Leveraging Gallup’s CliftonStrengths for Career Success


Career development should always be aligned with one’s potential.

Human potential is vast, but too many people unfortunately don’t know themselves well enough to tap into it. In fact, many of us navigate life without ever realizing our possibilities. To correct that, the first thing you need to do is understand your strengths.

Peter Guber, CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group, said the success of someone’s career – regardless of profession or field – depends on their ability to lead, manage, and build good relationships with colleagues. His experience leading an entertainment industry business taught him that so much of our potential must be excavated and then honed to reach true career success.

That’s why it’s so important to know yourself well – no matter how long it takes to achieve that understanding. Once you know who you really are, you can recognize what you’re really capable of.

And then you can put it into practice and truly thrive.

How to Identify Your Potential for Career Development

It’s a fact that many students struggle with choosing a career path to pursue. And many adults already in the workplace still don’t know if they followed the right field.

That’s a shame for both the individuals involved and the companies they do or will work for. Feeling like a misfit can lead to extreme unhappiness and underperformance all around.

This is why the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is such an incredible tool. It’s designed to help you discover your personality and where that personality best fits within your chosen career field.

Less well-known but equally helpful is Gallup’s CliftonStrengths assessment. To quote their website:

“The 34 CliftonStrengths Themes Explain Your Talent DNA. When you take the CliftonStrengths Assessment, you uncover your unique combination of 34 CliftonStrengths themes.

“The themes, which sort into four domains… are a culmination of decades of research led by Don Clifton to study and categorize the talents of the world’s most successful people.

“Together, the themes explain a simple but profound element of human behavior: what’s right with people.”

Moreover, they give “you a way to describe what you naturally do best or what you might need help from others to accomplish.” And who couldn’t benefit from that?

Once completed, I’m confident this assessment can make your career journey much more informed and fruitful.

Here are just some of the themes you might identify with…

Domain: Influencing

Theme: Activator

  • You enjoy jumping right in and trying out different roles and jobs.
  • You seek leadership opportunities and positions where you’ll be rewarded for getting things moving.
  • You sometimes (or all the time) think about starting your own business.
  • You realize some people might feel threatened by your drive to make decisions and get things going.

Theme: Command

  • You’re willing to take on several potential roles or jobs, and you seek out chances to assume positions of leadership.
  • You seek out positions that offer room for advancement.
  • You take into consideration situations where quick decisions are required.
  • You seek careers in fields like law, commerce, politics, or theater, where you can use your persuasive skills.

Theme: Communication

  • You speak with people who could fill the roles you’re interested in, knowing their experiences will educate you.
  • You enjoy settings that provide you with regular social connections. Cooperative, engaging, and instructional environments are your ideal.
  • You prefer professions involving comedy, acting, motivational speaking, teaching, public relations, ministry, or training, where you can share your experiences.

Theme: Competition

  • You seek out chances to assume leadership roles.
  • You work on projects that will allow you to measure and compare your results.
  • You think about business, sales, law, politics, and sports.
  • You seek out positions that offer room for advancement.

Theme: Maximizer

  • You interview the “best of the best” to find out what they enjoy doing for a living.
  • You prefer settings that support “best practices” and allow you to collaborate with others to make the organization better every time.
  • You could consider positions that allow you to assist people in realizing their potential.

Theme: Self-Assurance

  • You’re skilled in many different things and like to try out potential positions or jobs. In fact, it’s crucial for you to choose what you enjoy.
  • You seek out settings that will challenge you while offering freedom to figure things out on your own terms.
  • You might want to think about pursuing a job in training, entertainment, or sales.

Theme: Significance

  • You want to leave a strong legacy behind.
  • You seek out settings where you can be acknowledged for your achievements.
  • Consider a profession where you can truly and enduringly improve the world.

Theme: Woo

  • You make sure to meet a diverse range of individuals working in various professions.
  • You seek out settings that appreciate your capacity to convince or sell – and where you can meet new people on a daily basis.
  • You could consider a job as a public relations specialist, sales representative, trainer, comedian, or lawyer.

Domain: Executing

Theme: Achiever

  • You have a relentless desire to achieve. You are only satisfied when you’re reaching or exceeding the goals in front of you.
  • You approach everyday as a new opportunity to make an impact, but you need to be cautions. Your drive can convince you to work nights, weekends, and long hours.
  • You have a strong work ethic, are able to lead by example when properly coached, and are a great asset to any organization seeking to achieve high performance.
  • You should seek careers that give you a lot of room to achieve the results you desire.

Theme: Arranger

  • Your default when problem solving is to seek all the pieces at the same time and arrange them into a logical sequence. You see patterns that others do not.
  • You desire a workplace that isn’t routine, where the daily aspects ebb and flow allowing you to use your arranging capabilities.
  • Seek careers where you can bring order out of chaos.
  • Pursue careers in employee relations, or human resources management, urban development, and leadership.

