Thursday, January 26, 2017

Does Bill Gates have a resume?

Probably not. (I'd be amazed if he did.)

And, would you refuse to hire him because of that?  Or if he did give you one, would anything on it make a difference in your decision to hire him? Should it?

Who would you need, or expect, to call for references?

Image result for employment interview

That's a shining example of how I consider the entire field of human resources generally dysfunctional . . . and why I don't put full pedigree information on my LinkedIn profile or spend too much time with it . . .

The information that shows up on a resume/CV (and the follow-up calls you'd make in connection with one if you had one) is a very small part of what a person -- especially a person of Bill Gates' known abilities, attributes and achievements, or a person who is similarly extraordinary in other fields -- is all about, and tells you very little about his or her capabilities. And that body of information would tell you way too much about his or her weaknesses, past mistakes, and failings, and put far and away too much emphasis on those. (Should it be held against Bill Gates that he dropped out of Harvard? After all, dropping out is bad. Especially after Daddy paid a whole lot of money to send you to Harvard! . . .)

There's been an excellent book written on the subject - The Rare Find: How Great Talent Stands Out: George Anders: 9781591845621: Books  - that explain the phenomenon much better than I can ever hope to [and George Anders, by the way, has a Quora account and seems to be an active participant] so my heterodoxical view on the subject isn't complete heresy. 

And the author of another book on the U. S. Army's elite Special Forces -- Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warrior: Dick Couch: 9780307339393: Books  -- tells the story of a guy he encountered in Special Forces training who was subjected to the old Army punishment of being made to carry his rifle with him, around the clock, 24-7 -- even while eating, sleeping, or visiting the toilet -- for several days, for having dropped it; a much more grave (and disgraceful) offense than many people who've never been in the military realize, usually made by green, freshly-recruited soldiers in Basic Training (and not that many of them, once an example is made of the first screwball in the platoon who does it -- or my father, back in the 50's, who originally told me the story of how it works, how by some misadventure it had happened to him, and how it's something you never, never do). 

How could a doofus like him even be considered for Special Forces training, why would the Green Berets figure a guy like that would be worth having, even if he might still have a problem that would be unacceptable even in a green recruit, why would they accept him anyway and let him have a try at Special Forces -- where so many very good soldiers apply and so few are even accepted -- even though they might have to address the problem and deal with it? This screwball had a gift for languages, and already knew several, with next to no language training or foreign travel in his background. (Every Green Beret is required to know at least one other language -- usually one you have to travel to the other side of the world to hear at all, that has not nearly so many native speakers as English or Spanish or Chinese, that we rarely hear a foreigner speak in the United States -- and is encouraged to learn several others if he can.) For example, he was into electronic toys (something else the Special Forces likes to see) and had had access to them prior to entering the Army . . . and he had learned Arabic by watching Al Jazeera on satellite TV for a few hours a day over a month or two, paying attention until he got the hang of it, and had improved on it over time since.

No telling of the story of Jesus Christ, and the Son of God's life on this earth, can be considered complete without mention of his differences and disputes with the established religious leaders of the day -- those problems did lead to His crucifixion, after all, one of the few facts of His life that everyone knows about. Yet, I've lost count of the number of religious teachers, across several denominations and schools of thought, that readily agree that even in contemporary Christian churches, Jesus would have extreme difficulty obtaining and keeping employment as a full-time minister or clergyman; satisfying search committees, bishops or boards of elders, as to His credentials and 'qualifications' such as they are fixed and in common use today, and thereafter keeping them satisfied that He was indeed doing the job as they would imagine it should be done. 

And the apostle Paul, one of Christianity's foremost theologians after the early church, could forget it, find himself a new ambition, go back to making tents or lynching Christians, whatever. His personal history and confrontational teachings -- even after his conversion on the road to Damascus -- would cause him to crash and burn on a reference check despite having been the Lord's "chosen instrument" (Bible Gateway passage: Acts 9:11-16 - New International Version ) who authored several books of the New Testament that we now accept as the Word of God.

Originally appeared on Quora

No comments:

Post a Comment