the need or time for platitudes, pretty words, lofty concepts… We have work to do; people need the work; we have goals; that kind of thing puts us too much in a box; so we’re moving forward… that’s what we do here.” [65%] [put the extra 5% where my estimates might need rounding off…]

Your Organization Will Be As Successful As the Organizational Effectiveness Model You Use… Or Don’t Use!

How So? Really, How So??

Simply… Reductionistically… But Robustly Put: “Effective, enduring and memorable leaders set a vision and use their authority to create an environment where people can contribute to the vision’s success and flourish doing so.  Leaders are environmentalists.”  (John Gardner)

The only reason, and the best and most blessed reason, to fully utilize an OEM of the kind pictured is tied to the most valuable asset of ANY organization: its people, Image Bearers of God, are inspired to be all they can be by means of how a LEADER does or does not use a model of this kind. Period. What more leaders need to know and fully embrace is what CS Lewis described as a spiritual principle and practice, “The freedom of obedience.” (2 Chron. 30)

“Leaders as environmentalists” (Gardner) utilize an OEM for flourishing people and assuring success. A human being, as a unique sort of organism, requires a very certain sort of Organizational Effectiveness Model. Is there one in place where you lead, or are led?

Leadership, carried out with the proper motive, humility, boldness, and obedience, is inspiring, awesome… and rare. And if any given leader simply doesn’t get this, or care to do so, he or she should step aside and allow a real-life leader to fill the void.

“The #1 responsibility of a leader is to execute the vision-mission of the organization. 70% of CEO’s are relived of their duties due to the lack of execution of the vision-mission.” (“Why CEO’s Fail”, Ram Charan, Fortune Magazine, June 1991)

“Defining the basic vision and purpose of any organization is very difficult, painful and risky.  But it alone enables an organization to set objectives, to develop strategies, to concentrate its resources, and to go to work everyday.  It alone enables an organization to be managed for performance.”  (Peter Drucker, The Essential Drucker, Harper Business Publishing)

ANY organization—beginning with the one as an individual.

Bless you “5%-ters!” and “25%-ters”—who step up and stop putting it off!

Come to feast at The Training Table next week and we’ll get into Part 2 and some much-needed details about how leaders can pull the above off in very principled yet practical ways.



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