Fight the Fat

Maximized Leadership – Fight the Fat

To put you at ease at the outset I will say up front that this has nothing to do with your weight. I probably weighed no more than 140 pounds when I came out of college. Now I weigh approximately a lot! This is not about my weight or yours. You will also be glad to know that it is not about fighting against those who may be struggling with their weight. Though the subject is certainly worthy of our attention the context of the title has to do with the “fat” in an organization.

Marvin Schwan, the founder of the multi-billion dollar route delivery food company once said that “Sales covers sins. And lots of sales cover lots of sins.” In this context he was not discussing “sin” in the biblical sense but rather the mistakes, errors, and wastes within an organization. He points out that when times are good, organizations tend to let their standards slip and tend to be less attentive to budgets, efficiency, and spending. The good times enable the organization to look past the “sins.” The problem is that good times don’t last forever and the consequences of neglecting standards and budgets result in major challenges that are very frustrating to the team members when times get tougher.

How do you avoid being placed in that situation? He suggests that you operate the organization at all times as if “times were tough.” Always “fight the fat,” by keeping the sins of waste and inefficiency to a minimum and when tough times do come you will be positioned to deal with them in a way that is much less adverse on members of the organization.  How about your ministry? Your budget? Are you seeking to “fight the fat?” While this applies to any organization, those involved in ministries would do well to heed this advice given the cultural direction and the prognostications in books such as The Great Evangelical Recession. An effective leader acts as an optimist and plans as a realist.

Until next week….