It may seem like I want to discuss hiring people...

Like with most things we get better the more we do something, and for me I became rather good at hiring people. In the beginning there was a learning curve and there was the ever-lurking spectre of making the wrong decision, but with some good hires made, lessons learned, and a process in place, over time there were very few that I look back on with any regret.

You might think I'm about to offer perspective on hiring, but you would be wrong. And although the following is about a hiring situation, you would still be wrong.

Like any good hiring situation, there is a hiring manager and an interview team to help onboard the best possible candidate. Depending on the size of the organization there is most likely HR support and maybe even a Talent Acquisition team to help find possible candidates. Most interview processes involve a number of rounds that result in two or three possible choices; from there a decision needs to be made. As I reflect on a specific hiring situation, we had done all the interviewing and had boiled it down to two candidates; a debriefing meeting had been called to get everyone's insights, thoughts and opinions — This is particularly important because it ensures the best decision is made. The team's feedback was split regarding who the best candidate was, and one person in particular was very vocal regarding who needed to be hired and how it was really the only choice. Finally I looked at the phone (it was a conference call) and simply asked, "Who owns the hiring decision?"  After a moment, a voice sheepishly spoke up and said that the hiring manager did. With that clarified, I thanked everyone for their input, and told them I would make my decision by the end of the day.

And there you have it, what this is really about is Ownership. 

And why the need to write 313 words before I mention "Ownership"? Mostly because when you boil it all down there are really only two points to be made about ownership, and it wouldn't have been much of a read.

If you want to accomplish anything you need to have an Owner (Full Stop)

There can only be one Owner (Full Stop) 

I suppose we could also look to this famous saying to offer insight into what I have said — A camel is a horse designed by committee. And the reason is that although the camel is a magnificent animal, we all know if there had been an owner it would have been a horse.



The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.

I will admit I was shaking my head a little as I reached the curb; although to be honest the whole situation was nothing more than a fleeting moment in a busy day... that was until a driver pulling way from the pedestrian crosswalk and shouted, "GOOD THING YOU LOOKED... YOU COULD BE DEAD". 

I was struck a little by the lack of attention on the part of her driving, but this did get me to thinkin'.

I should mention that since I've been in the city I find myself walking everywhere, and to accommodate this activity, the city has very graciously set up pedestrian crosswalks; as you prepare to cross the road you push a big yellow button, then large amber lights begin to flash, all traffic comes to a swift and sudden halt, and you cross safely. An odd sense of power and control washes over you as you make your way to the other side.

On this day, the one that prompted the loud "drive by" commentary, I had pushed the yellow button, the amber lights started to flash and I noticed an approaching car wasn't going to stop (and as I suspected, didn't). I waited for it to pass and them proceeded to cross as the other cars waited patiently... I guess they weren't in as much of a hurry.

While I appreciate the fact that the driver recognized that not everyone obeys the crosswalk rules, I can't help but wonder why the driver would think I didn't have to look before I crossed the road. Maybe the loud "drive by" commentary was an act of frustration with all the bad drivers in the city, or a frustration with people who can't obey the rules, or maybe she just wanted to participate in the urban discussion.

I can't help shake the belief that's not it.

As far back as I can remember, I was always told to "look both ways before you cross the road"; not just me but everyone I knew... it was one of those golden rules of parenting, and in my house there was no way your independence would ever be achieved if this didn't become autonomic. Maybe deep down, I'm just a little offended on behalf of my parents that someone didn't think I was raised properly.

Admittedly, there is some truth to this, but that's not it either. 

I keep coming back to this feeling that the driver believed the flashing lights replaced my need to "look both ways before I cross the road"... a system and process had been put in place that would get me safely across the road with no worries. I will say that more than once I've seen people push the button, put their head down and walk into the crossing; if I had done this, the driver would have been right and I would be lying on the road.

For me, this is about a growing deference to ownership, and the belief it's someone else's responsibility.

Ya, that's it.

Maybe I am over reacting here... but then again, I COULD BE DEAD.


A Grand Story in the making... written for one.

The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.

This is a very interesting time of the year. 

A time to figuratively (and maybe even literally) stop to catch our breath, take stock, look around, and determine what the next year will (or should) be. A time to, whether we appreciate it or not, continue writing our story... autobiographers all. 

A romanticized notion I know, but no less accurate, with every past page of our story in ink, our current pages in pencil, and all those future pages still blank - A Grand Story in the making.

 A story written by one, to be read by one, and ultimately for the pleasure of the author; a story that inevitably comes with the question, that in one form or another is asked each year, "Am I enjoying what I'm reading?" This surely offers insight into the New Year's resolution, and most definitely offers consideration up and above enjoyment alone.

There are two other questions worthy of being asked when reading what has been put down on paper:

"Am I truly the author of my own story, or am I using a ghost writer?"

"Is the story that I am writing truly what I want to read?"

Remember that enjoyment, although the ultimate desire of any story, must be looked at holistically; having just read the third paragraph in chapter seven may not be the best place to determine if you are enjoying what you are reading - There must have been something about the first six chapters you were enjoying, and if not, I refer back to the above questions.

What is important is that we own our story. Autobiographers all; writing the best stories we can... sharing, teaching, discovering, inventing, inspiring, and motivating.

Because in the end, we are all contributing to the greatest story ever told.