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June 25, 2012
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Posted with permission:

I once had an employee who worked hard, was a good family man, and was pleasant to be around. One day he died. On the job. It affected many people in many different ways.
How did he die? In a vehicle accident. He was carrying mail on his route. He was struck in the passenger side door by a fully loaded dump truck. He died instantly. (That was a blessing.)

I was in charge of delivery and I had only been at this office for a year. At this time I had twelve years experience inspecting routes for safety issues. During that year I had inspected every route to review them for safety and efficiency. There were many deficiencies found on many routes. There were more than six safety violations on the route of the carrier who died in the vehicle accident.

I discussed with the carrier what changes I was making to his travel pattern, why I was making them, and that they were to be effective immediately. Part of my responsibility was to also perform “street observations” from time to time. This is done to make sure carriers perform in an efficient and, most importantly, a safe manner.

A few weeks after letting the carrier know what was expected, the carrier was killed in the vehicle accident. I, along with the Tennessee Highway Patrol and our Postal Safety Office in Nashville, thoroughly investigated the accident.
Finding: “Carrier failed to follow instructions and prescribed safety regulations. Management had corrected prior safety violations, properly retrained the carrier, and followed up to be sure carrier was performing efficiently and safely.”
Yes, management had shared with the employee what was expected for him to perform his job safely and efficiently. But, the carrier didn’t agree and did the job as he wished; he thought his way was easier and better. He thought no one would care as long as he got the job done. After all, his previous leaders had not corrected him. But here is the bottom line: the carrier failed to be obedient — and the carrier died.

How important is leadership? It’s not important at all if we aren’t going to be obedient; it’s not important at all if we don’t care and only want to do what we want to do; or, it’s not important at all if we think we know better what is needed. Evidently leadership  doesn’t matter if we just let people tell the leadership thay are going to do it the way they think they should because they think they know better what is needed. They don’t want to be bothered. They just don’t want to do what is asked of them. So, who needs leadership? Who needs to be obedient?

My dad taught me obedience. I learned how important obedience is when I was in the Army. When I went to work, I learned about obedience. As a manager and leader, I know the importance of obedience. As a husband and dad, obedience is important. As a Christian, I know the importance of obedience. And in all of these instances, I know what happens when I and others are disobedient.
When I choose to not be obedient, there are consequences. People can be hurt, spiritually, physically, mentally, … people can die. We shouldn’t pick and choose what, when, where, and how we are going to be obedient. Obedience matters to God

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