Truth Telling Leaders

If you happened to watch the GOP Convention last night you may have caught New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s speech, and that leaders need to speak the truth.  Speaking about all leaders, not just elected officials, the concept of truth-telling as being difficult but necessary got the crowd on their feet.

I am a truth-telling leader, and I have found that it is a process that produces productivity and waste little time with communication games.  I have also found that most folks appreciate the truth unless you are speaking about them.

So the masses that we lead want to know what is really going on, what is working and what is not.  They want to know the depth of problems and a truth-telling leader will provide the information needed to empower and engage people into action.

Yet, for “Political” reasons we often sugar coat the story or spin it to make things look better than reality.  While Governor Christie was talking about government truth-telling leaders fighting the political reality, I thought that companies play the same kind of politics.

Have you ever worked for a company that you thought was doing just fine, and one day you are out of work and the company folded in front of your eyes?  Whatever caused the crash didn’t just happen, but had been building and kept under wraps for a long time.  Obviously no truth-telling leaders worked at that company!

Sometimes the truth is hard to take.  Sometimes the truth causes paralysis.  Sometimes the truth ends relationships.  But in the end, telling the truth is a sure sign of leadership, at least in my book.

Getting Beyond Critical Voices

I read a few daily devotionals, and this morning I was reading one from Joel Osteen on getting beyond critical voices that keep us from being our best, and achieving success and I wanted to share it with you.

Joel says:

Anytime you set out to do something great in life, there will be critics. If you’re going to be a great businessperson, coach, student, leader or employee, there will be opposition. The more success you have, the more opportunities there will be for distractions. The higher you go, the more haters will come out. When you start stretching to a new level and pursuing what God has placed in your heart, the jealous people, the critical people, and the small-minded people come out of the woodwork and start making negative comments, but you don’t have to let that distract you.

If you are under pressure today, if the critical voices are coming against you, know that it’s because you are making a difference. Don’t let them throw you off course. Instead, dig your heels in, set your face like a flint, and say, “I will not get distracted. I will not get drawn into battles that don’t matter. It doesn’t matter what others think; it matters what God thinks!”

Today, look beyond the critics. Stand strong in adversity. Press forward to what lies ahead and win the prize of life that He has prepared for you!

I hope you also find inspiration as I did from his message!  I fall short of this at times, and can be a critical voice.  My goal is to get people’s attention so they can learn and improve, but if I ever come across differently I ask in advance for your forgiveness.

Taking Time To Volunteer

In my effort to find another passion to fill the void of little work in the training field, I took to looking this week for some volunteer work using .  Which if you have never taken a look at this site you are in for a big eye opener at all there is to volunteer for within a few miles of your house.

Last week I blogged on my desire to look for cooking roles, and although I found a few volunteer opportunities they conflicted with other obligations I have right now.  I’m not giving up hope, and I will check back next month to see what is opened up.

With cooking out of the picture I looked at passion #1 which is training and discovered something called SeniorNet, which is a volunteer program sponsored by our major hospital with locations all over town that teach seniors different home computer programs.  And since I am over 50 I am eligible to train!  First time that being older actually helps to get a job.

The administrator was pleased with my application and asked me to meet him at the open lab this Friday to check out the learning center and talk about how I can participate.  I am excited to find something local that I can make an impact with, even if it does not pay a cash dividend.  I’m making the assumption that my work will pay in a different way.

While I’ve always been so busy with work to find time to volunteer much in the community, I’m almost glad for the chance to have a little extra time on my hands while I wait on corporate America to start focusing on training more.

And what do you know, I’m able to keep doing what I do like to do most – training development!

Follow Your Passion

I’ve spent the past 22 years in the learning field, and to the best of my awareness was following my passion in career and work.  For anyone that has worked in the learning development profession, it is a certainty that we didn’t stay in this line of work for the money.   And the last several years this economy has proven that being a training consultant was not one of my brighter financial moves.  Many other careers pay much better for the work and responsibilities that come with leading a training organization.  However, recently a very good friend told me I should follow my passion and look for work in the field of my dreams.

That was nearly 3 weeks ago, and I remain a perplexed today as to what that field might be if it is not training.  Actually I think his point was to look at another passion because there is not much going on in training and I am wasting a lot of time looking for work that doesn’t seem too prevalent.  Yet I can’t help but believe that if I divert my attention from training development to look at something different I may never find my way back.

I love to cook for my family and large groups like church dinners, and I could see myself running a soup kitchen.  While I have had dreams of opening a restaurant, it is not really the restaurant as much as the cooking to please people and fill them up with good food.  I have no aspirations of being a chef, and plating the food I prepare is not what makes my day.  What this all leaves me with is a passion for basic cooking.  Another lowing paying career, but something I could wrap myself into.

I want to challenge you to think about your passion.  Are you in that career now?  If you are, what would be your second passion?  What kind of job would you seek out to try something new?  While I might need to act on my friend’s advice soon if the economy does not improve, I suggest we all know what our back up plan might be should we need to implement one.

Please share………..

Shopping for the Best Candidate

When did interviewing become so similar to window shopping at the mall?  When you wander through a shopping mall looking, but not necessarily for anything in particular, the window displays can draw your attention and your cash.  Yet interviewing potential candidates should be done with an entirely different perspective or you will land up hiring someone (no pun intended) that doesn’t fit and you end up wanting to return.

I read an article the other day, and sorry I can’t remember where, but the concept stuck about the amount of people applying for the average job opening was in the hundreds.  With unemployment still way to high, both qualified and unqualified people are applying to every opening out there.  This makes the job of recruitment a real chore and it is complicated by job descriptions that only a super hero could accomplish.

I look at training director roles, and as I read the description I am usually feeling confident about the role because I have had a lot of experience in all faucets of training.  Yet many times I will pause and ask myself, “Do they really expect to find someone with all of this talents and years of experience?”  The better question should be do they really need, or just want all of this?

While it is perfectly fine to wander around a shopping mall with no firm idea of what you are seeking, it is not a good idea at all to shop through job applications and resumes and see what is available and pick the shiniest penny.  First off it is too time consuming and people lose interest when they wait 4 weeks to hear back from you.  Second, it is a complete waste of the dollars spent on the recruiter sifting through paper looking to see what is available.  And third, the shiniest penny is often the one that will cost the most to hire.

The time is best spent identifying core needs, and looking at candidates that fit the bill.  All the extras that some candidates bring to the table will either be features you pay more for in your employment offer, or they distract from skills and experience that are missing.  Interview the folks that meet your requirements.  Call back or email candidates that you are interested in, and make quick connections.

This same article said the cycle to hire continues to lengthen and I’ll bet most of it is because the employers don’t have a perfectly clear understanding of their needs.  The quicker we can sort applications, interview and hire people the quicker we can reduce our national unemployment.