Miracle-Minded Manager: A Modern Day Parable About How to Apply A Course in Miracles in Business, by “zentrepreneur” and mindful leadership expert John J. Murphy, traces the story of Jack MacDonald in order to teach readers how to get out of their own way by shifting their thinking to see life — and themselves — very differently.
Jack, president of a major business unit at TYPCO (Typical Company), was promoted to this position after successfully leading a much-needed culture change at a TYPCO division. Jack is now experiencing a great deal of stress in his life at work and at home, so he reaches out to Jordan McKay, an insightful business consultant and executive coach. Jordan teaches Jack to eliminate stress rather than try to manage it.
To add to Jack’s very full plate, his son Kevin is graduating from college and struggling with a career decision. After four years of university training in business, Kevin wants to work at a brewery. In the following excerpt from the book, Jack decides to visit his son on campus, and in doing so, uncovers a win-win recruiting opportunity with Kevin’s friend Larry.
When I arrive on campus to visit Kevin, I feel an energy and an exuberance I seem to have forgotten. There is excitement in the air. Students are hustling about, connecting with one another, learning, growing, exploring, and expressing themselves. This is what I want more of at TYPCO. We’re making progress, and I’m happy about that. Now, it’s time to hit the accelerator. Maybe I can pick up a few more tips while I’m here.
I decided to visit Kevin in person rather than talk by phone. Jordan encouraged it. My primary interest is to learn more about his career intentions and offer any help I can. I also want to check out this brewery he’s talking about. Time for some more Gemba.
While Kevin is still in class, I decide to walk around the campus and get some fresh air. This is another new habit of mine. I am walking more, combining it with my meditations and contemplations. I find they go well together.
Kevin asked me to meet him in the lobby of the business school. I get to the building a little early, so I take a few minutes to walk the halls and glance at some of the posters and postings on the wall. The place is flooded with information. Companies are coming from all over the country to interview and recruit students. Strangely, I do not see TYPCO listed anywhere, even though we have several openings, including one in accounting. I will have to ask Georgia about this. I just hope we’re not falling into the same trap a lot of other companies are, relying solely on technology and social media to hire top talent. That seems to take forever, and half our new hires leave within two years. Whatever happened to face-to-face recruiting and real-time hiring?
Kevin greets me with a hug in the lobby, introduces me to one of his classmates, and we head to Maximum’s Brewery. Kevin’s buddy, Larry, turns out to be an accounting major, and Kevin tells me he is a real whiz kid. On our walk to the pub, which is in the neighborhood, I get a chance to learn more about Larry and his aspirations. Like me, he wants a steady job with a large company where he can pursue his CPA and MBA. Ultimately, he wants to be a senior executive like his father.
As I listen to his story, I can’t help but wonder why we aren’t hiring this kid. I don’t need keywords and filters and piles of applications to sort out what I’m looking for. I want this kid.
“Have you decided where you’re going to work when you graduate, Larry?” I ask curiously.
“Not yet, Mr. MacDonald,” he replies. “I’m still interviewing and sorting things out.”
“Do you have any offers?” I probe.
“I have one,” he says. “And I have second interviews scheduled next week with two other companies. Hopefully, I can lock something in by the end of the month.”
“What about TYPCO?” I quip, trying to restrain myself. “Have you considered coming to work for us?”
He looks at Kevin and appears to want to avoid the question.
“Go ahead,” my son says, poking him in the arm. “My dad should probably hear this.” Evidently, Kevin has informed Larry of my role at TYPCO.
I look curiously at Larry. “Go ahead, Larry. Talk to me.”
He shrugs his shoulders. “I put an application in about six weeks ago, and I haven’t heard back yet.”
I immediately feel my blood pressure rising. Breathe slow and deep, Jack. Relax. This is just one more opportunity in disguise. Let the situation teach you.
“And he’s followed up twice, Dad,” Kevin adds, throwing a little fuel on the fire. “Still no response. And it’s for a position in your business unit.”
I can only think of one thing to say. “Larry, I don’t know if Kevin has shared this with you, but we’re shaking things up at TYPCO. And what you just described is unacceptable to me. I apologize on behalf of the company.”
“It’s okay, Mr. MacDonald,” he sighs. “It’s not that unusual. Some companies never respond.”
I am about to declare war on our HR department when I suddenly stop. That’s just another form of blame and finger-pointing. It doesn’t solve anything. What would a miracle-minded manager do, especially one in my position?
“I’ll tell you what, Larry. If you’re still interested in coming to TYPCO and you have the guts and motivation to help change things, I’ll schedule you right now for a first and second and third interview all in the same day. Furthermore, I’ll commit to giving you an answer one way or the other by the end of that same day, assuming you can provide good references.”
“Wow,” Larry gasps. “That’s decisive.”
“That’s my dad,” Kevin says with a smile. “And he means it.”
“I’m sure he does,” Larry says with admiration. “I’m in, Mr. MacDonald. Let’s do it! I’ll take the interviews.”
“And by the way, Dad,” Kevin adds. “Larry has impeccable references. TYPCO would be missing out big time on a guy like this.”
Excerpted from Miracle-Minded Manager: A Modern Day Parable About How to Apply A Course in Miracles in Business [Beyond Words, October 22, 2019], by “zentrepreneur” and mindful leadership expert John J. Murphy.
John J. Murphy is a global business consultant, speaker, spiritual mystic, and award-winning author. He is founder and CEO of Venture Management Consultants, Inc.