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May 17th, 2010

Freedom to get the job done.

By Ken Blue Several years ago I was considering a young man for employment at our church. I called another pastor in Washington State whom I had much respect for. After a short conversation, he asked me a question I will never forget. He said, “Do you trust him?” The ball was now in my court and I needed to make the decision. Did I trust this young man, or was I fearful of him? Happily, I concluded that he was trustworthy and I discovered that I was right. Since then I learned that there are certain management skills and tools that can relieve much of your anxiety about how much freedom to give those who work with you. Employees must learn that there are only three acceptable areas of operation. As their skills increase, they will gain more freedom, and your anxiety level will go down. Your goal is to raise each employee to a level one. If you are somewhat unsure about his judgment in an area, use level two. By using level three, you are still safe. The employee does all the skull work, and comes to you with his recommendations. Insist that he brings recommended actions to take. By following these three, you will always be safe. Levels 4 and 5 are the basement of management. Do not allow any employee to live there. Those who operate there never use their brains, and they leave all the responsibility for decision making to you. Therefore, if it fails, it was your idea. Get the picture? You may be wondering how employees can operate in levels 1-3. The answer is, a Job Description, staff meetings and training. It is work, but it is worth the effort. Your goal is to get each employee to level one. He will then be free to get the job done.
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