One of the worst mistakes I’ve ever made at work

The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. (Proverbs 12:15)

I’ve been the fool in this Proverb more than once. One example, in particular, comes to mind. A few years ago, I was running a rapidly growing tech startup and planning to hire our first full-time sales rep. Like any good entrepreneur, I took the time to draft a document detailing the type of person I thought we needed for the position. And with that plan in hand, I went out and hired someone we’ll call Michael who perfectly fit my description.

The only problem was that I neglected to ask my existing team what they thought about my job description. Shortly after Michael started, members of my team came to me asking why I hired someone with Michael’s experience when what we needed most was someone with an entirely different background. They were right, of course, and eventually, we had to let Michael go. If I had simply asked for input on my hiring plan on the front end, I could have avoided making one of the worst mistakes of my career—one that was costly for the business and for Michael. 

Proverbs 24:6 is right: “victory is won through many advisers.” But which advisers? As you’re making plans for your work, who should you trust for counsel? Let me suggest two types of people: wise Christians who may or may not understand your specific work and wise people who understand your specific work but may or may not be Christians. 

Why this second type of person? Because God gives common grace and wisdom to all people—not just believers. Isaiah 28:24-26 makes this clear, saying that “God instructs” all workers and “teaches [them] the right way.” Ideally, we’d find wisdom for our plans in fellow believers. But when that’s not possible, we should boldly seek out wisdom from unbelievers knowing that, in the words of John Calvin, “All truth is from God.”

Hear Solomon’s words one more time this morning: “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14, ESV). As you make plans in your work today, seek out an abundance of counselors for wisdom and help.


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