Theme: Belief

  • You hold deeply held ideals regarding how things should be in life, at work, and in the community.
  • Your ethical approach sometimes frustrate you when the world’s actions don’t align with it.
  • You could consider careers where your core values align with the organization in question, especially in pastoral care, certain medical fields, teaching, and counseling.

Theme: Consistency

  • You look for settings where rules, guidelines, policies, and procedures are well-established.
  • You seek out settings that are predictable and structured.
  • Law enforcement, human resources, risk management, safety compliance, and quality assurance positions might be right for you.

Theme: Deliberative

  • You research as much information as you can regarding potential roles and employment.
  • You prefer workplace settings where you can work alone to perform in-depth analyses, and you stay away from those that require too much socializing or human contact.
  • You consider jobs as judge, finance officer, or risk analyst to be ideal.

Theme: Discipline

  • You establish goals and outlines for your career-planning procedures.
  • You prefer structured settings where you can uphold order for both yourself and other people, and make use of your organizational skills.
  • Depending on your education, you might consider a job as an executive assistant, brain surgeon, tax specialist, or air traffic controller.

Theme: Focus

  • You gather as much information as you can about possible jobs or roles.
  • You look for environments where you can focus and concentrate without interruptions or the need to multitask.
  • You do best in structured environments that are predictable and detail-oriented.

Theme: Responsibility

  • You prefer settings where you can operate autonomously and eventually be given more authority.
  • You seek out locations where you can establish relationships of trust with other people.
  • You would likely do well in professions that place more emphasis on results than procedures, such as executive assistant, librarian, or law clerk.

Theme: Restorative

  • You’re intrigued by individuals known for pulling people out of difficult situations or jumping in to fix issues.
  • You appreciate situations where you’re required to identify issues and provide solutions.
  • Since you depend on your education and aptitude, you might be well-suited for careers as a TV producer, surgeon, or customer service representative.

Domain: Strategic Thinking

Theme: Analytical

  • You are smart, logical, thorough, good at thinking through issues, and good at handling numbers, figures, and charts.
  • You are objective and use data to search for trends, patterns, and interconnectedness.
  • Be cautious. Your greatest weaknesses can offend people since you have the propensity to be tough, never satisfied, and full of questions.
  • Choose a career that requires you to analyze data. Accounting, finance, marketing, and certain engineering fields should be explored.

Theme: Context

  • You look back at your past decisions to get an idea of what you enjoy and are highly skilled at.
  • You seek out settings where you can investigate the origins of things and gain a solid understanding of an organization or asset’s past.
  • Professions such as archaeologist, historian, curator, professor of humanities, or appraiser of antiques could easily appeal to you.

Theme: Futuristic

  • You desire a career path that enables you to help others glimpse the future and inspire them to bring it to pass.
  • You look for environments that encourage creativity and imagination.
  • Jobs in commercial art, architecture, design, or city planning appeal to you.

Theme: Ideation

  • As much as you can, you brainstorm and daydream about potential careers or professions.
  • You seek out settings that encourage experimentation, originality, and unconventional thinking.
  • You could easily consider a profession in advertising, market research, design, consulting, or strategic planning.

Theme: Input

  • You try to obtain as much input as you can regarding potential roles and employment.
  • You seek out settings where you will be exposed to large amounts of information and data.
  • Occupations that allow you to stay up to date with the latest developments in science and enable you to become a knowledgeable researcher and consumer are right up your alley.

Theme: Intellection

  • You stay abreast of change related to careers and career development.
  • You seek out settings where you can ponder and mull things through before acting.
  • You should consider a profession that provides you with intellectual challenges, where you can ask questions and exchange ideas. But stay away from groups that uphold the status quo.

Theme: Learner

  • You examine career inventories, read up on careers, and do further research on what you read.
  • You enjoy settings that promote lifelong learning and personal growth.
  • You are well-suited to jobs such as business trainer, instructor, or college lecturer.

Theme: Strategic          

  • You desire employment that enables you to create innovative initiatives and methods for addressing persistent issues.
  • You enjoy settings that are adaptable, foster creativity, and provide you with opportunities to view things holistically.
  • Professions in consulting, law, or psychology could be ideal for you.

Domain: Relationship Building

Theme: Adaptability

  • You have the ability to remain calm during stressful and ambiguous situations.
  • Routine roles that force you to plan and organize don’t appeal to you; you’re too action-oriented and independent-minded.
  • You enjoy constantly evolving demands and challenges. You could even say you thrive in chaos.
  • Careers that might suit you include human resources, emergency medical management, crisis management, manufacturing, and customer service.

Theme: Connectedness

  • You seek out NGOs that provide aid.
  • You prefer settings where you can engage with people and assist them in discovering meaning and purpose.
  • You recognize your own values and make sure the company you work for upholds them.
  • You think about carrying out a career that will allow you to live out your religious convictions.

