Monday, May 15, 2023

What Comes Next?


"Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:34

A recent survey by the global marketing research firm IPSOS found that people around the world are most worried about Inflation, Poverty/Social Injustice, Unemployment, Crime & Violence and Financial/Political Corruption.  More simply one may well conclude that our world is most worried about those things of Money and Blood.


Inflation, Poverty/Social Injustice, Unemployment, Crime & Violence and Financial/Political Corruption are all tightly woven into the economy.  What is affordable (Inflation)?  Who can afford what and why can’t everyone (Poverty/Social Injustice)?  How does one obtain and retain one’s ability to purchase those things one needs and wants (Unemployment)?  And lastly how does one protect oneself and one’s possessions from evildoers (Crime & Violence and Financial/Political Corruption).   Money and Blood.


The survey did not ask the Big Question, although there may have been an “Other” option at the bottom of the list.  A list which no doubt included specific health and relationship related questions.  And of course, Climate Change was somewhere on that list.  According to climate activists it should absolutely be THE most worrisome of all our concerns. They warn us long and loudly that it will ultimately sweep us away along with all our treasures.  But neither is it the Big Question. 


The Big Question, the Eternal Question is What Comes Next?  What awaits us on the other side of this life?  When the line goes flat are our worries over?  For is it then no longer our burden to worry about Inflation, Poverty/Social Injustice, Unemployment, Crime & Violence or Financial/Political Corruption?  Hot or cold, wet or dry; will it matter?  For us the clock has stopped.  No more sleepless nights, our journey complete. Or is it?  What Comes Next?  If you don't that would be something worth worrying about. 

"But first seek His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." - Matthew 6:33

Sunday, May 7, 2023

The Truth About Hiring Decisions


Brace yourself for the truth about hiring decisions.  After years of experience in industry and headhunting, I have found that most hiring decisions are based on some combination of 8 key factors: Experience, Appearance, Likeability Communication Style, Work Ethic, Skills/Ability, Personality and Integrity. Each one is important.  But that doesn’t mean the impact each one should have on the hiring decision is equally important.   


Unfortunately, too many hiring decisions are not the best hiring decisions. The problem is this: Experience, Appearance, Likeability and Communication are the most visible factors (MVF’s), and therefore end up being the primary reasons someone gets hired.  Work Ethic, Skills/Ability, Personality and Integrity are much less visible (LVF’s) and more difficult to evaluate.  Too often we equate Likeability with Personality.  Likeability is part of Personality, but it doesn’t really tell you much about an individual’s Real Personality.  Experience can certainly tell us something about a person’s skills/ability and work ethic, but it’s not everything.  And if you’re just taking it from a resume or the candidate's personal testimony, it may mean even less.


Considering that many companies fail to look closely at the LVF’s and base their hiring decisions primarily on MVF’s, we end up with a lot of bad hiring decisions (BHD’s).  Now, BHD’s create opportunities for headhunters.  So perhaps I am working against my own economic interests to point this out.  But the world would be a better place for employers, candidates and headhunters if we made better hiring decisions.


I am not suggesting that employers ignore experience, appearance, likeability or communication.  We must start somewhere.   So, we look at resumes.  We probably check them out on LinkedIn.  We might even look at their social media posts; or google them and see what bubbles up.  At this point we are essentially looking at candidate advertising.  Let’s admit it, resumes are people presenting themselves in the best possible way.  They only highlight the good stuff; often they are misleading and, at worst they are fraudulent. LinkedIn can be much the same.  Social media posts and google can raise some interesting questions.  But there is something creepy about digging around in all of that.  Do I really need to see a candidate in a sombrero and speedo?


But if employers wanted to focus on a candidate’s job performance potential, they would put more emphasis on those LVF’s when making hiring decisions.  Work ethic, skills/ability, personality and integrity are more likely to determine job performance outcomes than experience, appearance, likeability or communication style.  Certainly these are important.  But they should be considered more as minimum requirements for candidates, not the primary determinants for who gets hired.  I say that fully recognizing that experience, appearance, likeability and communication styles are very important in certain roles.  But how many times have we seen people who look great, are likeable, excellent communicators and have impressive work histories turn out to be bad hires.  Some people who look good, sound good and check all of the boxes just “fail upward” for years before being found out. Washington DC is full of such characters.


To be clear, I am not suggesting that “perfect candidates” are out there waiting to be found.  Far from it.  Perfect candidates do not exist and those who come close to it are expensive, have a lot of options and more than likely what you are offering isn’t one of them.  What I am saying is be careful not to fall in love with a candidate’s resume or how they look or how they talk or just how much you like them.  Never assume that “great” candidates make great hires. The MVF’s should be filters in selecting candidates who go to the next round.  In the next round targeted interviews, meaningful reference checks and personality/cognitive assessments should be used to determine which candidate is most likely to be successful in this position in your company.  Think about your top performers.  They are usually a well-balanced combination of work ethic, skills/ability, personality and integrity that fits the position and your company.  

“People are not your most important asset.  The right people are.” – Jim Collins

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Crouching At The Door


Sometimes it grabs you 

And you know it will win.

Sometimes it whispers

Old friend, may I come in.


It's the lie that changes colors,

But is never in the light.

