March 24; Praying For Good Numbers and Doing Good Work
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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24 March

I will look on you with favor

and make you fruitful and increase your numbers,

and I will keep my covenant with you.

Leviticus 26:9

Praying For Good Numbers and Doing Good Work

Works theology 

Scoreboard Public Numbers photo credit: Hannah Yoest

Scoreboard
Public Numbers
photo credit: Hannah Yoest

I had a phone-date with Melissa. Charmaine would give me The Look. I didn’t notice; I was distracted with anticipation — I was thinking about The Call. Every night at 7:30 I would slip out of the house (for better cell phone reception, you see) and talk with her. I was always nervous.

Charmaine and I were newly married and she was learning about The Other Woman in my life.

My Bride soon asked about my obsession. I confessed.

I had a(nother) passion.

***

I was working for a medical device start-up company where grading performance—our execution—was a daily event. When Charmaine asked what I was doing I said, “Talking to the home office and getting my numbers.”

“Getting your what?” She said. “Every night?”

The Account Managers were ranked every 24 hours on meeting sales-income. These frequent, public milestones showed everyone in the company everyday how well the team was performing. Or not. Trends were easy to follow. The winners and losers were evaluated by The. Entire. Company.

The more important the project the closer and tighter the control measures should be managed. In any other scenario this might be considered micro-management by amateur bosses. But in fast moving uncertainty the risk was being monitored by nervous-but-competent leadership.

Ruthless. The rewards were directly linked to outcomes. We knew who the poor performers were. Our report cards were simple: What were the sales that day in dollars? Weakness was exposed fast.

Charmaine was working in the federal government where performance was measured less frequently. She would soon learn to anticipate and love those phone calls as much as I did.

We loved measureable performance. We loved “making the numbers.”

My team had a simple management theology: perform certain behaviors; observable good works and then good numbers would follow. For example, if each sales guy called on five accounts each day, we would make our targets at the end of the month. The law of large numbers and all that.

A works theology may not work for eternal salvation. But good personal behaviors will allow good numbers as in how we might ‘measure’ life.

The Book of Leviticus 26:9 gives us insight on the ancient Jewish tradition of the benefits of ritual, the work of man’s hand and Divine Presence, I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you.

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