Theme: Developer

  • You appreciate employment opportunities where you can help people in some capacity.
  • You seek out settings that emphasize communication, cooperation, and teamwork.
  • You like the sound of careers where you can assist others in improving their abilities such as life coach, counselor, or teacher.

Theme: Empathy

  • You look for employment in places where feelings are respected, not suppressed.
  • You desire environments that are upbeat and encouraging with lots of communication and teamwork.
  • You can consider pursuing professions such as education, human resources, counseling, or ministry.

Theme: Harmony

  • You’re a mediator at heart and seek to find middle ground with practical solutions that can drive everyone into agreement.
  • Your willingness to hear all perspectives helps when all sides of the issues need to be considered.
  • Ideal careers for you include arbitrator, counselor, diplomat, and ambassador.

Theme: Includer

  • You consider working with groups that are often set aside by others, such as those who are intellectually or physically challenged.
  • You seek out settings where you can play a welcoming role.
  • You enjoy the idea of being something like a special education teacher, social worker, therapist, youth worker, or HR representative.

Theme: Individualization

  • You appreciate settings where you can coach, train, and otherwise give others feedback.
  • You seek professions that allow you to work one-on-one with individuals.
  • Jobs such as HR specialist, business trainer, life coach, teacher, or counselor suit your personality.

Theme: Positivity

  • You choose work you’re passionate about that supports your hopeful view of the future.
  • You look for environments that are fun, fast-paced, and people-oriented, and where you can use your sense of humor.
  • You like the idea of careers as a coach, sales rep, teacher, or manager.

Theme: Relator

  • You discuss your perceptions with people in your trusted social group.
  • You enjoy settings that promote friendships and allow you to continue expanding your knowledge about others.
  • You could consider the role of manager, HR director, teacher, counselor, or school administrative professional.

How Well Do You Know Yourself?

Here’s an important question after scanning the CliftonStrengths’ list of themes and what they entail…

How well do you know yourself?

Most interviewers ask this question or something like it. So it’s an important consideration if you’re thinking about a career change. It might also come up during your annual employee review.

Or maybe you wonder about it on your own without any external prompting.

Regardless, this is the most crucial question you could possibly answer. It speaks to how much you know about what you want in life. And once you know that, it becomes so much easier to set goals in your career and elsewhere.

Just like that, you’re equipped to properly choose not only a fulfilling career but a fulfilling life.

So from now on, strive to identify the potential within you based on your individual strengths. In life, there is no such thing as too late to know yourself.

Set Your Bar High. What Is the Highest Goal You Want to Achieve?

In terms of career development, you need to have top-level goals or target priorities you want to achieve every year. Consider having at least three measurable goals and no more than five. At the end of December, you can determine your achievements, starting from the smallest to the most significant.

Learn from your achievements. Revisit what worked and what didn’t, and make sure you focus on repeatable behaviors that contributed to the goals you did attain.

Your targets must, of course, be in proportion to the potential you have. The higher the level of success desired, the more potential must be explored, including intrapersonal and interpersonal skills.

They also need to be reasonable. For example, if your current position is that of a supervisor and you want to advance from there, you can target becoming a manager in two years and then set your sights on the next advancement from there. Set a deadline for yourself and decide what steps you’ll take to achieve it.

Your yearly goals don’t have to involve accomplishing every intense dream you’ve ever pictured for yourself. Sometimes it’s much more intelligent to have a five-year or 10-year plan you build up to.

Just make sure to capitalize on and exercise your strengths to get there.

Speaking of plans, you should also consider making one to determine how to achieve each goal you have, yearly or otherwise. Another important aspect is determining likely challenges and preparing solutions to work past them.

Indeed, some goals are only achievable after you’ve overcome already existent problems.

Make Sure to Accept Help Along the Way!

Human potential is always aligned with career development. But you hardly have to work alone in order to realize yours. If you’re looking for guidance, there are seminars, workshops, and webinars out there specifically designed to optimize your potential and achieve your goals.

Or if you’re looking for more personalized guidance, In HIS Name HR helps organizations and individuals build high-performance human resource programs designed to get you where you need to be.

Concerned about the HR programs at your organization? The benefits of having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence are invaluable. Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.

Rise with us by implementing our high-performance remote human-resource programs to help find great people! E-mail us here.

Mark A. Griffin is president and founder of In HIS Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter

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Podcast: Building Out of This World Leaders


Research shows that front-line leaders contribute as much as 60% to your employee engagement survey results. What are you doing to increase leadership capacity across your organization?

Come learn some strategies that NASA employed over the last 30 years to build better people leaders. Fortunately, these strategies are not rocket science! Any organization can take similar approaches. In fact, our guest, Brady Pyle, is bringing those approaches from NASA to his new role with a 350-employee non-profit organization.
What have you done in the past?

