Job Description

If I am ever in a position to hire staff for a church, this will be my job posting (from Seth Godin):

You’re relentlessly positive. You can visualize complex projects and imagine alternative possible outcomes. It’s one thing to talk about thinking outside the box, it’s quite another to have a long history of doing it successfully. You can ride a unicycle, or can read ancient Greek.

Show me that you’ve taken on and completed audacious projects, and run them as the lead, not as a hanger on. I’m interested in whether you’ve become the best in the world at something, and completely unimpressed that you are good at following instructions (playing Little League baseball is worth far less than organizing a non-profit organization).

You have charisma in that you easily engage with strangers and actually enjoy selling ideas to others. You are comfortable with ambiguity, and rarely ask for detail or permission. Test, measure, repeat and go work just fine for you.

You like to tell stories and you’re good at it. You’re good at listening to stories, and using them to change your mind.

I’d prefer to hire someone who is largely self-motivated, who finds satisfaction in reaching self-imposed goals, and is willing to regularly raise the bar on those goals.

You’re intellectually restless. You care enough about new ideas to read plenty of blogs and books, and you’re curious enough about your own ideas that you blog or publish your thoughts for others to react to. You’re an engaging writer and speaker and you can demonstrate how the right visuals can change your story.

And you understand that the system is intertwined, that your actions have side effects and you not only care about them but work to make those side effects good ones.

The cool thing about this list is that it’s not dependent on what you were born with or who you know.


5 thoughts on “Job Description

  1. “The cool thing about this list is that it’s not dependent on what you were born with or who you know.”

    I would like to gracefully disagree with this conclusion. I would contend that it is almost completely dependent on the genes that we have been born with –what you were born with– and who we eat our meals with –who you know. It is unheard of to be gifted outside of our genetic (God-given) make up, and it is found to be true over and over again that we all do as our core group does (the God-given people we have lunch with). I would argue that we are not as self-determined as we would like to think we are or taught by our culture that we are. I would also contend that this is great news if I am right.

    But, I am also a Knicks fan.


  2. And I forgot the one thing missing from this church new hire dream description:

    They really love Jesus.

    If this is the only quality they have, it will be a bad hire. If they have all of the qualities on the list and do not love Jesus, it is a demonic hire. That is not hyperbole.

    Am I preaching to the choir here?


  3. That’s totally true – i just kinda assumed that the person would love jesus and love people.

    A person like this description from seth godin, just seems to have an inside drive to do better because better is better. It’s always weird to me to talk with people who have no desire to be better or make the world better. i just don’t understand that right now. And i would agree that often when i see a person with/without any drive it is also seen in their family tree…

    Although, I would also assume that, deep down, everyone is a knicks fan. especially this year!


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