Sometime in AD 27-29, a young Rabbi set out to build his own ministry. Considering the kind of work, he wanted to do, one would have thought that he would recruit Scribes, Levites, Priests, Sadducees and Pharisees who fit the job description. What did this Rabbi do instead? He went to the seashore and headhunted fishermen, a man he knew would betray him as his treasurer, and a rude tax collector. These employees that the Rabbi recruited were not the Avengers, where each had unique skills, but the Rabbi saw something in them; talents that most employers today would have overlooked.
Now, let us come to our world today and you will agree with me that no sensible employer would think of recruiting unqualified people in his establishment, not to talk about a start-up, with a 50/50 chance of failing. Of course, some would argue that the Rabbi was from heaven so he had special abilities. Great! If he truly was from heaven, can we at least learn something from him to help make us better leaders?
Don’t Look at the CV
A potential employee’s CV is the first requirement for every hiring manager, but honestly, we can agree that there are some people who are skilful but have no academic qualifications. Is it possible to maybe hire them for their talent for now, and educate them later? Most of the disciples of the Rabbi were fishermen. However, when he called them, he changed their job description to “Fishers of men.” On the day of Pentecost, one of them preached and converted three thousand people into Believers.
You are looking for sales people in your organisation, have you thought of harnessing the talents of the hawkers on the streets? Think about it.
Give them Opportunity
Apart from the teachings, the Rabbi’s ministry entailed healing, performing miracles, and exorcism. Because he could not be everywhere, he delegated his disciples to go out and practice what he had taught them, which they excelled. Mind you, most of these disciples were fishermen, but they were able to master the skills needed in the ministry with time. Would they have achieved this if they had not been given the opportunity? What is more glorifying than an employee testifying that they learnt everything they knew from you? “With time, when people heard the disciples talk, they knew they had been with the Rabbi.”
Go in for the White Walls
One notable thing about the Rabbi’s ministry was his teachings, which became hard to perceive even for the elites in his time. However, when his disciples did not understand anything he said, they would go to him for further clarifications on the matter.
In HR, there are four types of employees, the able and willing, able but unwilling, unable and unwilling and the unable but willing. Nobody wants to deal with the middle two. However, if asked to choose between the able and willing, and unable but willing, I can guarantee most managers would run themselves over trying to grab the former, which is good. But you should understand that you can make a great person out of an unable but willing employee because like a white wall, you can paint them into whichever colour you want.
Correct their Mistakes
Although there were positive reports, at times, the disciples came back disappointed because they could not meet their targets. However, the Rabbi corrected them by showing them what they lacked; faith. After that he encouraged them to do better because he believed in them.
If you are the type of leader that wants to leave behind a legacy of good leadership, then do not be tired of correcting your subordinates. Some may never get it while you are around, but the results will show one day.
Reverend Celia Appiagyei of Rehoboth Ministries once said, “Never treat people the way you find them; if you find someone a fool and you treat them as such, they won’t disappoint you, they will act like a fool. But if you find a fool, and you treat them like a queen, elevate their thinking and encourage them to be what you want them to be, with time, they will begin to act like a queen.” In essence, it is up to you to mould your subordinates into whatever form you need them to appear. That is one mark of a great leader.
So what are you waiting for? Go on and make disciples of your subordinates!
By Dorothy Owusu