“The core principle of effective management is to extend people’s autonomy.
When people are free, they take initiative and innovate and make things happen.
Increase people’s freedom and you increase motivation”
Recently I’ve come across several great articles on a Biblical approach to work that fall into two categories:
- A Theology of Work (it’s been great content to work through with my Senior Guys Bible Study)
- A Biblical approach to Management and Leadership
The first category applies to the Worker (which we all are), the second to the Boss (which most of us are – whether Director, staff, or student leader – you lead people). Today’s post will deal with the latter.
Matt Perman is the Director of Strategy for Desiring God. His blog is in my top 3 favorites. He recently wrote 2 phenomenal articles dealing with a Biblical approach to Management:
- A Christian View of Management in Ephesians 6:5-9 (longish post, but well worth it)
- Management in Light of the Supremacy of God (super-long post)
Read the first article for an overview. Read the latter for a thorough understanding.
The latter article may be the best thing I’ve read on Leadership because it synthesizes so many ideas into one cohesive strategy.
It pulls from concepts like:
- Marcus Buckingham’s (and Peter Drucker’s) Strengths-based leadership
- Daniel Pink’s (and Jim Collins’ Built to Last) ideas on what motivates employees
In reading it, for sake of time, you could skip point 1 and come back to as you have time (it’s foundational/Biblical but really long).
Some great quotes from it:
- Management is not “getting things done through others,” as it is commonly defined, but is “developing people through tasks.” Accomplishing results and developing the individual are equal concerns.
- The core principle of effective management is to extend people’s autonomy.
- When people are free, they take initiative and innovate and make things happen
- Increase people’s freedom and you increase motivation
- Our goal is to seek to extend and further autonomy in all possible ways so that our people, in turn, can be as effective as they can be and we can spread as far and wide as we are able
- Our philosophy of management is based not on control, but on trust.
In College Ministry, where do you think we need to extend autonomy?
photo courtesy of Éole