Brady took an early retirement from NASA in February 2023 after a 30-year career in HR, culminating in his role as Deputy Chief Human Capital Officer, where he supervised 12 HR Executives. Brady was a two-time recipient of NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal and played a key role in NASA being named Best Place to Work in the Federal Government for 11 Consecutive Years.

Brady has blogged about leadership over the last 10 years at OutOfThisWorldLeadership.com, earning recognition in Feedspot’s Top 100 Leadership Blogs.

Brady currently serves as Vice President of Human Resources at Space Center Houston—a leading non-profit science and space exploration learning center that serves as Official Visitor Center for NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Concerned about the HR programs at your organization? The benefits of having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence are invaluable. Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.

Rise with us by implementing our high-performance remote human-resource programs to help find great people! E-mail us here.

Mark A. Griffin is president and founder of In HIS Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter

Subscribe to the Podcast!

Lead with Prayer Banner

Podcast: Lead With Prayer


If prayer matters, why don’t we live and lead that way? And what would happen if we did?

Peter Greer, along with Ryan Skoog and Cameron Dolittle, spent over one hundred hours interviewing world-changing leaders across six continents, asking a powerful question:

What prayer practices are fueling your impact?

They learned from personal interviews with leaders like:

  • Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Francis Chan
  • John Mark Comer
  • Gary Haugen
  • John Ortberg
  • Mark Batterson
  • Tim Mackie

And global leaders serving more than one hundred countries

These leaders not only affirmed the primacy of prayer in their lives but also shared specifics of what motivated them to pray; how they overcame disappointments, distractions, and obstacles to prayer; and how they even made time for prayer.

Peter wants to give you practical tools to become a praying leader equipped to build a thriving culture of prayer where you lead.

Peter Greer is president and CEO of HOPE International, a global Christ-centered organization working to alleviate physical and spiritual poverty in more than 20 countries around the world. Peter’s favorite part of his role is spending time with the remarkable entrepreneurs HOPE serves.

A graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School, Peter has co-authored 15 books, including Mission Drift, and Rooting for Rivals. He lives with his wife, Laurel, and their four children in Lancaster, PA.

Learn more about Lead With Prayer here.

Concerned about the HR programs at your organization? The benefits of having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence are invaluable. Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.

Rise with us by implementing our high-performance remote human-resource programs to help find great people! E-mail us here.

Mark A. Griffin is president and founder of In HIS Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter

Subscribe to the Podcast!

How to Be a Great Employee

How to Be a Great Employee


Did you know the average adult is awake 16 hours a day?

For those of us who don’t always work from home, that includes one hour to prepare for work, 30 minutes each way driving there and back, and at least eight hours at the office Monday-Friday.

Right there, we already have 10 out of our 16 allotted hours.

Now let’s contrast that with the time we invest at church. For some people, it’s just an hour a week. Quite the difference!

Now, admittedly, it is difficult and even impractical to try to even those amounts out too much. We do need to earn a living for ourselves and our families. So it makes sense that so much of our lives are invested in preparation for work and actually doing that work. But this hardly means we have to neglect out Christianity.

Far from it, in fact.

That’s why God’s presence in the workplace matters so much! This time-consuming setting offers great opportunities to encourage those who already know Christ and to witness to those who don’t.

Most of us probably don’t work for an organization that outwardly expresses our Christian beliefs. But we’re called to be ambassadors of Christ and reflect Him in our lives regardless, including when we’re on the job.

The Bible has a lot to say about the importance of work and how we should conduct ourselves in it. Two examples include (NIV):

Colossians 3:23 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

Proverbs 16:3 – “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

As such, let’s explore some of the important values that Christians should demonstrate in the workplace. The one I want to share today is integrity, with many more to come in future articles.

Proverbs 10:9 (NIV) reads:

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”

I’m sure we can all think of examples where people (maybe even us) didn’t show integrity in the workplace. These behaviors include the C.Y.A., or covering your you-know-what, method; throwing others under the bus; telling untruths; calling in “sick”; and having affairs with coworkers.

If it weren’t for the prevalence of such conduct, we wouldn’t need to have so many workplace policies on codes of conduct, harassment, social media activity, and the like.

But what exactly is integrity? It might be easy to spot when people lack it. But what does it mean when we have it?

Integrity denotes a deep commitment to do the right thing for the right reason, regardless of the circumstances – even when no one is watching, C.S. Lewis. It includes a sense of honesty, dependability, and consistency of character.

People with integrity adhere to moral company policies. They own up to their mistakes. They are honest and don’t tell untruths. They are trustworthy and dependable.

The word integrity evolved from the Latin adjective integer, meaning whole or complete. So it’s an inner sense and outer expression of “wholeness” deriving from qualities such as sincerity and consistent character.

Consider these questions to self-assess your own personal integrity:

  • Do you portray yourself differently depending on who you’re with?
  • Do you admit your mistakes?
  • Are you honest at all times?
  • Can others depend on you to do what you say you’ll do?