It taunts you in the morning

And haunts you in the night.


It says that you deserve it.

You've earned the right to choose.

This life you didn't ask for, 

It's yours now, win or lose.


You also know your time is short,

But The Word says there is more.

Just remember what lies waiting…

Sin is crouching at the door. 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

And It Shall Come To Pass


“Do not give dogs what is holy or cast your pearls before swine; lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” -Matthew 7:6

The “He Gets Us” ads that ran during The Super Bowl (and continue to run) have created quite an uproar.  Spending millions of dollars in an attempt to share a message of love and unity in the name of Jesus may give some of us born again Christians a warm-fuzzy, but it seems to have really upset most everyone else.  As a Christian, I thought the ads were well done and sent a great message.  But, at the same time, I cringed knowing how they would not be well-received by many viewers and, in the end, just become grist for the progressive social media mill.  “Do not give dogs what is holy or cast your pearls before swine.”

A few days before The Super Bowl, a handful of students in Kentucky decided to stick around after the Wednesday night service at the chapel on the Asbury University campus.   They continued to sing and pray and share testimonies.  They confessed sin and vowed repentance.  By all accounts they reached out to God and God showed up.  The Holy Spirit descended upon Wilmore Kentucky and the service continued.  More people showed up and worshipped.  A revival began.  More than a revival, it’s been called an awakening.  People from all over North America and beyond have been traveling to Asbury and experiencing it for themselves.  Something special has happened.  And it’s spreading to other college campuses.  Gen Z has called upon the name of the Lord and He has responded.

The creators of the “He Gets Us” ads are spending over $20M to spread their message.  And I’m sure they mean well and God has taken notice of their faithful and very expensive effort.   The young people at Asbury University just prayed and sang and worshipped and confessed and repented.  God did more than take notice, he joined the celebration.  My dream is that a fire has started in Kentucky and God’s Spirit will not be quenched.   

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;

Your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, your young men shall see visions,

Your old men shall dream dreams.” – Acts 2:17

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Spock Marks

 “I think we should bring up our children with much less pressure to compete and get ahead: no comparing one child with another, at home or in school; no grades.  Let athletics be primarily for fun, and let them be organized by children and youths themselves.” – Dr. Benjamin Spock

When people talk about Dr. Spock these days, they mostly think of the Star Trek character played by Leonard Nimoy.  But those of us who are old enough remember Dr. Benjamin Spock.  In 1946 his book, The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, was published.  By the end of the millennium his book  had sold over 50 million copies and been translated into 42 languages.  Dr. Spock advocated new ideas about parenting; ideas which at that time were considered radical and definitely out of the mainstream.  Prior to Dr. Spock, the experts recommended what can best be described as “tough love” in order to prepare children for adult life in a harsh demanding world.   Dr. Spock encouraged parents to show their children more affection and consideration.  Allow children to develop as they would and could, not necessarily as they should.


Dr. Benjamin’s Spock’s ideas revolutionized parenting and he is considered one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.   Spock was not the only “expert” advocating new ways of parenting, but he was the most widely read.  His recommendations seeped into our culture.  And Americans were primed for the change.   The Greatest Generation, my parents, had lived through the Depression, the Dust Bowl and WW2.  Now they stood victorious.  The United States was champion of the world.  They would give their children a better life, starting with a happier childhood.


Baby Boomers may talk about the jobs they worked as teenagers, the responsibilities they had and the demands put on them by parents, teachers and coaches.  The reality is that Baby Boomers had it easy compared to their parents and grandparents and those further down the line.  They were the first generation to be put on a pedestal just for being young.   And when a nation allows its course to be set by the preferences and feelings of its children, it is destined to have more chaos and less order. 


A lot of things needed to change in post-WW2 America.  Unregulated industrialization was on a fast track to destroying our environment.   Race and gender discrimination was real and rampant.  In the midst of The Cold War we were encouraged to believe that those who were not fully supportive of U.S. policies and actions were somehow “un-American”, perhaps even “Commies”.   And then there was Vietnam. Change did come and Baby Boomers were right out front waving their fists at institutions and authorities.  Not all Baby Boomers.  Perhaps not even most Baby Boomers.  Nevertheless,  most did embrace the appearance, the politics, the music and the bumper stickers of change.


But a funny thing happened on the way to righting all that was wrong with America.  We began to give up a lot of things that were right about America.  The Cultural Revolution began and most of us didn’t even realize it, at least not at that time.  Looking back now, we can see it.   We tell ourselves that we weren’t actively or intentionally involved. The truth is that a generation of over-indulged, spoiled, entitled Americans danced, drank, smoked, snorted, screwed and divorced their way through the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s before finally settling down to make lots of money and become conservative.


And their children are the worse for it.  Equally spoiled and over-indulged but with less love; going through life without the memory or the stories of challenging times and honorable ways of living.  The grandchildren fare no better, adrift in single parent or multi-parent households, poorly educated and connected by social media to others and a world coming apart.  

Should one wonder at the trends and ideas pervading our culture these days?  Not when one confesses that it began on their watch when they exchanged duty and responsibility for comfort and personal freedom. 

“The 1960’s were about releasing ourselves from conventional society and freeing ourselves.”- Yoko Ono