Article Display
Email  |  My Account  |  Donate
Patrick felt like he was drowning, occasionally getting a gulp of air before sinking again below the surface. After six months as marketing vice president of a valve manufacturing company, it seemed like he was in way over his head.

Likewise, Susan, a newly hired creative writer for a magazine, struggled to produce work acceptable to her publisher.

Meanwhile, Mike, the human resources director for an automotive parts manufacturer, was feeling overwhelmed by his company's rapid growth.

In every case, for different reasons, experienced managers found themselves in over their heads - and sinking fast. These situations illustrate three common reasons for people to end up in deep water on the job: "Overselling" by the employee when applying for the job; a poor hiring decision based on faulty analysis by the employer; or the needs of the job may have grown over time.

In Patrick's case, his experience was as a sales manager. He was effective in organizing a staff to make calls, finalizing proposals, and closing business. However, when interviewing for his new job, he oversold his past experience by claiming he could do market research, develop strategy, and coordinate advertising campaigns. Once he landed the job, however, he didn't have a clue how to proceed in developing a comprehensive marketing plan.

Patrick decided to confess his shortcomings to the CEO and requested specific training to learn the marketing aspects of the business. The boss listened and agreed to provide training and also coached Patrick to give him the opportunity to grow on the job.

Patrick's proactive response to his dilemma demonstrates the truth of Proverbs 28:13: "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion" (NASB).

The risk in coming forward is that your boss may decide to terminate your employment, but it's better to confront the issue head on, to either obtain the help needed or move on to another opportunity.

Susan had several years experience editing the work of freelance writers, writing objective news stories, and assisting with basic page layout. Martha, the magazine's publisher, wanted an editor who could write creative stories, determine long range themes for each issue, and design the "look" of each issue.

During the hiring process, Martha was impressed by Susan's energy and her ability to manage multiple priorities, but she overlooked Susan's lack of experience in the style of writing and design needed by the magazine.

After three stressful months, Martha scheduled a meeting, intending to terminate Susan immediately. During the ensuing discussion, Susan pointed out that Martha had not articulated clearly how important the creative element was in the new position, and she asked for help in learning to be effective in the position.

Martha listened intently, and agreed that she had not been diligent in the hiring process. However, even though she believed that Susan was a great employee in many respects, she lacked the creativity to be effective in her present job.

Rather than string out a bad situation, Martha acknowledged her responsibility for the mismatch in hiring, and she provided Susan with a generous severance package to help her while she looked for a different job.

As the apostle Paul observed, "For just as we have many members...all the members do not have the same function" (Rom. 12:4).

Mike was keenly aware that his knowledge and skill was not keeping up with the company's growth. He scheduled a meeting with the company president, acknowledged he was falling behind, and asked for additional training.

The president bluntly said, "I was getting ready to replace you because I see that you are becoming ineffective." However, he agreed to a structured outside training program, and also began to coach Mike personally.

The two agreed on short- and long-term goals that Mike must achieve. Put on a short leash, Mike demonstrated his ability to learn quickly and became a strong leader. "Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser" (Prov. 9:9 NASB).

If you have the sinking feeling that you're in too deep, recognize that time is not your ally. Confront your issues quickly and directly, and commit to fixing your shortcomings - fast. Endeavor to make your boss a partner in your growth, rather than a future judge.

Copyright © Business Proverbs All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Steve Marr
Web site: The Life
Steve Marr has learned from 40 years of business experience that God's way works. As an author, speaker and business consultant, Marr helps companies and organizations apply the ancient wisdom of the Bible to avoid the common mistakes and headaches of growing a business.

About Us

The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

At cfaith, you can strengthen your faith and deepen your understanding of the Word of God by digging into the vast collection of teaching articles, streaming audio and video messages, and daily devotionals. No other website offers such a unique and extensive collection of spiritual-growth resources aimed at helping you grow in your knowledge of the Word.




Support Us

Why support cfaith?

(All contributions are 100% tax deductible)


For every Internet search you make using
goodsearch, cfaith will receive one penny!

GS Logo 250x38

Contact Us

Business Hours:

Monday—Friday: 9 a.m.—5 p.m. CST
Saturday & Sunday: Closed


(763) 488-7800 or (800) 748-8107

Mailing Address:
9201 75th Avenue North
Brooklyn Park, MN 55428


Login Form

Please ignore the “Secret Key” field; it is not needed to log in to cfaith.

Login Change Article

You need to enable user registration from User Manager/Options in the backend of Joomla before this module will activate.