There’s one person (or group of people) in any organization that determines that organization’s level of success more than anyone else. You may argue that it is the front-line. And while I agree that the front line is indispensable as the group that carries out the mission, I still feel like there is a more important group. Some may say that the executive-leaders are the most important, because without them, there would be no organization or vision. Again, while I recognize the importance of this group in setting the direction and creating the “spirit” of the organization, I again still feel like there’s a much more important group.
The group I feel is probably the most important in determining the success of an organization is the managers. Ironically, many people even question the validity of the role of the manager, and even go as far as to state that a manager is not even a leader. However, it is the person in the role of the manager-leader that is responsible for taking the vision and direction of executive-leaders and implementing it with the rest of the workforce. Therefore, the person in this role is not only responsible for managing the workforce “below” them, but also for managing the expectations and results with the executive-leader stakeholders “above” them. This is where the rubber meets the road, and the big translation of goals to actions takes place.
With this important role, there are certainly some qualifications that one must fulfill in order to be effective. These qualifications come from Paul’s letter to Timothy where Paul outlines the qualifications for elders (executive-leaders) and deacons (manager-leaders). It’s the qualifications for deacons that we use for manager-leaders since the role of the deacon in the church is quite similar to the role of the manager in any other organization. Each of the following items will be discussed in much greater detail individually…
- Be dignified
- Not double-tongued
- Not addicted to much wine
- Not greedy for dishonest gain
- Hold mystery of faith with clear conscience
- Be tested first
- Serve to prove themselves blameless
- Wives faithful in all things
- Husband of one wife
- Must manage own household well
Source: 1 Timothy 3:8-12
If you were to compare the two lists side-by-side, then you would find that there are a couple of the qualifications that appear on both lists. I believe that is simply because they are important to both roles, and represent some of the things that carry over, and help a manager-leader potentially grow into an executive-leader. We’ll discuss more on this later.
Questions to consider:
What perceptions do you have about the role of a manager in an organization? Do you think of it higher or lower than it should? How can you redefine how the manager is perceived in your organization? At first glance, which of the qualifications do you need to work on the most?
See more from the management by God series!