Developing People

“The master may get better work from an untrained apprentice than from a skilled rebel.” Proverbs 26:10

By John E. Schrock, Businessman

Underline the key concepts found in this principle.

To develop means to become gradually fuller, larger or better. It can apply to anything such as people, products or attitudes. Since life is a process, we are all involved in developing physically, mentally and spiritually. We are not born developed, but we are all born with the potential to develop. So, why would we prefer to hire untrained people over the trained rebel? Very simply, the trained rebel thinks he knows it all; therefore, he may not be adaptable to our organization. His skills may be good, but if he has an overbearing attitude about himself and his skills, he will be a problem. This tells us that the will of a person is more valuable than the skills. If we have a man's will, he can be developed in his potential.

There are two things that are very important to the outcome of any life:

1. The environment in which we are born and nurtured.

2. The environment which we choose for ourselves.

The first environment is not our choice. The hands that feed us, the attitude and how they treat us, and the things they teach us will have much to do with our outcome. Why? Because we are like raw material that can be shaped and molded into almost anything. The first eight years of our life may well determine much of our future because of the paradigms developed in us. Of course, we can make decisions for ourselves later on, but even then they will be made by the paradigms of our past.

The second environment, which we choose for ourselves, is even more important than the first, because we become responsible for our own choices. So, if our first was a good environment, it will continue to help us develop. But if it was a negative or distorted environment which brought bondage, we have the opportunity to accept or create a new one. It's like being born again. The new environment will give us a new paradigm and a chance to develop into our potential. We must remember the power of an environment. The mind or the spirit of man is like a seed; within every seed lies the potential of life. If the seed is in a dry, cool environment, it will not produce or develop; it will lie dormant. But if we take the seed and place it in a warm, moist environment, it will automatically grow and develop. It will reach its full potential if the environment remains correct. We are much the same - if the environment is right, we grow and mature and produce to our potential. This principle works for our family, our business or in any organization.

We must always consider these three things as we grow and develop:

1. Have a life-time, fixed vision of what we would like to become.

2. Examine the past to see if we need a paradigm shift to get there.

3. Study the values of life and determine which ones will create the right environment for our goals.

We should never consider ourselves too old to review these. However, the longer we live with a certain paradigm, the harder it is to break it. So we must accept the fact that if we want to develop into our potential, we must always be prepared to change. Sometimes, we want to change others rather than ourselves. If we are going to develop our children, employees or our society, we must lead them into proper values. As parents, we must take the responsibility to prepare our children for their future. Much of their future depends on us. As employers, we should develop people to fit into our organizations with their future in mind. The final outcome of all our influence and development of people is the creation of a culture, an environment in which we live. We should always remember that we have developed or created our situations and our successes by the way we have developed our people.

This principle is part of the one year character development program: Foundations For Achievement.

Thoughts to Ponder:
An ego trip is like taking a vacation but never leaving home.