There’s an idea that you have it made when you’re placed into a leadership position. This idea isn’t shared by anyone in that position. This month marks two years since I was hired as a supervisor, and at times it’s a grievous burden to be a leader.
Because I care.
First some background. The position was created around four years earlier and I applied both times. I was unsaved the first time and was planning on using my knowledge of social dynamics to manipulate people to do what I wanted. Me against them, seeing them mostly as cogs in a machine. I didn’t care then.
I took my name out of the running before I was interviewed.
The second time the position opened up, I had been a Christ-follower for a year and prayed about it. Obviously I got it, and honestly, I regret it at times.
The Grievous Burden
What grieves me is those that were terminated or quit under my care. One young guy tried so hard, yet just couldn’t cut it in the position he was hired for. I worked with him, encouraged him, and got to know him. He was let go.
His last day I knew it was coming, and it broke my heart to see him trying so hard still. He had no clue that he’d wake up to a phone call the next morning informing him that he was fired.
Another guy, a good worker, hurt himself and was given every chance in the world. When he was skipped over during a hiring cycle, I was one of the ones to talk him, to talk him out of quitting. Encouraging him to excel in another position at the plant.
And he did. Then he lost his temper, quitting before they could fire him.
Another, recently, was fired. Had been employed at least two years, with problems a mile long, often disciplined, and missed work a lot. He lived nearby so I gave him rides when I could to keep him from getting fired for absenteeism. Ended up counseling him often when we weren’t geeking out over comics. He was a friend.
Time For Confrontation
The day he was fired, I learned of a bet on when it was going to happen. The attitude displayed in it angered and disappointed me. Especially since it was someone else who I’m mentoring now.
I confronted him, asking if it was true.
“Maybe…” he answered hesitatingly.
“He may have brought it on himself, but it is heartless to bet on another losing their job.”
The kicker is, he rigged the bet, having overheard about it. I mourned the loss of integrity. You know the saying ‘love the sinner but hate the sin’? That was what was happening then.
His justification was he wanted to get one over on the other guy. I quoted 1 Thessalonians 5:15 to him, “don’t repay evil for evil”.
Afterwards, I determined that the day I don’t grieve the loss of one of the crew is the day I step down as a supervisor. I will have lost my heart.
How Can I Reconcile All This?
You see, when you see those who work under your authority as people who have lives, hopes, dreams, and struggles instead as pieces on a chessboard, you will start to care about them. It’s not you versus them, it’s you and them together with the goal to do the job well. All balanced on the good of the customer, the company, and them as a person.
At least that’s how I see it.