October 29; The Creator Delegated Demon Control Through His Disciples MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK: 365 Daily Bible Verse & One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful
Chapter Ten: Deciding 29 October
even the demons are subject to us
in Your name.”
|The Creator Delegated Demon Control Through His Disciples|
The board of directors’ meeting was a success. But trouble was coming. Frank was an experienced CEO who could see a train wreck, he predicted, in 12 months. Visionaries can see all kinds of things in the future.
He was forecasting his own firing.
“I’m confused,” says Your Business Professor. This is a natural state for me. They would call this ‘type casting’ in show business.
Anyway, involuntary termination did not look to be in the cards. All the stats and stars were pointed and aligned in the right directions. Revenue was up. Expenses were down. Staff turnover down. There was new demand for new products. Clients were happy. The Board bosses were happy.
“What’s the problem?” I ask. “Your numbers are good–”
“Too good,” Frank grumbles. “Nobody bothered me when I first came on-board—when the numbers were in the crapper. But now everybody wants in on the action.”
“That’s a good thing, right?”
“Huh?” We consultants get paid to ask the right questions. Dumb looks and mumbling, as they say, are free.
“Sales are going to take off like a rocket and the busy bodies on the board are now contacting my staff with ideas and projects and assignments and–”
“Usually boards are criticized for not being engaged,” I say.
“You’re confusing engaging with meddling…”
In 1916 Henri Fayol, a French managing engineer, published a book outlining 14 Principles of Management. Professor Bateman et. al., reviewed the 14 in Management.
Fayol’s first principle was, “Division of work—divide work into specialized tasks and assign responsibilities to specific individuals.”
His second was “Authority—delegate authority along with responsibility.”
The fourth on Fayol’s list was “Unity of command—each employee should be assigned only one supervisor.”
Number nine was “Scalar chain—keep communications within the chain of command.” (Bateman, Snell 2012)
Frank’s Board Directors were violating at least these four principles and probably others. The most egregious management error in board governance was the disruption of the chain of command.
The principle has been used since armies were first organized in antiquity. A clear chain of command is necessary in order that directions and commands can be issued down the links of the chain in the hierarchy. And accountability has a path up.
Fayol called this the Scalar chain. He used a ladder analogy where each rung is a person in the organization chart. The rungs are a step down for orders and a step up for reporting results. Scalar shares the Latin root for ‘stairs’ and ‘scale’ as to climb.
Frank saw instantly that the board was over-stepping good management practices. “I can’t manage my direct reports who get work from those board members reaching around me,” he said. “They say they are just trying to help…”
It wasn’t malicious. But the malpractice was going to end badly as I was beginning to learn. “You see,” said Frank, “Those guys on the board will tell the staff what to do and when they get confused and don’t get it right – they won’t get axed—I will.”
Frank continued, “And meanwhile I’m just another direct report alongside my staff who are now taking orders from my bosses.”
“Goodness,” I said, “You’ve just been demoted.”
Frank was able to avoid the train wreck. His outstanding performance landed him another CEO position just inside a year. He had seen it coming. The board didn’t.
“Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name,” Luke 10:17