Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fired?!? Hired?!?

Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, recently blogged about three lessons he learned from getting fired.  Hyatt offers good insight for any job-hunter, and his advice is certainly applicable to pastoral candidates.  For example, #2 of Hyatt's post is "take time to clarify expectations."  Describing his relationship with one client whom he represented:

"Unfortunately, the relationship never really recovered. She eventually fired me—by sending me a fax. It was painful, but, honestly, I felt relieved. I knew I was never going to meet her expectations no matter how hard I tried."
Hyatt's advice is equally as valuable from a meta-perspective: when we leave a job because it was a bad situation, or when we are fired, we should nevertheless look for the lessons about why it went wrong-- and find our own fault in the matter.  Hyatt models this well.

In two other posts, Hyatt discusses the ideal candidate for a job at Thomas Nelson, and questions he would ask to find that candidate.  While the context is different, the qualities he describes are the same for most ministry jobs.  Hyatt says about his candidate:

"It’s hard to find the buried treasure unless you have a map. It’s difficult to win a scavenger hunt unless you have a list. And, it’s impossible to hire the right people unless you know exactly what you are looking for."
He's right-- and both search committees and candidate-pastors should realize this in the interview process.  This is why they should all approach the candidacy process in a manner similar to what Hyatt describes: looking for the right fit for the right position, with clear parameters in place.

Perhaps if more of us learn from Hyatt's lessons in the latter two posts, we won't have to learn quite as many of the lessons from the circumstances of the first post.

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