by Aletha cross posted from her blog Yllom Mormon
I’ve made mention of this earlier, but this section is more pronounced. It seems that Michael has very little respect for a Mr. Steady. Possibly because he views himself as Command/Visionary? I’m not sure, but the more I read in this chapter, the stronger that feeling gets. Let me know if you agree/disagree.
Text is in purple
Your Role as a Steady/Priestly Man
In the church, Steady/Priestly men are very important to stability because they are compassionate, steadfast, and loyal. Their lack of hastiness in making decisions puts the brakes on potential conflicts. They help bring balance when a headstrong Visionary gets out of line. Priestly/Stead Men are rarely rash or foolish, although (to their discredit) they will sometimes tolerate foolishness or error without dissent.
It bothers me a lot that Michael just assumes everybody who labels themselves as “Steady” is compassionate, steadfast, and loyal. Just because somebody takes a long time to make a decision, doesn’t mean it’s the right decision, or even a nice decision. It is totally possible to be stable and cruel at the same time.
A Visionary doesn’t make as good an elder as does a Steady Man. The Visionary/Prophet makes a better evangelistic preacher and reformer. The Command Man is more suited to eldership, although a plurality of elders should contain all three types with Steady Men predominant. The modern concept of pastor (though not Biblical) is best filled by a Command Man.
Well, lookee here. Not only can Michael tell men how to run their home, but he even gives advice as for who to call as an Elder, and who should be pastor. Is there anything Michael isn’t authority on??
Usually Mr. Steady’s children grow up to highly respect their gentle speaking dad. If mother has been negative towards Dad, the adult children will strongly resent her. It is a man’s responsibility to make sure this doesn’t happen. Children need to grow up adoring their mother, lest they have emotional issues as adults. When you walk together as a team, your children will admire you as successful people. It is good soil for the seeds of little souls.
My husband would be considered at least half Steady, and the foster kids respect him a lot, because of his gentleness. (I’m more of an irritable drill sergeant). It is true that children can be resentful if there is negativity in the home-but assuming it’s all the mother’s fault is not healthy. I’m concerned that Michael doesn’t explain how the responsible man should make sure this doesn’t happen. What’s the point of having scare tactics, if you don’t explain how to avoid them?
Also, it’s been my experience, that most children, naturally adore their parents (not just mothers). Yes, sometimes they get along better with one parent than the other, but most children think their parents are great. Our foster kids came from a really messed up home, yet all they want to do is go back, because they don’t understand that their background isn’t healthy. Likewise, I grew up in an abusive home situation, and it took me until I was 23 to be able to admit that it was abusive and neglectful. There are exceptions, of course.
It’s a good philosophy to work with your spouse as a team. That should be a no-brainer. Though I don’t know how well teamwork=successful people. I guess it all depends on how one measure’s success.
Women and men alike are drawn to a Command Man. Likewise people are often drawn and compelled by the volatile Visionary, finding him exciting and stimulating. But the Steady Man is taken for granted. He is like the pain you don’t have and don’t know you don’t have it, whereas the Visionary is a chronic sensation-good or bad.
I think Michael would have more convincing points if he would stop trying to compare all of the types against each other. Why not just say “Steadies do this, are like that, and need help here.” Why compare how little Steadies are looked up to? Also, that last sentence reminds me of a heartburn commercial I recently saw. “I know my medicine is working, because my heartburn comes back. That’s how I know it was gone!”
The Steady Man is seldom a campaigner. He is needed, but not flashy enough to win the spotlight. He will never brag on himself and is typically very poor at promoting himself and his skills. A Visionary will sell you a handmade hat before he attempts to make one. The Command Man will organize others to make the hats, but the Steady Man will take the job and undersell his product and forget to put his label on it.
Here is what I was alluding to in the introduction. What Michael seems to be saying throughout this chapter is “Steady Men are necessary, but mediocre.” And honestly, if the options are Visionary’s possible poverty or Command Man’s tyranny, why is mediocrity (which isn’t always a bad thing), the wrong choice? It seems that Michael feels the more flashy and self-promoting a man is, the more successful he can claim to be. Again, Michael doesn’t tell us how he veiws success. Nor does he explain why he assumes Steady Men are bumbling idiots that will undersell their product and forget to label it.
The Steady Man employed by the Visionary or Command Man does not promote himself and does not do well in management, nor being comfortable telling others what to do. His employer may not know his value until he is no longer employed.
Here again. “Steady Man are valuable, but people won’t notice it.” Why would anyone want to see themselves as Steady, if it’s as lousy as Michael seems to think it is? Plus, being “Steady” doesn’t mean you are an unfit manager. I would think steadiness would be a good trait. From what Michael has said, Steadies are slow to anger, overlook trivial things, and are reasonable to deal with. That sounds like a good manager to me! In fact, considering some of the management I’ve known (mostly Commands who think they are the cat’s pajamas), I would prefer one who says “Let me think about what you said and get back to you.” As opposed to “Nope. I’ve already decided.”
Many Steady Men become quite competent in their fields and rise to own a business. When they first employ others to work in their business, they find it difficult to command their employees-even more difficult to fire them. Even a good employee never knows if he is pleasing his boss. In time Steady Men mature and assume a more commanding role, but it is emotionally difficult for them at first.
Why does Michael automatically assume leadership=commanding? That might be the way he leads, but it is in no way the only way! Also, the Steady Man is supposedly representative of Jesus. I would define Jesus as a pretty good manager, all things told. He did what he set out to do, changed the things he felt were wrong, and inspired people to be better. I think that’s a lot more “managerial” than “DO WHAT I SAY BECAUSE I’M THE BOSS!”
Typically, Steady Men do not become as well known as Command or Visionary Men. They are not odd or standout men. They are not loud. They are neither irritating nor particularly magnificent If they do rise to public notice, it will be because of a great achievement or because they are trusted for their very visible traits of honesty and steadiness. Yet they are so well liked that when they die a greater number of people attend their funerals.
Seriously. Is it even possible for him not to make sweeping comparisons? There are people that are perfectly content without notoriety, yet Michael consistently insinuates that this is a bad thing. I don’t get how Michael insists Steadies are mediocre, but then claims they can achieve greatness. This whole section is just…distasteful.
I wish Michael realized that people can be different, without having to compare and rank them. Just because he doesn’t view himself as a Steady doesn’t mean they don’t have value. If I remember “The Tortoise and the Hare” correctly, slow and steady actually won the race. So why does Michael insist on painting it as a bad thing?