Thursday, April 5, 2012


String Theory, Jamestown, NC

One of the guiding principles I discovered during my working career regarding styles of management was the concept of “push versus pull”. I’ve also always been a believer in putting into action the adage that we can learn how to manage by keenly observing those around us. And we can become better managers by emulating those actions we consider positive (getting people to pull together) and doing the opposite of those we consider negative behavior (pushing people). Management of course has a lot to do with human relationships. Ike Eisenhower, a native Kansas boy, apparently recognized this as well. One account states that to demonstrate this principle, he laid a string on a conference table. He then challenged his officers to see how much progress they could make by either pushing or pulling the string. The seasoned commander had learned that most folks respond better to being pulled in a desired direction than being pushed into it. And they can be positively motivated if empowered to make good decisions for the common good within a simply defined framework.

In the very early days of the new covenant relationship that God had introduced to his creation through his son, the apostle Paul was hard at work trying to sort out and verbalize this new way of living. There were many differing views at the time and of course the New Testament was not yet written or selectively assembled into the Bible. The old covenant of God’s emerging creation taught relationship with God through observing the laws that He had given them to live by at the time. Finally, it would seem that God determined that His creation had matured enough to receive his son and begin a new era of relationship through faith. This new found freedom was established to release us from the bond of laws and allowed his creation to live in empowered grace. Paul reasoned that Jesus’ teachings provide us with all the guidance needed to live in love and harmony; choosing equality over dominance and diversity over separateness. When challenged to choose the greatest of all the myriad laws of the time, Jesus simply replied that loving God and others was the greatest. And empowered people that strive to live united within that framework and pull together in relationship with their Creator help to create a better world for everyone.

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