Friday Five April 20

I think that most people who read this blog know that I’m a person committed to Jesus Christ. I thought, for this week’s post, I thought I’d start with a post that outlines the four core Christian blogs that I read. For the record, there is much in Evangelical Christianity that is not really worth taking the time to consume. But these blogs and resources are helpful to me and I hope they are helpful to you:

Ligonier Ministries


Ravi Zacharius

Westminister Chapel

On another note, men’s clothing is not the business to be in, apparently, with revenues down over 80% over the last decade. My take: you can thank Joseph A. Bank for this, who is known for selling everything at incredible discounts – discounts that are based, IMHO, on false pricing levels.

Why is it that the greatest amount of entrepreneurism occurs in those older than 50? This article doesn’t fully explain it, but my take on it is that by the time you’ve hit 50, you’ve seen a number of things that didn’t work or only partially worked and you have the wisdom coupled with the energy to innovate and try something new. I’d also like to think that the best entrepreneurs are those who combine innovation and energy with the wisdom of a past failure. If you haven’t failed, then I suspect you’ll not appreciate the depth and strength of certain risks that will present themselves. Knowing how to handle risk is a huge part to successfully running a company.

This article on how to work a room of people you don’t know reminded me of the importance of being able to make small talk for sustained periods of time. I’m not, by nature, an extrovert, though if you’ve seen me teach, you might think otherwise. I’m usually not all that comfortable around a lot of people and I don’t do small talk very well. People who don’t do small talk well can be thought of as aloof, arrogant, distant or just plain rude. The ability to create small talk is more than just passing time discussing jibberish – it’s also the way people who don’t have a close association build a relationship. For many, like me, this can be tough to do at times, but it is a helpful skill to have in business.

This article that outlines basic things you shouldn’t do in an interview process reminded me of a person I interviewed once who didn’t land a job with Mindsharp. I had 15 minutes to spend with this candidate and let that be known at the outset of our brief time together. My schedule was packed that day and my time with this candidate was just a quick “meet-n-greet”. I asked a question and for nearly 10 minutes I sat there and listened to this individual talk and talk and talk. When there was (finally) a break, I decided not to ask another question right away and see how this person would handle the silence. As I suspected, this individual swiftly filled the silence with more talk. After 15 minutes, I had asked two questions and knew that I wouldn’t be giving this individual a positive recommendation.

Bill English, CEO