The most important character question

How do you understand a persons Character?


Earlier this week I came upon an interesting article on interview questions. To me it really resonated as it focused on what it called “the most important question” to understand a persons character (during an interview). The question was “Name 4 people and how you have helped their careers”. I love this question. It quickly helps to illustrate if the person is inwardly focused or focused on things other than themselves.

This question seems a sound one to use when working with people and selecting your next employee.


Take care of those around you

Let’s go back to another one of those father/son conversations. This one took place sometime my junior year of college around Thanksgiving.

My dad and I were out shopping, he was on the hunt for gifts for his employees, being a young man who “knew it all” I made some smart a$$ comment like, shouldn’t his employees be getting him something instead of him getting them something? He stopped dead in his tracks and stared at me with those penetrating eyes that all fathers (and mothers) have when they have something real important to say to their kids. He paused, let out a heavy sigh and, as he always did, quietly began to explain to me that, of all the people in his department he was the least important. Everyone on his team was vastly more valuable than he. His job was to set the direction, remove obstacles, and let his team do what they do best. He spent a good amount of time talking about the importance of leaders surrounding themselves with great people and making sure to provide their teams with the tools and support needed for them to be successful.

This is sound advice in your personal life also, surround yourself with great people, people who appreciate you for who you are and live a good life and you will be better off and happier.

Take care, enough said for tonight.

What is your core?

What is your core?  This is a question we all need to think about, in our personal and professional life.  Your core is important it is who you are.  When you stray from your core goofy results will be the outcome.  While this is an important question we all need to answer many of us will not…we get to caught up in reaching out for something new and exciting.  We will focus on things that we perceive to be more valuable and we lose sight of what makes us who we are.

Companies like Apple and Nike have both proven that when an organization focuses on its core great things will happen and consumers will flock to your products even if they do not fit the traditional mold.

A few of the finest individuals I can point to in my life who understood their core was my mom and her father (my grandpa).  My mom was a wonderful outgoing person who loved being around people she turned this into a thriving business that relied on personality, and fun…she was the owner/operator of a very successful beauty salon.  When she passed well in excess of 2,000 people showed up to her visitation…it was overwhelming (and we lived in a small town).  She new her core, and was awesome at using it to her fullest.  My Grandfather was a man of the soil, he understood all of the ins and outs of farming…he never obtained a high school education but when he passed he provided exceptionally well for my grandmother and his family and his legacy lives on.  He passed on values and traditions to his children, grandchildren and tons of other people he knew and spend time with.

What is your core?  Are you true to it?  Are you maximizing it?  Or….are you distracted and off on to something that doesn’t work.  If you’re distracted go back to your core.


Shoot Straight

Always shoot straight, this is some advice my dad shared with me many times over.  I think the first time he said it to me I was on my back putting on a new exhaust system on my car complaining about someone who made me mad at school or some such nonsense…I’m sure you all have been there.  Anyway after I complained for what seemed like hours he stopped me and said, “son, you need to shoot straight with this person and tell them what is on your mind…once you do that you can move on and fix it.”  I sat there and stared at him in disbelief….thinking how could I do that, what would they think, what if they got mad.  All of these thoughts rolled out of my mouth with the end statement of “I just cannot do that….”.  He looked at me, took out his pipe and said, “trust me son…shoot straight with them and you will both move on to working it out.”  I was stunned, it could not be that easy….of course as a teenager I didn’t follow his advice that first time…I let it stew, fester and ultimately it was way harder to work through the issue (whatever it was) than it should have been because neither one of us would “shoot straight” with each other.  I’m pretty sure I did not actually take his advice until I was in college, and even today I struggle with “shooting straight” all the time when issues arise.

That said, the advice is sound, “Shoot straight” works and and when I use it problems really work out faster so just “Shoot straight’ with people it’s always best.