Our integrity is tested on a daily basis by a culture that’s normalized falsehood and dishonesty. This might involve cheating on an exam, fudging a business expense, downloading music illegally, taking office supplies from work, or telling little white lies.

They might seem small in the moment. Even necessary. But those sorts of actions can chip away at our souls little by little.

On the flipside, Scripture tells us many benefits of living with integrity:

  • It can give us promotions in the right way (Nehemiah 7).
  • It grants favor and honor, and opens the door for good things to come into our lives (Psalm 84:11).
  • It can help us find contentment (Proverbs 19:1).
  • It brings clarity and guidance to our lives (Proverbs 37:18).
  • It helps us be more like Jesus (Matthew 22:16).

King David also shed some light on integrity in Psalm 26:1-3 (NIV):

Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD and have not faltered. Test me, LORD, and try me; examine my heart and my mind; for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.”

You can see here that the root of David’s integrity is his relationship with God. As it should be for us.

How Can You Be Sure That Your Integrity Guides Your Actions?

In order to claim integrity as part of your identity, you have to commit to acting on it. It’s not always easy, but it ends up being very worthwhile when you:

  • Keep your word.If you say you’re going to do something, then do it! If you say you’re going to be somewhere, then be there! We all know those people we can’t really count on.Don’t be one of those people! Otherwise, we’re bound to see Jeremiah 22:12 (NIV) applied to our lives: “Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labor.”
  • Tell the truth.Mark Twain said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” It’s easier and the right thing to do. Even little white lies eat away at your integrity.
  • Don’t gossip.Keep your confidence, and don’t talk about others behind their backs. Proverbs 11:13 (NIV) counsels us that, “A gossip can’t be trusted with a secret, but someone of integrity won’t violate confidence”
  • Work hard.Colossians 3:23 says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (NIV). If you’re a believer, your real boss is God. So whether or not anybody else sees your work, God does.That’s why 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV) reads, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
  • Act consistently.A person of integrity doesn’t act one way in church, another way at work, and another way in social settings. In addition, he or she treats the janitor with the same level of respect as the CEO.God is never changing. He is faithful, trustworthy, true, and loyal. He can be counted on. And he wants us to follow his example, as shown in Proverbs 11:3 (NIV), which reads, “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”

In short, each one of us in the workplace has a responsibility to bring positivity and encouragement to the workplace. Let these tips and recommendations lift you to higher levels of performance.

For further actionable insights, reach out to In HIS Name HR here. We help organizations build high-performance human resource programs designed to build your workplace into the productive, engaging, effective, integrity-filled space you want it to be.

Contact us today! You, your students, faculty, and employees will be grateful you did.

Allan Collins IHN HR Interview

Podcast: What Is the Top HR Priority Today? HR Leadership Must Bring Positivity in 2024


The economy, divisive politics, conflicts around the world, and greater demands in the workplace: They can all lead to business challenges. But those challenges don’t have to be insurmountable.

Every organization should feature an HR department that prioritizes promoting positivity. In this episode, we’ll meet Alan Collins, the greatest contributor to the HR profession Mark has ever known. Listen in as he reveals secrets that HR professionals can use to increase employee satisfaction and help their organizations achieve higher performance.

As former vice president of human resources at PepsiCo, Alan led initiatives for the Quaker Oats, Gatorade, and Tropicana divisions. With 35 years of experience in recruiting, staffing, talent management, organization development, and labor relations, he’s seen it all.

Alan is the founder of Success in HR, where he’s inspired tens of thousands of HR professionals from all over the world. Alan especially has a heart for young professionals and focuses many of his resources on helping develop them into truly confident, competent company resources.

Concerned about the HR programs at your organization? The benefits of having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence are invaluable. Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.

Rise with us by implementing our high-performance remote human-resource programs to help find great people! E-mail us here.

Mark A. Griffin is president and founder of In HIS Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter

Subscribe to the Podcast!

Navigating Religious Freedom in the Workplace Sharing a Kingdom Perspective

Podcast: Navigating Religious Freedom in the Workplace


Navigating Religious Freedom in the Workplace
Sharing a Kingdom Perspective

We all know the workplace is getting more and more difficult to manage. Since coming out of Covid, many organizations are floundering under new assumptions of how to operate. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

There is a hope and a future we can offer our employees – one that benefits everyone involved.

Depending on the business you operate, that might not sound feasible. After all, there are two classes of employers: religiously exempt (non-profit) and secular (for-profit). One can hire based on religious affiliation; the other is legally prohibited from doing so.

So what about the Christian-owned for-profit organization? How can it promote the best possible workforce anyway?

Listen in as Stephanie N. Taub, Esq. navigates the dos and don’ts of sharing your faith in the workplace. She and Mark also discuss the use of chaplains, allowing employees to volunteer on company time, Bible studies, prayer at company-sponsored meals, and other topics of interest.

