Today I sat down to do the tasks of one of my employees. I was getting frustrated this individual was not performing as I had anticipated. The job was to call the offices of prospective clients. We send prospective clients a number of emails and postal mail pieces and then we ask our "dialers" to reference these promotions.
The dialers are given automated tools which automatically call the next person when they are done, which automatically leave voicemails and which automatically update our database. All of this is to get through more calls.
What I learned was that we were not having success because of the number of dials, or what was being said but instead because of the list being used. I had been focused on solving the wrong problem because I had been "assuming" I knew the issues that needed to be addressed. I remember one of my mentors saying when we "ass-u-me" we make an "ass out of u and me".
I might have spent countless more hours chasing the wrong rabbit. The fact is we often forget to inspect what we are expecting. Solutions are often never found because the person who is managing is unable to clearly understand the problem.
If we want to hold others accountable then we need to be willing to approach the problem from their perspective. When we are in practice, we do this all the time. The minute a play does not go the way we anticipated we do not talk about it. We line back up immediately and walk through what occurred.
Almost always we are able to create the problem which occurred and we are now on the path to finding a solution. I might add there are times there is not a solution and we simply pray it does not happen in a game!
In Galatians, Paul is reminding us we are to hold each other accountable and to act in a gentle manner to correct their transgression. However, he also tells us the same process of holding others accountable requires us to be accountable. At a minimum, we are to have the same expectations for others that we set for ourselves and to do otherwise is to "be deceitful".
We are to hold our brothers and sisters accountable in their Christian walk as well as on the field, in the workplace, at home or in the Church. God is calling us to inspect what we are expecting. We are to take a proactive role and not wait until smaller problems become bigger or what is worse let them fester until they effect the entire team, family, office or congregation.
I have come to appreciate the episodes from Mike Rowe who is the founder of the TV show "Dirty Jobs". For a single day, he does some of the hardest, nastiest jobs in America and he does not cut corners. He has built a business on shedding light as to how many things we take for granted which come to pass. His inspection actually changes our expectations.
I encourage everyone to listen to him tell his story about castrating lambs (youtube) as it will drive home the power of inspecting what you expect. It is through our inspection we are able to formulate accurate expectations.
Talk about the need to track our progress in everything