In my last two blog entries (The Chicken or the Egg? & The Seats of the Bus) I have been talking about the importance of getting the right people on your bus and also making sure you have the right people in the right seats.
In particular, it is very important that every team member is aligned with you in four different areas. At Elim Gospel Church, we simply call these “The Four C’s”. Three of these “C’s” Bill Hybels talks about in his Leadership Book, “Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs”. Whether you are looking for someone for your Strategic Team, for your board of directors, for the director of your men’s ministry or for your newest secretarial hire, these four criteria should be evaluated as part of the recruitment process.
Character: It goes without saying that character is critical when recruiting someone to an influential position. What is often NOT said, or thought about, is just what “character” traits you are looking for. We tend to see people as “good” and have a hard time labeling them as someone lacking in character.
You should identify your own list, but here are a few things we deem very important:
- Team Player
- Attends Regularly
- Serves Regularly
- Gives Regularly
- Submitted to Leadership
- Growing Christian
- Positive Example in Life
Competency: The business world has this one figured out. They’ve got resume’s, job applications, and interviews down pat. The Christian world? Not so good. Again, it seems like we somehow think it’s “unchristian-like” to evaluate whether someone actually has the right skills for the job. Classic example: the lady who played the organ when growing up in church during my teen years. Was I the only one that noticed she didn’t have any rhythm and constantly got the wrong notes? Oh yeah, and she couldn’t really sing either.
When recruiting, for anything, figure out in advance what competencies are required for that role; then you can begin the process of deciding who best meets those criteria (along with the other 3 “C’s”.)
Chemistry: Again, this area is one many leaders are afraid to discuss or consider. This is the arena where you determine if the person in question is going to be a good fit in your culture as well as with you as their leader. Chemistry is not to be confused with character. It is strictly about whether this person carries the key aspects of your ministry DNA or not. This is why nearly every great leader in both the marketplace and ministry will tell you that it’s much better to hire from within – because those people will be much more likely to be DNA carriers and score high in chemistry with you as their leader.
Here is what I have discovered about how chemistry impacts your team and ministry. When you have a team player that is high in chemistry with you and your organization, you will very likely have little relational conflict. Conversely, when chemistry is low, conflict will likely abound. I’m not talking about the constructive conflict that should be in every relationship and team. I’m talking about the conflict that continually rises up because two different worlds/mindsets/standards keep colliding. This is also why it is becoming more and more popular for organizations to hire competent but young and less experienced people as opposed to those who have a ton of experience. The more experienced professionals also tend to have a lot of opinions and mindsets on what should be done and how to do it.
Calling: The final “C” we look for when hiring or recruiting is also critical to us. We actually walk all new hires through these four C’s and end with this one. This is our reminder that God has an interest in this decision. Jesus told us to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” God told Jeremiah, “I know the plans I have for you…” So we remind the candidate to seek God for His purposes for them and we do the same. It is quite possible that the person would be a great match in every other way, but that God is directing them towards something else in your organization or in the world.
We take these criteria very seriously. If even just one of them doesn’t seem to be lining up, we slow everything down and re-evaluate. Better to struggle through a leadership void for a season of time than to get the wrong person on the bus and find out 6 or 9 months down the line that they aren’t going to work out.
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