one indicator of the character of a leader

If you want a glimpse into the character of a leader, watch how they interact with the housekeeping, janitorial, or groundskeeping staff of their organization.

“3 Forces That Shape Character” by Michael Hyatt

“3 Forces That Shape Character” by Michael Hyatt

Great post by Michael Hyatt

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.

Are You Guarding Your Heart?

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

In our world today, your “heart” is constantly being attacked, being distracted, and being wooed away from what is really important.

What is distracting you? What is pulling your attention and affections from what is truly important? Guard yourself – protect your heart!

What are you doing to guard your heart today?



What Is Your Response?

You may have heard this many times, but it bears repeating – you can’t always control your circumstances, but you can control your response. There are some things pretty certain about this life – you will fail, you will be criticized, you will be wronged, you will feel pain and loss and you will be disciplined by a loving Father.

The key is – how will you respond? Will you become bitter and complain that “life” isn’t fair? Will you demand your rights? Will you resent those who seem to have it easier than you?

Or will you choose the path of a grateful heart, seeking to grow in wisdom from your challenges so that you may better serve others? Will you develop greater compassion and love for others that are suffering? Will you grow in your dependency on God and have an even deeper joy in His presence?

Read this post about finding “treasure” in three different situations: 1) Failure, 2) Criticism, and 3) God’s reproof. Your response – your attitude determines if you find treasure or just bitterness in painful circumstances.

So, this very day – what do you choose?


Great Leaders – A Common Thread

Good morning! It’s an unusually warm foggy morning here in northeast Indiana. Being a Southern boy that’s ok with me as I am not quite ready for snow just yet.

Last week, I was part of a team conducting leadership training for an Ambassador company in Tennessee. As we were going through the training I kept noticing a particular characteristic that was being mentioned over and over as being fundamental to effective leadership. Also, the absence of this characteristic has been the source of the downfall of so many gifted leaders. However, this characteristic goes counter to the popular image of a leader. Somehow, it just doesn’t fit the image of a leader – especially the image portrayed by the media.Good to Great

This common characteristic is humility. Truly effective leaders who have a lasting impact on people and the organizations are marked by humility. Jim Collins in his book Good to Great found that the “Level 5” leaders of these great companies were marked by deep personal humility and fierce resolve. Most of these CEO’s led quietly, were quick to give credit to others and to accept personal responsibility when things did not go well. They served others and the organization – not themselves.

Are you living a life of humility? Is your life one of serving God and others or is it one of serving yourself? Humility is a choice – it is an intentional way of living life. It is outward / others focused vs. inward / self-focused. As a result it is a much richer way of living.

So make the choice today – live a life of humility and make a real difference in this world.

Serving Him,

Don’t Hire For Talent

Good Monday morning to you!  It has been an absolutely beautiful weekend here in southwest Michigan!  We had fun watching a baby robin learn to fly.  He must not be in the advanced class as he flew right into the side of the garage – he was a little stunned but soon recovered.

The young robin recovering after flying into the side of the garage.

Hiring the right people is the most important decision you make as a leader in an organization – but we often use the wrong criteria.  Most of us go for talent or skill sets first.  That is almost irrelevant!  Surprising statement?  Well, it seems that the organizations that hire well and have low turnover select people first on the basis of their character.  One software company has a VP of engineering who had degrees in theater and anthropology!  In fact this company now has seven non-negotiables when they hire: (click here to read a great article about how this company chooses their people)

1. Respect,

2. Belief,

3. Loyalty,

4. Commitment,

5. Trust,

6. Courage and

7. Gratitude.

See anything about skill sets there? Nope, I did not either.

It is more about who people are than what they know that should be most important to you. Hire people of character and then train them to do what you need done.

Hope it is an outstanding week for you this week!

Don’t Wish for Obedient Employees |

Don’t Wish for Obedient Employees |

Good article on obedience.  As Christians, we do need to be obedient to the Lord.  But, you may not really want overly obedient staff.  In fact, one truism, I learned long ago, is the best way to mess over your boss is to do exactly what you were told to do.  No more and no less.

Actually what you want are mission-minded staff who embody the core values of your organization who think and do what is best for the accomplishment of the mission, are proactive and are men and women of character.  Then you will have a staff that are nimble and able to react in the right way to highly fluid situations.

3 C’s of Hiring

We hire people for what they know and then fire them for who they are.”

Have you found this statement to be true?  You have hired someone who is highly talented, but they don’t work out because of character issues? Or maybe they just don’t fit your culture?

The three C’s are fairly well known, but seemingly not well practiced.  They are (in order of importance):




Most of us seem to know this, but if you look at most hiring systems, all the documentation revolves around the third C – competency or job skills.  If you truly believe that character is foundational and that chemistry is key to a healthy team, then you need to rebuild your human systems to reflect this type thinking.

Until you do, you will continue to bring on talented people and then wonder why they did not work out.

Blessings on your week!!