The Thing about Anything is the Constant Change Cloud we live under!
Is that it is always changing. Just look at this keypunch card… There was a day that it represented data, and control of data. Today, it’s all found in minuscule bits of magnetized elements, or even in lasers and lights!
Even the act of leading has changed. In a church, the pastor often has less respect and authority than the pastor of 100 years ago. Back then people reacted differently. Lived differently. They even respected differently.
Today. the world around us is in constant flux and our methods and styles of leadership must adapt to this ever changing world. I am in contact with people around the globe who are reading this blog, and what I write must resonate because people keep coming back!
Because nothing is the same. It is constantly changing. Some changes are good. Others are not. Some changes will stick. Other will not. We must constantly adapt, or else…
A humorous personal story about change involves my IT (Information Technology) experiences. Back in the 70’s it was called DP (Data Processing) – and did we ever process data! File cabinets of stored data in the form of EBCIDIC formatted keypunch cards. Most of our systems revolved around accounting, billing and inventory. Paper records from these departments would find their way into Keypunch and data elements from the forms would be keyed onto a specifically formatted card, and then the collection of these cards would be inputted into the computer via a Card Reader. Thousands of card data per day were processed against existing data stored on keypunch cards stored in the file room. A new set of updated keypunch cards were created by the computer and stored, ready to be used that same day, or later in the month. Climate control was the mantra of the day because the cards could absorb moisture and be almost impossible to read into the card reader – thus valuable data could possibly be ruined.
Laborious and tiring, but also exciting – because I was working and managing a very high tech computer room!
However, technology being what it is, the day came that we planned to move all of our data into digital formats that would be stored on magnetic tapes and disk drives. Programs had to be changed to recognize the new media, which required ordering new hard drives, tape drives, and computer tapes. The week came, and a multitude of hours were spent reading in the cards one last time and storing them on the appropriate medium (disk or tape).
As we stood around the computer room and admired the ending results – tapes cabinets lined the wall full of newly stored data, new disk drives filled some empty space and they too were loaded with data. The card file room would soon become a thing of the past and those millions of keypunch cards would eventually be tossed.
My manager, a very smart man from India, sort of panicked for the moment as he realized the big change we had just undertaken and immediately wanted to go back doing the things the way we had always done them… Incredulous looks all around the room… No one knew what to say. I swallowed big and said something along the line – “If we go backwards then I quit…” He just laughed really big and walked out of the computer room. The subject was never broached again. And we stepped into a dawning age of change. And I have not looked back to the “good ol’ days” of Keypunch Cards wishing to return to their preeminent time.
This is sort of what I am talking about. Change. This world is replete with change.
Simply looking at our automobiles and you see the big change that has happened during the past 40 years. Although I have rebuilt carburetors on my cars of the 1950’s through the 1980’s, I do not believe there is a single carburetor made for the modern engine. I remember the first time I tapped into my car radio and attached an 8 Track Player… Mid 1970’s as I remember it – now I carry everything on my portable device and through Bluetooth connect the data to my “car radio” and speak to the system and tell it what to play, or even stream national radio from Sirius/XM – a satellite system that gives me the same station anywhere in the nation.
As the world changes, so must our methods. Principles will never change, but methods must adapt to this changing world. In fact, we constantly see laws adapting to the new world!
Though the laws of man might change, God will never change (Malachi 3:6). Our methods and styles must change, but will always reflect Jesus who is the same – yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
In fact, newer methods and styles will show up every day to deal with this constant changing world. Yet, Leadership will always be needed. We need to strive to change with the times so as not to become like the Keypunch Card, or the 8 Track.
Maybe you need to ask yourself the question, “Am I still leading like I would have a generation ago?” If the answer is yes… Well. You know!