Posted by: pberry | December 18, 2008

Welcome to me! And on micromanaging and total depravity

The Book of Psalms, design by Becky Sell, Sell Creative, Omro, WI In my work at IBS, I was a project manager for the Bible publishing group. This entailed taking a project from idea to physical (or digital) completion.  I worked with writers, editors, designers, printers, and a host of others to complete these projects. Some of them are shown here, credits at the bottom.

A lot of people will say they aren’t micromanagers. Most of those times, they end up being just that. I’ll say that I tried not to be. I think I succeeded. When one of my team members had a professional opinion, I was inclined to listen and trust their expertise.

Kingdom Come, Kingdom Go, design by James Hershberger, IBS-STL Global There are two reasons I manage this way.

1) I have enough to do without being involved in every detail of how my team members do their job.

2) I believe in working with a team of competent people that you I can trust. If I can’t trust them to do their job, I need a new team.

This assumes the best in people. It doesn’t assume that someone is essentially good or will do something right every time. I’ve got a long list insisting that is not the case (a list I find myself on more than I would like). But it assumes that they are capable of doing a good job with the proper motivation.

Micromanagers assume the worst in people. They assume that apart from Hear This Word: The Book of Amos, Design by James Hershberger, IBS-STL Global their expertise and oversight, their employees/team can’t complete the task well or on time. This actually sucks the joy out of their team’s success. When they succeed, the manager will say it is because of how much work he put into his team. When they fail, it was obviously because they didn’t listen well enough. It’s like rooting for the Yankees: If they lose, their fans are furious, but if they win, they’re only mildly excited because that’s what they were supposed to do.

Long before I joined a Presbyterian church I struggled with Calvinism, specifically the idea of total depravity. Sometimes I tell people this was actually the easiest thing for me to believe, knowing that I’m an awful human being. But at the same time, I can’t help but remember that human beings were created with the capacity for good; that we weren’t meant to be this way and that God may have made the way for us to be everything we were supposed to be. We’re all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God. But I don’t think God is a micromanager. I don’t think he wants to take credit for everything we do right and blame us for everything we do wrong. In fact, just the opposite happened on the Cross.

Photo 1: The Book of Psalms, design by Becky Sell, Sell Creative, Omro, WI
Photo 2: Kingdom Come, Kingdom Go, design by James Hershberger, IBS-STL Global, Colorado Springs, CO
Photo 3: Hear This Word: The Book of Amos, design by James Hershberger, IBS-STL Global, Colorado Springs, CO

All titles available at IBSDirect.com

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