Us Japanese, we think in decades


Us Japanese, we think in decades

I'm watching a movie called "The Bank" and one of the topics they talked about was peoples perspective of time.

Generally speaking more people think about the impact they will have on time as being a little short of their whole life. So if they think there life is 75 odd years, they will think the impact of their lives will be made over 60 odd years. This takes into account the time they took to grow up and get up to speed, then the last few years are sort of written off to old age.

Some cultures are better at thinking long term than others. I saw that first-hand when I was in China. The Chinese Emperors were obsessed with living forever and they started, continued, and built like they would live forever. They had an insight into the importance of planning a long way in advance to ensure their Dynasties would last for many generations. In the movie I'm watching there was a line "You English always think about each year, us Japanese, we think in decades" and I dear say the Chinese think in centuries. That might be unfair on the Japanese as I've never been in a position to really asses how they think about time. I'm just going with the line from the movie.

I've been doing some reading recently about leadership and casting vision. I'm not very good at it but I'm starting to learn about it. One of the things this leadership books talks about is succession planning. Setting up something to last for a long time and making sure the foundation it's been set upon can take the weight and stay solid for a long time.

I wonder what the Disciples thought about when they first started out with the Church? Did they think about the structure or it? did they already know it? did they have strategic planning session where they contemplated the roles needed and how the church would look in years to come? I have no idea...

Beside the pondering about whether the Disciples had thought about the long term succession of the Church - I'm fairly sure a bunch of fishermen and builders etc had no skills in this area. I've been thinking about how most leaders and managers seem to run their businesses. They appear to lead them based on the vision of what they can achieve in their life time. I think this is small minded.

When leaders are thinking about the Big Picture, why is it so often what they can achieve in the next 10 or 20 years? why is it what they will be able to see in their life time? I guess I'm surprised by them.

Maybe I'm strange but I think about what my business will look like in 150 years time. What will it look like when three generations will have run and lead this company? Obviously its impossible to know what that will look like and it's actually rather silly to think about but I think it's important to consider them, in 150 years time, when making my decisions today. If I set up bad practices or a poor philosophy, it will carry on for many years and decades to come. How rude of me would that be.

It's the same with church and ministry. I think of all organisations that cover the earth, it's the Church that will stand strong, and has, over the centuries. Leaders, across the board, should be considering what they need to do now AND what the impact will be of what they do now on their successors in years to come.

I know that I think about things years in advance. The idea of being on one part a long chain in a ministry or organisations history isn't anything I find hard to grasp and comprehend.

I wonder if that is a strange ability or not? I bet it hinders me thinking about the here and now, or maybe it adds value to it. Who knows. It's just a thought right now anyway.

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