Monthly Archives: November 2013

The art and magic of the real Interview

theconversation!In discussion with a Romanian friend we touched on the topic of the Interview

My mind went to these phrases:

“Character develops with every conversation”.  “When minds meet extraordinary things can happen”.

“You can talk and you can listen but there can be little understanding”.

Now we all know about the different types of behavioral assessments and interview techniques.

Indeed there are assessments upon assessments that can develop the right questions to ask based on the profile you have set for a position. The Automated interview has landed!!

To me an interview is simply a conversation!  BUT it is a CONVERSATION!

Ah but my Romanian friend would say “yes but not so simple!

Indeed the art is in the conversation!

We have all been subjected to the dreaded interview. We have all been disappointed because they (THE OTHER PERSON!)simply did not understand what we had to offer.

The interview has a number of characteristics

  1. It gives permission to speak and indeed permission  to ask about “us”.
  2. It is a contract between “us” that is confidential.
  3. It speaks to a future that we hopefully can both share in.
  4. It is a platform and a springboard for two minds to develop a relationship of benefit to YOU and ME!
  5. It has a sensitivity that belies its very essence.
  6. It develops relationships whether long term or short term.
  7. It is the BRAND of how you do business and WHO you are!
  8. It can be the first step of many that creates a brilliant future and ideas that change the world.
  9. It starts with a simple Hello and the content is about heart and soul and the character you offer.
  10. It ends with the possibilities and prospects of opportunities.

The interview is only as good as the imagination and the ability of the people who sit down together with the intention of seeking the truth with minds that assumes innocence.

picture courtesy of

Teach not Preach!

TeachLearnBlocks1How often do we hear that? Often I bet.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is saying that we are in danger of the next generation not going to church and for sure Church’s are emptier.

So why is that?

What can we learn?

Is the old way of preaching simply not effective?

Was it ever an everlasting way to change behavior?

Remember the days at school when kids had to memorize lines? How much did they REALLY UNDERSTAND?

Looking to today’s generation we learn that they do not want to be told!

They have their own way of learning the preaching is done.

They don’t want instruction they want to feel and experience the changes for themselves.

They are also community minded.

We need to keep in touch with their version of saving the world.

They don’t want to be preached too, they want to be part of the conversation.

They want to be asked! They want to be involved and have a voice!

Now hard is that?

Fire and brimstone is long gone education was always they way and we need to remind ourselves of that.


Picture courtesy if Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada

Employee Evaluations – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

targetpracticeDo people in high places think they are above us? Why is it that they can evaluate us and us not them!!!

I don’t mean 360 degree reviews I mean outright performance reviews!!

Why don’t we switch roles and give our boss that evaluation. I bet the likelihood is that they would happen a lot more often!

Not so much the way things happen today. Most business is simply awful at what is the most key “business meeting” that can take place in any business.

Yes you read correctly. A performance review is a business meeting but just go into most organizations and they still rarely take place.

Performance evaluation processes Suck!

We are all about “big data” and metrics for everything!!!

Yet the very people that we rely on to make all that happen don’t even get the respect of a conversation about how they feel or what they need! And when they do it’s often ONCE a year.

How often does your business review its financials?  You get the picture.

HR is often at the center of the controversy. There is too much paperwork and forms!

That may be true when we want to complicate things like adding competences and behaviors and values etc etc.

Call me simplistic but there are only three questions we need to talk about in our business review.

  1. How are you doing against your goals?
  2. What do you need to help you achieve those goals?
  3. What goals do we need to agree on to move things to the next level?

AND lets do it at least ONCE a MONTH.

ONCE a Year it TOO Late to be of any value!

Picture courtesy of ‪





Preparing to live, or preparing to die

faithOctober was a rough month for our family; the news that our younger sister’s husband (age 50) has lung cancer was a stark reminder that life is precious and not ours to squander.

Just saying the C word is scary, now our family like many is going to face the C word.

This young man, never sick a day of his life, was told he has lung cancer and the diagnosis is dim.

Facing, doctor appointments, tests, surgery, and preparing to perhaps never working again.  The odds are against him.  Never to see a grandchild puts things into perspective.

For me, something told me when he got sick; do not ignore the signs, and then something told me to have faith. I sent my younger sister a book “Believe” was the title.  She told me in the hospital, as we waited for her husband in surgery, “I tried to read it, and I would start crying, I never got through it.”

Her high school sweet heart, friend, husband, a father, my sister was preparing for the worse.

Their reverend met with them several times, (discussing his last will and testament) their friends stopped by to show support, and family came, we are all committed to help in any way.

The day came, our family, his children, his brother, friends, and relatives, sat, paced, and watched the screen in the waiting room for hours.  Can you imagine what goes through your mind waiting for a doctor or nurse to come talk to you, it was brutal!

The hospitals I think believe that those screens showing progress are helpful but as the hours flow by I am not so sure. God please thank those physicians who spend ours without break doing major surgery.

All I could think about the previous Sunday morning, watching Joel Osteen broadcast:  Faith, not Fear.  He said:

Your situation may look impossible, but don’t ever rule out the favor of God.”  I believed we were in Gods favor that day. 

The doctor came to the waiting room, straight out of surgery to deliver the message, we all gathered to hear the news.

My younger sister with tears streaming down her face, so scared, his children gripping their hands together stood with no facial expressions.  We all heard the words, the surgery went well, we did take one lung, due to infection and we believe the cancer was contained.

Our heavy hearts were finally lightened.

Today, my brother-in-law is doing great, recovering slowly, but progressing everyday!  I can’t explain why he was in God’s favor that day, but I am very thankful he was.

My brother in law is also a carpenter. We have hope and faith that he will have many years ahead of him.


Sister Mae I

Building a Company one “C” Player at a time

c report cardHow do you build a team of “A” players?

We all want “A” players right? WRONG!! This country let alone companies are built on honest to goodness everyday hard working “C” players.

They are the salt of the earth and they are the rock of a nation or any organization.

AND you can develop” C” players into you future stars. But remember “C” players have huge value.

Don’t get me wrong there will always be “C” players because sometimes that is all they want to be and that is ok.

The art of leadership is about knowing who you develop and who simply is great at what they do all day long and knowing that that is all they want to do.

Building “people strength” comes from knowing that knowledge is needed at all “intellectual or motivational “levels of an organization.

We all don’t need to be “A”.  “The art of  loving what you do and doing just that” is immensely  valuable.  I have known “C” Players to be some of the best in the companies I have worked for and yes they have been strategists and planners.

Remembering that your business is of no value without the right people in the right jobs at the right time AND DOING THE RIGHT THINGS AT THE RIGHT BUSINESS LEVELS must not go unnoticed and is a key people strategy.

So when everyone is looking for the scarce “A” player” the companies that will move forward in the longer run will be the ones who know that the talent is already within. They just needed to figure out how to turn that piece of coal into a diamond, furthermore recognize that coal itself is an essential fuel.

By the way what is a “C” player? They are the ones often rated as “average”.

The thing is, many of those average people changed the world and we simply did not notice!


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