“listen to your life”

blue sky Lauren APR 2015Like many others, Jeff Goins is one of my favorite writers. He constantly challenges me through his writings. Following is part of one of his blog posts – it is worth reading in its entirety.

“Many people wander through life, unaware of their purpose, blindly following the whims of the world.

Listen to your life. That’s Frederick Buechner’s advice. An author who spent part of his life as a schoolteacher and another part as a minister, he observed that finding your vocation is less about grand moments of discovery and more about a habit of awareness. In his memoir Now and Then, he wrote:

See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments…

What Buechner was saying is that knowing what you’re meant to do doesn’t just happen. It’s an awareness that has to be cultivated. In other words, you don’t just know. It takes time and practice to figure out your calling.”

Click here to read the rest of Jeff’s post.


3 C’s of hiring

Orange Brown leaf at Brown Gables 2013“We hire people for what they know and then fire them for who they are.” *

Peter Drucker said in one of his many books that of ALL the decisions that an executive makes, the people decisions are the most important. Jim Collins in his book Good to Great emphasizes the importance of exercising discipline in the hiring process because it is so very important who you bring onto your team. Time and again, we are reminded of the importance to our organizations of how we select people and who we select.

There are three C’s I recommend you consider and they are listed in order of importance:

Character: You must absolutely hire for character. You can teach people skills, you can send them to school and so on, however, there is not much you can do about their character. If you choose skills over character, you will always lose and your organization will suffer.

Chemistry: A very important element is how well will the person fit with your team. I have seen several times people of high character and great skills not make it in an organization because of the chemistry. They just did not fit. This often is not a bad or good thing, it’s just that we are all different and different organizational cultures fit us better.

Competency: This is the obvious one – do they have the skills you need or do they have the potential of learning and growing into what your organization needs? Again, often here you are looking for potential.

And for ministry there is a fourth C – Calling. Ministry, as those of you in ministry know, can be very, very difficult. If you are not called it can become very hard – on the person and on the ministry. I have seen times when great people want to join a ministry because the Lord used that ministry to do a deep work in their lives. If they are actually called by the Lord to that ministry, then that is great. However, if they are not called, then it can become hard and discouraging.

So think about these “C’s” as you are considering your hiring process. Are you considering the right things in the right order as you add people to your team?

Have a great rest of the week!

* – this is a great quote and it is not mine but I have forgotten the source.

3 Things to Look For – Plus 1

Hope your weekend is getting off to a great start.  Today is the day we put up our Christmas tree – a big day in the Allen household!!

What do you look for in a new member of your team?  In an earlier post, I discussed the three basic things you need to look for:

Character, Chemistry, and Competency.

However, in a ministry or a nonprofit, where most people sacrifice in order to serve there – you need one more thing: Calling.

Does the prospective team member have a “calling” to your cause?  Are they passionate about the cause?  Can they go without talking about the cause?  Is it “in their blood”?

Serving in ministry or a nonprofit usually costs someone something – if they don’t have a calling on their life for the cause, they probably won’t last.