Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Managing Emergencies

Seth Godin http://sethgodin.typepad.com/ has an excellent blog today on the way too many professionals become career emergency managers and never get to the strategic stuff. In the post-Easter reflection and review, I saw myself increasingly chasing after emergency interruptions and omitting long-term strategic planning (and praying). Devotional solitude was clipped and pruned down to minutes instead of hours so that waiting email and voice-mails could be answered. I left my cell phone "on" too many times when it should have been turned off (even the vibrate selection grabs my attention). I surf across too many web sites and skim too many articles, not finishing any one good piece and sampling too many.
Does living in emergency mode reduce one's capacity for sustained concentration? Are meals eaten more out of necessity and hurry than slow enjoyment? Do you find your eyes darting in a crowd, ready (even eager) to be interrupted from the conversation you are having? Are you disappointed if there is no incoming email when you check? I sometimes find that I tie my pastoral identity to my interruptions: I am needed by somebody now. If I'm not interrupted, am I needed? Am I a worthwhile pastor?
It does not help to read Seth Godin and Henri Nowen's "Genesee Diary" at the same time.


At 10:29 PM , Blogger Isaac Johnson said...

That has been the single biggest difference I've noticed here. There is a perception in my office that the Pune team is slow. However, being here, I realize that our office back in the States is the one thats really screwed up.

Back home we run around paniced, stressed, pissed, hurried. Our work suffers and our health suffers. Here, they just are so much more relaxed. You check your email. And you look into a problem. But no one is freaking out.

In fact, reading your email, you see the freak-outs back in the US. I read a lengthy thread from yesterday that caused all sorts of trouble during the course of the workday. However, because it was smoothed out in the end (as most battles are) by a sane manager, i didn't experience the stress of it (actually, the ridiculousness of it made me LOL).

I could easily see myself living here for a much longer duration (but i would need to find a good supply of joe).


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