When I was a young man transplanted from what was then a very provincial Southern California to NYC, the center of urbanity; I was assigned as a training exercise the presentation a motivational speech to a group of rookie colleagues. I punched all the old buttons I remembered from orientation talks, kitchen table parental talks and half time pep talks: pride, training, teamwork, desire, determination, the thrill of winning and the consequences of defeat. I finished to a positive response from my peers and felt good about my grasp of the motivational challenge. And then my boss pulled me aside.
“Greer”, he said, “nice words, but you don’t get it.” “You see” he went on,“ winning is only a little about high pitched emotions and mostly about how we execute our assigned task. We all have different skill sets and success is dependent on correctly matching our skills with the task at hand. Moreover, our current availability - even attention, is governed by a host of external considerations. So the key to motivation and winning is to find the right person for the right job at the right time.”
When I have applied this lesson I’ve generally had good results and when I have not, I’ve usually set myself up for disappointment.
Yesterday I participated in the Diocesan Convention and during the various reports and presentations and particularly during Bishop Mathes’s address, I couldn’t help but marvel at the difference five years have made in the life of our diocese. I mean no criticism of anyone by saying that when Bishop Mathes was elected we were an unhappy, divided, probably insolvent, problem region. If there was blame to be assigned, all deserved a share.
And now just five years later and despite having had two very difficult financial years, continuing property disputes, the near failure of our principal social services agency, a ruinous fire to our diocesan camp, a large turnover in rectors, and the unrelenting pressure at home and from our General Conventions for full inclusion of all God’s people, we have clearly turned the corner. The list of achievements is impressive.
The reports speak for themselves and those who like the details can access them from the diocesan office, but what became clear during the various presentations, is that repeatedly, our bishop reached out and found the right person for the right job at the right time. And it has made all the difference.
As I left the convention continuing to think about this simple success strategy, learned so many years ago, I concluded that our bishop’s success is largely because he too has been the right person for the right job at the right time.
Are we lucky or what?
Did you go to the Diocesan Convention? Please add your comments to this thread, or if you have a meatier comment, send it to us as a post. Thanks!