Another excerpt from the book “Hiring and the Potter’s Wheel: Turning Your Staff Into a Work of Art”… Read previous excerpts here and here.
Chapter 2 The Lunch
“Just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to conceive.” – Napoleon Hill
Thursday arrived and Mary breezed into work. But even then, the minutes ticked off slowly as Mary anticipated her luncheon meeting. Finally, at 11:30, Mary grabbed her coat and headed out the door. It was only three blocks from her office to the deli. With the sun shining, Mary walked briskly down the street, her enthusiasm putting a bounce in each step. As Mary grabbed the door handle, she noticed Dr. Scott a half block away. Mary waited.
“Thank you so much for meeting me. I am so grateful,” Mary blurted out.
“Oh no, the pleasure is all mine,” Dr. Scott responded with a grin as they entered the deli. “Shall we sit?”
Dr. Scott led her to a table near the back where it would be quiet enough to talk. A waitress took their drink order as Mary stared at her former professor, not sure where to begin. This was a different side of him that Mary had not seen as a student. Dr. Scott motioned to the menus tucked away between the salt & pepper shakers. “Order first, then we’ll talk. If we don’t order now, we’ll get hammered by the rush.”
As Mary scanned the menu, she could see the tables beginning to fill up. They both ordered quickly, and settled in to wait for their meals.
“As I recall,” Dr. Scott started, “you were always one with an open mind. No matter how many times I challenged you to do better, you did. So it was funny you would call the day you did. I was opening my mail when the phone rang and had just received an invitation to the best human resources training program ever. It’s in the evenings, right during my HR308 class. Believe me, this program would be perfect for you. It meets twice a week at the downtown YMCA and runs for five weeks.
“I know, I know, before you protest about not having time, trust me. You’ll be able to start applying the lessons immediately. And anyway, it’s too late to worry about all that. I’ve already signed you up. Here’s the brochure.”
Dr. Scott slid a simple tri-fold brochure, black ink on white paper, over to Mary.
Mary was confused. “The ‘best human resources training program’ came on a simple black and white brochure in a class down at the Y?” Mary thought to herself. Mary took the brochure from Dr. Scott and read the front of the flyer. Now Mary was even more confused.
“Pottery?! Dr. Scott, this must be a mistake. I think you’ve given me the wrong brochure,” Mary said indignantly.
Dr. Scott pulled back the brochure, peered at it though his bifocals. “No, it’s the right one,” he replied as he slid it back across the table. “Trust me, Mary. Use that wonderfully open mind of yours. The class starts this Monday and you’re signed up. But I’ll tell you what. Go to that first class Monday night, and I’ll meet you here Tuesday for lunch. If you haven’t learned anything new, we’ll figure out something else. You have my word on it.”
Before Mary could respond, the waitress brought their food. And Mary could tell by the way Dr. Scott dug into his ham & Swiss that further discussion was out of the question.
As Mary walked back to the office, she grappled with the idea of how taking a pottery class could teach her to find, hire and train twenty great sales reps. No answers came and even the sunshine could not force its way into her furrowed brow. “Pottery?” she continued to question.
Here are more testimonials for the book…
“What a wonderful book! I will certainly be recommending it to a few people. I like the analogy used with the pottery class in the story to develop a step-by-step best practice for finding, interviewing, hiring and training new employees. The story really made for a quick, relaxing read but with a remarkable number of “take-aways” to apply back on the job. It is, frankly, one of the better business books I have read (and I have read quite a number!) because in a short time you walk away with tips to use immediately.” – Gina Abudi, MBA – Partner/VP Strategic Solutions
“Phil, Your book was excellent. I really liked the digestible size. That’s perfect for managers who don’t have the patience to trudge through a lengthy dissertation. They could basically read it during a lunch break. The story was very engaging and fun. It kept my attention throughout. I loved the short chapters and the quotes, they really spoke to me. One of my favorites was “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” That is so true, and I wish more managers understood that. There’s so much focus on quality and checklists and process to get things right, but if you gave someone something they’d be excited to do, then they’ll do the best they can. Thanks for creating and sharing your own work of art. This will be an excellent resource.” -Rex Williams – Grootship
Buy your copy of the book here and transform your staff into the masterpiece you want them to be.