Taub serves as senior counsel with First Liberty Institute, where she focuses on restoring religious liberty in the marketplace. She also advocates for the rights of employees and business leaders of faith to work with integrity that’s consistent with their religious convictions.

Taub has authored pieces published by National Review and the Federalist Society, and has appeared on Fox News as well. In addition, The Texas Review of Law and Politics published her findings on federal employment law protections for faith-based employers. The article elaborates on the statutory right of religious institutions to cultivate communities of faith.

Before joining First Liberty, Taub worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Reed O’Connor in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. She graduated from Harvard Law School and is a Blackstone Fellow. And for her undergraduate studies, Taub graduated summa cum laude, receiving a bachelor of science in business administration from the University of Southern California.

Concerned about the HR programs at your organization? The benefits of having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence are invaluable. Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.

Rise with us by implementing our high-performance remote human-resource programs to help find great people! E-mail us here.

Mark A. Griffin is president and founder of In HIS Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter

Subscribe to the Podcast!

Interviewing For Success In HIS Name HR LLC

The Job Interview: Your Big Chance to Impress


The Job Interview: Your Big Chance to Impress

Interviewing for a job is one of the most anxiety- causing events a person can endure. In fact, recent studies show that a whopping 93 percent of candidates experience some sort of anxiety when facing an interview. We’ve all heard horror stories of interviews gone wrong – the guy who tossed his beer can in the lobby trash container before walking in to meet the CEO, the guy who brought his dog in a duffle bag in hopes of some moral support, or the girl who wore dirty sweatpants to an engineering job interview, coolly telling the employer “I’m here to program, not audition to be a fashion model!” Yikes! Most likely, none of these people will ever be you! But chances are you might find yourself in that 93 percent, facing some sort of jitters when the big day arrives. Job interviews can certainly be intimidating, but they don’t have to be. With the right tips and tricks, you can learn how to land an interview and make a lasting impression from the moment you walk in the door.

So just where did the idea of the job interview come from? Several years ago, before LinkedIn, Indeed and Monster were around, job seekers scoured the classified section in the local newspaper. Classified ads used to indicate special requirements, such as if the job was meant for a man or woman, single or married, etc. Candidates could be selected for the job based on appearance, religious affiliation, and age. Those of color, foreign accents and physical disabilities were unfavorably classified from securing a job. Thankfully, officials began passing federal laws in the 1960s, outlawing hiring practices based on color, national origin, religion, and gender. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 provided monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination. Today, it would be nearly unheard of for someone to be discriminated against because of nationality or race.

While LinkedIn remains one of the top ways people land interviews, it is often a personal introduction that does the trick. As one employer pointed out, “If we have to post a job listing on LinkedIn or Indeed, this means we have run through the list of all potential internal candidates as well as any personal referrals.” Word of mouth often comes in handy. In other words, it’s all about who you know. This is why it is so crucial to spend your college years networking with professionals through internships, volunteering, or other opportunities.

Things have changed quite a bit in the professional world in the last few years, particularly post-pandemic. Here are a few recent statistics you may find surprising:

*69 % of employers now use video calls to conduct the first interview

*The average candidate goes through 2-3 interviews before landing a job offer

*The average time from the interview to a job offer is approximately 24 business days

*The average job posting gets over 200 resumes in response

*Of those 200 plus resumes, only 20 percent usually receive a response and a chance at an interview

*The average first interview lasts only 15 minutes, while a second interview may last 45 minutes or longer

If this sounds daunting, take heart. Landing an interview means you’ve managed to stand out above the rest. You’ve already done the hard part! If you get a phone call or email, this means your resume or work has impressed your future employer in some way, and they want to know more! Instead of thinking of the interview as a frightening process, think of it instead as a “get to know you more.” The employer has seen you on paper, and now they want to meet you in person to see if you might be a good fit. If you’ve made it this far, chances are you’ve done something right!

So just what do employers look for during that first interview? How can you make sure you make a lasting impression that will ultimately land you the job? Here a few simple DOs and DON’Ts:

*DO attempt to make a good first impression from the moment you walk in the door. Statistics show that the average employer sizes up a future candidate in just seven seconds. Give a firm handshake (if they extend one first) and make sure you’re properly dressed. Nothing screams “I’m not interested” more than inappropriate attire. In fact, one in four recruiters say they would pass on a candidate who was not dressed right for the job.  If dealing with a recruiter, it’s perfectly okay to ask what sort of attire an employer prefers. If the company is more high-end, for example, a full business suit might be best. If the company is more laid back, business casual might do the trick. As a general rule, it’s always best to be overdressed rather than underdressed.

