Managing people, being the lead of even two people, or working with a team at work brings a challenge in common. Do I focus primarily on the result we need to achieve or worry about the process?
Academics and counselors like to stress that the right process will usually generate the right result. That maybe true on paper, but is one willing to risk failure on a theory? Often, there are so many different people variables that the likely hood a predictable outcome is extremely low. When one faces the reality getting results, of achieving the goal, or realizing the plan, the outcome is what matters, not the process! Theories, ideas, models are all nice, but do they work in real life?
Our behavior suggests that we do not believe they work. We steer people towards the right choice, we dictate actions at critical moments, we manipulate the facts so someone will choose a particular course, and we bend the rules to win. We do all these things more often than not because we do not want to lose or fail. Winning is everything, process is well, nice to have.
I often believe this so strongly that I act a particular way regardless of how I really feel. I put a spin on my decision so that the result is reinforced not the doubt that was present in the crux. I rationalize ethical compromises given the uncertainty of achieving the goal, the pressures of the moment, or the obvious question of just looking good in the process.
God takes a completely different tack. With God, the process is the winning. The outcome is clear, the measurement certain, and it is based 100% on how you and I get there. Winning with God is all about relationship not about achieving a specific point result at a specific point in time. This focus plays itself out in the tasks-at-hand.
“If you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond.” (Romans 12.8)