Today’s segment of Joseph’s life definitely gives us some principles to be followed in business life. But that doesn’t mean they’re not applicable in other relationships.
Today we get to see what kind of boss Pharaoh is. I don’t know your history, but I’ve worked for many bosses . . . and their styles were varied. I’ve worked for bosses who were critical and some who were encouraging. I’ve had supervisors who micro-managed and some who hardly managed. I’ve worked for people who were easy to talk to and some who were unapproachable.
I think Pharaoh’s style of supervision shown in today’s passage is excellent. He makes the decision (with input from his team) to give Joseph the responsibility of planning, executing, and following through with a program to save Egypt during the coming famine. He then makes sure everyone knows about Joseph’s position and authority and then he allows Joseph the privilege of actually being responsible for carrying out his job . . . without interference. What a great idea!
Here are today’s verses:
Genesis 41:41-45 / Amplified Bible (AMP)
41 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.
42 And Pharaoh took off his [signet] ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in [official] vestments of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck;
43 He made him to ride in the second chariot which he had, and [officials] cried before him, Bow the knee! And he set him over all the land of Egypt.
44 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without you shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-paneah and he gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph made an [inspection] tour of all the land of Egypt.
I think today’s passage shows what should accompany a legitimate promotion:
1. An announcement from someone in authority.
2. A public signal of the transfer of authority. Joseph got Pharaoh’s signet ring. Based on your new position, you could get special garments (priest, judge, police, firefighter) or accessories (ID card, business cards, desk nameplate, parking spot, engagement/wedding ring, gun) signifying your new position.
3. A public display of your new position (organizational chart, a new office) and an announcement of the extent of authority transferred to you (interoffice memo, wedding ceremony, inauguration).
4. The boss clearly limiting his/her own authority in your area of expertise, allowing you to make the decisions you’re equipped and now authorized to make.
5. A title that matches your authority and expertise, benefits comparable to your position, and an opportunity to meet with your new constituents and determine their current status.
– Who have I known who got a new title but no real authority? What were the outcomes?
– Who have I known who was given authority but no new title? What were the outcomes?
– What has been my personal experience with promotions?
– What are some modern day ceremonies that contain some of the elements in today’s reading?
– What are some problems caused by promotions that aren’t legitimate? What are some organizational outcomes that could occur when this continues to happen?