*DON’T be late! A whopping 84% of employers said someone showing up late for an interview was an almost guaranteed disqualifier. If you genuinely run into a dilemma before the interview and know you’ll be running late, it’s best practice to contact them as soon as possible to let them know. Even then, it might still be a turn off. So make sure to leave plenty of time to drive and park. Check traffic before you leave. Lay out your clothes the night before and do anything else you might need to do ahead of time to avoid last-minute issues.

*DON’T appear arrogant. Seventy-six percent of recruiters say they would reject a candidate who appears arrogant either on a resume, in person or over the phone. Note that there is a big difference between arrogance and confidence. Confidence is an essential quality in a candidate, and it’s certainly okay to boast about your skills. But doing so in an arrogant way won’t get you far.

*DO your research. Nearly half of candidates are rejected because they didn’t know much about the company. Doing your research shows you are intelligent, informed, and enthusiastic. Nothing says “I don’t want the job” like scratching your head and coming up blank when an employer asks why you want to work for them.

*DO make eye contact. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to make eye contact 60 to 70% of the time during the interview. Body language tells a lot about a person, and if your eyes are downcast the whole time, an employer may sense you lack confidence. Try to smile, even if your nerves get the best of you. Employers know you’re anxious, and most want to put you at ease. If you feel your hands shaking, try clasping them in your lap. And avoid tapping your feet or shifting in your chair if possible.

*Do be prepared to discuss your soft skills. 78 % of employers consider soft skills important and will want to ask you about them. Essentially, soft skills show what sort of employee and team player you will be. You might have mad computer skills, but if you are uptight and can’t get along with others, an employer will likely pass.

*Lastly, DO be yourself. This might sound cliché, but it’s highly important. Despite the nerves, try to relax and speak from the heart. If the setting feels appropriate, you might even offer a little humor to lighten things up. Take cues from the employer; if they make a joke, don’t be afraid to laugh in return. While, as a general rule, it’s usually not a good idea to disclose much personal information during a job interview, it’s okay to share a bit when asked. If an employer mentions his love of dogs, you might jump in and mention your poodle at home. Again, follow the cues. And don’t forget to smile!

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Launching Your Career In HIS Name HR

Internships: Your Ticket in the Door


Launching Your Career

Jackson was a high school senior, working a part-time job at McDonald’s. During his spare time, he took an interest in video editing and 3D animation. He spent hours learning and perfecting his work on the computer, and his efforts eventually paid off.  He knew he wanted to pursue a career in the field and began networking with friends. A neighbor saw his work and was impressed. He reached out to Jackson and connected him with a friend’s commercial ad agency in a nearby city. Jackson sent his work off to the company, and they were impressed as well. The summer after his graduation, they invited Jackson to intern at the company. The pay? A few bucks of gas money to cover the 45-minute commute. Jackson jumped on the opportunity, keeping his burger flipping job in the meantime.

            Jackson’s time at the company proved invaluable. After a couple months, his work caught the eye of his superiors, and they bumped him up to $10 an hour. He still wasn’t making the big bucks, but the experience was priceless. A few more months into his internship, the company offered to hire him full time and give him a regular salary. Jackson happily accepted the offer and quit his McDonald’s job at last. He stayed on with the company for several more years, eventually working his way up.  What began as a small internship paying only a few bucks for gas turned out to be a life-changing career opportunity.

            Students like Jackson are not unique. According to studies by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, otherwise known as NACE, 60 percent of students from classes of 2013 to 2017 partook in some sort of internship, with that number growing every year. Employers see internships as a win/win for both parties, with employers being able to scope out prospective employees and interns gaining valuable experience before or right after college. A few other interesting statistics:

            *Interns are nearly twice as likely to land a full-time job versus those who do not intern.

            *68 % of interns land a full time job offer after completing their internship.

            *60 % of internships are paid.

            *The average paid intern makes approximately $20 an hour.

            *Tech and banking internships are among some of the highest paying positions.

            *Employers seeking interns value communication skills, teamwork and critical thinking skills.

            *The average starting salary for a paid intern is $60,000 a year versus $40,000 a year for non-paid interns.

            *Tech and political internships are most likely to result in a full-time hired position.

            So just where did the concept of internships originate from? According to Melissa Snell, a Medieval History Expert, formal college internship programs started back in the Middle Ages. Around the 11th century, the craft Guild System began. Within a formal arrangement, students could train in hands-on, practical ways with craftsmen, tradesmen, artisans and masters. They could increase their skills until they became proficient in the trade of field study and then officially enter the local guild for their trade. They rarely had a choice of the craft they apprenticed in. The wealthier the family, the more likely one was to get into a prestigious and influential guild.

Many apprentices went on to pursue other professions and became highly important in our country. Notable figures include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere. Washington was trained as a surveyor, Jefferson as a law apprentice, Franklin as a printer and Revere as a silversmith.

