Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Once Burned, Twice Shy

I now have two open positions to fill. My first young person attrition hit at a bad time. The team is just getting up and running and I had believed that this young guy was on board. Like all of them though the motivation to move up and on is very strong and thus we never know when the urge to jump will hit.

He told me he is leaving for the next step in his career and I have no reason to doubt him. I do however want to figure out if there was anything I could have done to keep him around longer. Usually this is a fruitless effort but I keep trying it to make sure I'm not missing anything. I can't crate careers for everyone that comes to work for us but if I can help them better prepare for their dream job while they are producing for us then perhaps tenure is elongated.

With two open slots the pressure to hire is increasing. We are already behind on our sales numbers after just two months in on the year. I didn't anticipate an immediate jump to the new level of production required by our plan but I was hoping for a beginning of year bounce. No matter. We're behind and I need to fill these seats. So why am I being so cautious?

Well I'm certain the failure of my last hire is weighing heavily on my mind. I find myself wanting to have candidates interview with other people on the team, not to get their buy in but to spread the risk. This is not a good trend. Once burned cannot translate into twice shy right now. I have candidates that can do the job, so the question is which one will truly succeed and how can I ask questions of each person to highlight this pending success.

Today I have to focus on my process. I need to prepare for my next meeting with candidates and have good questions ready. I have to take good notes and then decide. It's that simple. Drawing out the process only hurts my sales results. Make a plan, identify the requirements, ask the questions and then decide. Mistakes are inevitable. Keep moving forward.

In my mind I see a year of above target success that's where my focus remains.

And that make me happy.

Monday, March 2, 2015

An Essay and Some Ice

The challenges of the morning commute continue and are most assuredly getting old to all involved. Even the plow trucks charged with cleaning parking lots overnight seemed late and slow in their now regular efforts. We are icebound again though and another round of rain, sleet, snow, or some new form of precipitation is on the way so clearing things off and keeping life going is a must.

And so life continues, including yesterday's tree lighting to begin our town's celebration of St. Patrick. With a whopping fifteen or twenty people in attendance we heard a few songs, we heard a few words, counted down from ten, and applauded the green lights as they came on bringing a tiny spark of spring to the sleeting afternoon. It's the words though, rather than the ice that I would like to draw your attention to.

As the email and the call earlier in the day announced, D3's essay on Irish heritage won the contest I mentioned last week. It was so well received that I have been told by no less than five people that it brought tears to their eyes. The essay was a wonderful reflection of not only who we are as a family but how we are woven into the strands of Irish / American history. Well written and touching on both personal and universal themes it was a pure pleasure to read. I am so proud.

And that makes me happy.