Orson Scott Card: Managing people at church

Many people have a misconception about management. We get the idea that it's about assignments and accounting. Managers give training and set goals; workers do their work and fill out reports. You can look at the paperwork and know just how everyone's doing.

The trouble is that, as every good manager knows, you can look at the reports and know absolutely nothing at all. Yes, productivity is down, but why? Turnover is high, but why? If anybody knew the answer well enough to put it into a report, then the problems probably wouldn't exist in the first place.

This applies as much to church callings as any other managerial responsibilities. In fact, I daresay that most of our callings deal with one aspect of management or another.

Bishoprics and presidencies have managerial assignments, of course, but so does every teacher in every organization. Because it's not just about preparing a lesson and "giving" it — you have to manage the class.

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