May 30; Talent Doesn’t Complain;
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Five: May Hiring; May 30

But select capable men from all the people—

men who fear God,

trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain

Exodus 18:21a

Talent Doesn’t Complain

Happy

It was a trick question. We both knew it. It was how the answer was presented that made the interview game fun.

Your Business Professor was sitting for A Big Job with A Very Big Company for Very Big Bucks. I wanted the job and it was a long shot stretch for my limited experience where I had to sell “transferable skills” and “possess a demonstrated sense of urgency” and “loyalty to management’s agenda.”

I was, in a word, unqualified.

So having nothing to lose I decided to have a good time.

The interviewer asked me, “What is the biggest complaint you have about your current manager—What is the worst thing about him?”

“My biggest problem with my boss?” I stopped and thought for about four seconds (dramatic pause for comedic timing), “His ties are too wide…”

My deadpan rejoinder made the interviewer laugh out loud at my silly answer.

Then we both knew. And started laughing again at the silly question. I was not going to answer any questions about defective managers. And I got the job offer.

***

The hiring process conformed more to: Energy, Energize, Edge, Execute and Passion (Four Es & 1-P) than my actual Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs).

John Francis Welch (Jack), the former CEO of GE, outlined five points to consider in personnel management. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB107481763013709619

  • Positive Energy. These people, writes Welch, “just love life.”
  • Ability to Energize Others. “People who energize can inspire their teams to take on the impossible.”
  • “Effective people know when to stop assessing and make a tough call, even without total information.”
  • Execute. This person gets it done. This person moves the ball.

And the final point, Passion. This is, Welch says, “a heartfelt, deep and authentic excitement about work.”

***

A month into my new job I ask my new manager why on earth did he hire a goof like me?

It was because I didn’t complain about my old boss. My new manager at Very Big Company said, “If you are not happy where you are, you won’t be happy where you’re going.”

And, “If you weren’t loyal to your old supervisor, you would not be loyal to your new manager.”

The hiring manager considered no job candidate who attempted to make himself look good at the expense of others.

He continued, “We don’t hire unhappy people—content employees are competent.”

But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gainExodus 18:21a

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