Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Male Ego

You ladies will probably like this post and you men will probably take exception to it. Oh, well. I call 'em like I see 'em!

Have you ever noticed how male ego gets in the way of rational behavior? OK. I guess that was a no-brainer question. So, I'll start over.

We've all noticed how male ego sometimes gets in the way of rational behavior. It can manifest itself as pride or as a fear of being seen to be weak. It often involves (at least in real men) a defense of their family. It is especially prevalent in successful men. I suffer from it myself.

What brought up this brief discussion is a difficult decision that I had to make last week. I interviewed a number of candidates for a new position in a new facility which we just opened. It was by far the best field of candidates that I have ever interviewed for a position throughout my 26 year career in business. It was extremely difficult for that reason.

There were a number of complicating factors in the hiring decision. One of the candidates was the wife of a former customer that I anticipated getting back due to our new location and the advantages that it offered over our competition. Another was the wife of an operation that we hoped to gain as a customer and who came highly recommended by a couple of other customers. Both were highly qualified, interviewed well and could bring great value to the position.

I knew that if I hired the wife of the former customer that I would get his business back -- and it is a sizable amount of business. If I hired the other, who I felt was the better candidate, it was also unlikely that I would upset any existing customers and it would probably have little negative impact on our existing business. So, based strictly on those surface criteria, it would seem that the safe hire would be the wife of the former customer. However, I strongly felt that long-term, the other individual was the best fit for the position.

I agonized over the decision and prayed hard for guidance. It seemed clear to me that I had to hire the best candidate regardless of the potential positive or negative repercussions of not hiring the wife of a former customer. So, that is what I did.

Today, it finally came to fulfillment -- the dreaded phone call. On Monday I informed by telephone, the wife of the former customer that she did not get the job. Today he called me to let me know that he would not be changing his business back to us -- even though our facility is just a couple of miles from his operation. He will be sending his business to a competitor that is located a significant distance away. He stated an excuse that was totally unrelated to my not hiring his wife -- but you could tell from the tenor of the conversation that it was the real reason.

It hurts me that the relationship with him is strained at this point. I understand his position. I truly believe that he really wants to do business with us but his pride tells him that he can't because of the "slight" to his wife.

It really was no slight to her. I suspect that she felt a little bit pushed into applying for the job by her husband. She just wasn't the best fit for the position. I would love to hire her -- I just don't have a position available in which her skills and experience could be utilized to the point that she could have a fulfilling and meaningful place in the company.

I know that her husband's excuse was just that -- an excuse. He used the reason that our competitor is cheaper. However, he has told me in the past that turnaround time is one of the most important factors to him in his business. We could save him about 24 hours in turnaround time. He also would save shipping costs. The impact of those two items alone would easily be worth 10 times the difference in cost.


"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." -- Prov. 16:18

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thinking on a Passage from Hebrews

We've been looking at the book of Hebrews in our Sunday School class. I think that I've finally grown to the point that I find Hebrews deeply intriguing. The following verses really interest me:

Hebrews 10: 19-24

"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds."

The Most Holy Place to the ancient Hebrews was the place where God dwells. Prior to Christ, only the High Priest could enter into God's presence. Now, believers can enter into the throne of grace because Jesus paid the necessary sacrifice to atone for our sins. That is, he met the requirements of the law to make us clean. However, there are four conditions for entering into the throne of grace, i.e. the presence of God. 1) We must have a sincere heart -- that is, undivided allegiance in our inner being. 2) We must have assurance of our faith -- that is, we have no hesitation in trusting Christ for everything. 3) Our hearts must be sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience -- that is, total freedom from a sense of guilt for our sins because we know that Jesus' sacrifice took care of them. 4) Our bodies must be washed with pure water -- that is, we must be cleansed of our sins through the baptism of the Spirit.

So, as it says in verse 23, "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." -- in other words, there is no reason to doubt. So, we should move forward loving others and doing good deeds.

The part that really intrigues me is:

"...by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body...."

Any thoughts?

Friday, April 10, 2009

I Was Made Good

I go
About my business
On this day
That we call
Good Friday.

Why is it good?
It is because
On this day
I celebrate
My being made good
Because the Savior of the World

Paid the price for my sin
Long before
I was born.
It is the day on which
Each of us
Was made good

If only
We accept the sacrifice
That Jesus made
On our behalf
And submit ourselves
To Him.

It is
His gift
To us.
We cannot earn it;
We must accept it
In order to receive it.

The assurance
Of our goodness
Lies no longer in the grave
But rose to the heavens
Three days

And yet,
I go about my business
With little thought
To the price
That He paid
For me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


It seems like anymore
I live upon the road
With airplane seats,
Rental cars and
Motels for an abode.

The shape of doing business
Continues to change;
All it takes are laptops
And Blackberry phones
Which allow you to range

All over the country
While managing to attend
To the things that make
Your company grow
In spite of the national trend.

The worst part of it all
Is that you can't get away
From work
The way you could
Back in my father's day.

It's with you all the time;
No matter where you go
You can always
Be connected
With your laptop and cell phone!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Knights and Shrouds

The Knights Templar, The Shroud of Turin, The Ark of the Covenant and other similar things have always intrigued me as I think they do most people. The article linked below is in reference to the first two of these items.

Knights Templar hid the Shroud of Turin, says Vatican

Saturday, April 4, 2009

It's All About Power and Control -- er, is that redundant??

Stuart Varney wrote an excellent article for the Wall Street Journal concerning banks repaying the TARP money. Follow the link below.....

Obama Wants to Control the Banks
There's a reason he refuses to accept repayment of TARP money.

Rockets Away!

It will be interesting to see how Mr. Obama responds to the North Korean rocket launch. I suspect we will see a repeat of Bill Clinton's do-nothing approach -- except with even more rhetoric.

The administration has somewhat painted itself into a corner. It appears that Mr. Obama has obtained some political capital among world leaders -- especially in Europe. Will he spend it in the U.N. Security Council? I doubt that he knows how to wield it effectively -- which begs the question -- who will he turn to for advice? Sarkozy? -- no -- Medvedev?? -- possibly -- Hillary? -- I wonder just how much power she truly has within the administration.... She might just ask Bill -- which brings us back to the first paragraph. Ultimately, I suspect it will be a matter of whatever "polls" best. Which again is reminiscent of Bill Clinton. I guess we should expect no less when we elect leaders who have no moral compass.

Now, the real question is what SHOULD we do????

The Wind Blew Today

The wind blew today.
Piled high against the fences.
The gritty blast
Transformed the sunset
Into a hazy glow
That is quickly