Management in this context simply refers to a collection of individuals who govern an institution; they have certain responsibilities like creating policies and provision of necessary support to implement the institution owners’ objectives. The contextual meaning of the term upper management, therefore, refers to the higher authority persons or institutions that administer an organization or a company (Farlex, 2011). The upper managers, for instance, Bishops, are usually given a lot of power by the church. Discussed here below are some of the principles that can be used by individual missionaries and other employees to cope with their seniors and to create a favorable working atmosphere within the church.
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Influencing Upper Management to enhance Organizational Sustainability
According to the third principle of Goldsmith, Ogg, & Morgan (2004), it clearly advises the junior leaders that they cannot win big fights while wasting their ammunition on petty issues. This is a solemn challenge for the missionaries to focus on the major and essential points when attempting to disapprove their seniors in the church. For instance, as a Methodist missionary for migrant workers of the United Methodist Church (UMC) in Malaysia, if I have to win any battle with the Bishop of the United Methodist Church (UMC) in Malaysia, then I should not waste my time and energy on trivial points. This is because the Bishop has limited time to waste on issues that have negligible results hence; I always focus on matters of greater importance. Junior pastors and managers should also be keen on requesting the provision of trivial non-economical laxities to the higher authorities lest they be ousted out of the church.
For example, as a missionary in an overseas mission for migrant workers, I have never been tempted to overemphasize my personal needs like maximum security, vehicle provision and luxurious lifestyle at the expense of the mission laid forth by my senior managerial task force. This is because the church Bishop can get mad at me for being preoccupied with petty issues rather than the key tasks of the overseas missionary work and he might even approve my sacking. I have always maintained that the junior pastors and missionaries are paid and tasked to ease mission work and to solve vital issues within the church.
Merit and Demerits
This principle plays major importance in advising missionaries on how to tread safely with their seniors and to warn us against the impending dangers of trying to major on the minors in any given working environment. However, I experienced some negativity when putting this principle into practice since it involved the usage of my individual skills in knowledge management (KM). In fact, Koenig & Srikantaiah (2004, pg. 298) put it that management is most effectively involved in knowledge management initiative (KMI) especially when it occurs at all levels, for instance, production of a deliverable must be published through the knowledge management system to be considered complete. It is therefore advisable that, as missionaries, we should tactfully implement not only one but also all the principles proposed by Goldsmith, Ogg, & Morgan (2004). Therefore, maximum caution should be taken to check overindulgence in this third principle since however harmonized the church leadership might seem to be, there is still the need for willingness and readiness on the individual missionaries to develop new instrumental plans to help implement the church’s missions and goals (Dixon, 2000).
Strict observation of this principle alone, made me feel generally dissatisfied, especially with the church’s work since all decisions I made were business-centered and I always lacked full motivation to execute the church’s work in Malaysia. In fact, whenever I totally emphasized the importance of my comfort while partaking in my overseas missions, I was most likely going to enjoy my work as a missionary leading to a reduction in the quantity and quality of the work I performed for the church. Therefore, junior missionaries are advised to prioritize their church work above other petty requirements, especially when dealing with their seniors.
Dixon, N. (2000). Common knowledge: how companies thrive by sharing what they know. New York, NY: Harvard Business Press.
Farlex, Inc. (2011). Farlex Financial Dictionary. Huntingdon Valley, PA-USA: Farlex, Inc.
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Goldsmith, M., Morgan, H., & Ogg, A. (2004). Leading Organizational Learning: Harnessing The Power Of Knowledge. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Koenig, M.,& Srikantaiah, T. (2004). Knowledge Management Lessons Learnt; What Works And What Doesn’t. Medford, NJ: Information Today.