The world judges everything on results. Objective setting is a great tool, yet in the end it seems that only results matter. Teamwork is an admirable goal, but only results count. Process is important, yet many do not care about the process if the results are there. This is the world of corporate business, at least it was yesterday. Today there is a wave of rhetoric suggesting results are not the only things that matter; process, teamwork, and controls have equal importance. I am not sure who the target audience really is. Until the modeling comes from the top, until the money follows the ideals, until the recognition goes to those who take the principled route, nothing will fundamentally change.
I used to think this type of thinking was the domain of corporate life. Increasingly I find the sentiment sinking into every part of human relationships where there is competition and measures of success. Non-profits struggle to hold onto their ideals. Education wonders how to instill integrity into teachers and students. Religion has adopted so much of the corporate mantras it is often hard to distinguish the two institutions.
Examples of failures can be found in government, remember covert operations supporting unauthorized programs, accounting scandals in pursuit of short term stock prices, and football referees changing the betting odds to their favor. Take an industry, discipline, and subject and with a little reflection a scandal seems to appear.
In this context, it is critical to understand what drives and shapes our lives. Do we understand the principles and commands which drive us? Are they linked to the actions of our lives (processes)? Do we value these more than the results that follow?
Jesus did. His words reflect the choice we must make every day. “I know exactly what his [God’s] command produces: real and eternal life. That's all I have to say. What the Father told me, I tell you.” (John 12.50)
If you are looking for a result the model is laid out. Today is our opportunity to see its reality. Don’t let it go.
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