KNOWING WHO TO DEVELOP. Often I am asked in leadership conferences, “How do you know which staff person to hire?” I always laugh and say, “You never know for sure,” and my track record underscores that comment! However, here are some guidelines I have tried to follow when looking for staff:
• Know what you need before you start looking for someone.
•Take time to search the field.
•Call many references.
• Have several interviews.
•Include your associates in some interviews and ask for their input.
•Interview the candidates’ spouses.
• Check out the candidates’ track records.
• If possible, have a trial run to see if job and potential staff match.
• Ask hard questions, such as, “Why did you leave?”; “What can you contribute?”; “Are you willing to pay the price?”
• Trust your instincts. If someone you’re considering looks good on paper but makes you feel bad inside, go slowly.
In fact, back off and let an associate take over the interviewing process; then compare conclusions. I only hire a person if it looks good and feels good.
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
“If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.”
J Loren Norris
The seeker of truth
After years of searching, the seeker was told to go to a cave, in which he would find a well. ‘Ask the well what is truth’, he was advised, ‘and the well will reveal it to you’. Having found the well, the seeker asked that most fundamental question. And from the depths came the answer, ‘Go to the village crossroad: there the man ran to the crossroad to find only three rather uninteresting shops. One shop was selling pieces of metal, another sold wood, and thin wires were for sale in the third. Nothing and no one there seemed returned to the well to demand an explanation, but he was told only, ‘You will understand in the future.’ When the man protested, all he got in return were the echoes of his own shouts. Indignant for having been made a fool of – or so he thought at the time – the seeker continued his wanderings in search of truth. As years went by, the memory of his experience at the well gradually faded until one night, while he was walking in the moonlight, the sound of sitar music caught his attention. It was wonderful music the truth seeker felt drawn towards the player. He looked at the fingers dancing over the strings. He became aware of the sitar itself. And then suddenly he exploded in a cry of joyous recognition: the sitar was made out of wires and pieces of metal and wood just like those he had once seen in the three stores and had the message of the well: we have already been given everything we need: our task is to assemble and use it in the appropriate way. Nothing is meaningful so long as we perceive only separate fragments. But as soon as the fragments come together into a synthesis, a new entity emerges, whose nature we could not have foreseen by considering the fragments alone.