Today I was visiting with a church friend--an HR professional--about hiring a youth minister. I said that the person would need "charisma." My friend reminded me of the process many religious orders use to elect their leaders--by asking three important questions:
- What do we want to accomplish?
- What skills will we need to make this happen?
- Who among us has these skills?
This takes the decision out of the abstract realm of pure charisma--"personality"--and into the concrete realm of ability and suit-ability.
A wise approach to choosing a new boss, employee, and spouse, wouldn't you say? And let's not forget (could we possibly?) the upcoming presidential election, so far away and yet so near. Many candidates' platforms focus on a limited number of currently hot issues, and many voters will base their choices on either charisma or a narrow focus. Pro-life advocates may not consider national security; green advocates may not consider immigration reform; peace advocates may not consider nuclear power; and a charismatic candidate has a big advantage from the get-go, regardless of his or her ability, convictions, and history.
It's all, frankly, bullshit--from the candidates and the voters. We're all just pretending to to be serious about this. How can we possibly elect the right person for the job if we don't have a clear idea what the job IS and what skills we need to accomplish it? Of all our issues, which ones are critical to our continued existence? Finding a way to agree on the must-do tasks and the right person for the job is a do-or-die proposition these days--and will require a moratorium on B.S. I don't have high hopes.