Medical internships became common as the scientific revolution required more expertise and practical knowledge at the start of the 20th century. Professional formal education came along to meet the demands of the 19th century industrialization boom. The first U.S. academic internship began in 1906 at the Accounting Department at the University of Cincinnati. By 1937, the National Apprenticeship Act was passed, leading the Department of Labor to formulate and promote the furtherance of labor necessary to safeguard the welfare of apprentices.

So just what is the major difference between apprenticeships and internships? Generally, apprenticeships involve in-depth learning, training and practical experience usually for a timeframe of several years for someone who has a commitment to a specific trade. An example might be a journeyman studying to become an electrician. Internships, on the other hand, tend to consist of much shorter durations and focus more on gaining a general knowledge and breadth of experience in a certain field.

Many college students desire internships but don’t know where to begin. Some believe they don’t have enough time in their already busy schedule to squeeze in one more thing. Others feel intimidated because they lack experience in the field. Some simply don’t know where to begin seeking out one. If this is you, don’t sweat it!  Start by speaking with your college guidance counselor about potential opportunities, or network with your favorite professor. You’d be surprised by the resources they may have to offer. Consider reaching out to local companies you’re interested in. Don’t worry if you don’t have any experience. They know this. Show enthusiasm and display a strong work ethic, and you’ll soon impress them. Don’t be afraid to network at the company you intern for. You never know what sort of lasting connections you might make while grabbing a coffee or donut in the break room. Be professional, dress to impress, and be prompt, reliable and eager. While you might not find yourself making the big bucks, consider it a win if you bring home even a small paycheck while advancing your knowledge in your field of study. And if you’re feeling crunched for time? Consider a summer internships when you’re home from college on break. It’s the perfect time to hone your skills. Like Jackson, you just might find yourself landing the job of your dreams!

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Kingdom Investing

Exploring Kingdom Investing: Innovest Portfolio Solutions


In today’s tumultuous economic situation, Christians can struggle to navigate financial complexities and challenges. The prevailing global obstacles, ranging from shifts in politics to economic instability and social unrest, are impossible to ignore. 

Uncertainty seems to loom everywhere. Many Christians are seeking solutions, to stay true to their values in a culture that contradicts their deeply held beliefs. Many want to use their dollars and invest their dollars in a biblically-responsible way. 

While many organizations advise and manage money for Christians, nearly all have conflicting cultures and values and happily do business with organizations that are in direct conflict with the Kingdom. In addition, they sponsor and donate to nonprofit entities that are antithetical to Jesus’ teachings. 

When it comes to selecting an investment consultant, there are many choices, but one firm that stands out is Innovest Portfolio Solutions. Founded 27 years ago, by two devout Christians, Innovest is guided by Christian values still today. Innovest has a deep understanding and expertise in working with Christian organizations including nonprofits and retirement plans. Innovest also offers services for individuals, families, and family offices that want to invest in a biblically-responsible way. 

Let us explore this unique company and discover the power of kingdom investing with values backed by the Christian faith!

After gaining years of Wall Street experience, co-founders, Richard Todd, and Wendy Dominguez, established  Innovest as one of the first fee-only investment consulting firms in their region. Their goal? To eliminate conflicts of interest and create investment solutions that serve the best interests of their clients. 

Innovest is truly one of a kind thanks to their mission of stewardship. Innovest strives to serve, not be served. Innovest honors God in everything they do, and they are dedicated to the Kingdom. 

But what truly sets Innovest apart is their skill and expertise in constructing portfolios that are congruent with Christian beliefs. 

Kingdom investing is very important to our clients like you! That is why we are so confident about Innovest’s approach. Their mission is a true example of a Christian-based business changing the industry and people’s lives in the process. Their dedication to custom portfolio solutions, fiduciary guidance, and uncommon service is unparalleled in the industry. 

While the world seems to crumble around us, Innovest remains a beacon of faith that clients can return to over and over, just like a trusted friend. For those investors, like you, who want to promote their faith, and not the world, Innovest may be just the perfect solution.

We sat down with CEO and Principal Rich Todd to talk about this amazing organization. We think you will be impressed by what he had to say!

Mark: It is wonderful to meet with you today, Rich. It is truly amazing what your organization has been able to accomplish since its inception. Can you tell us why you exist and share a little about why you began this company?

Rich: Thanks for having me, Mark. My co-founder, Wendy Dominguez and I started Innovest 27 years ago because we were tired of the conflicts of interest on Wall Street. It got to a point where we were told to look out for shareholder interests over client interests and we did not think that was right for the client. We started Innovest, an investment consulting firm, with 25 clients and a mission of stewardship, putting our clients’ interests first. Today we consult to more than 300 clients and advise on close to $50 billion, including a large number of faith based organizations.

Mark: Rich, what a great story. It seems God has really inspired you. So, with that being said, what sectors do you invest in? Or if it is easier to describe, what sectors does your firm avoid? 

Rich: We help our faith-based clients build biblically-responsible portfolios using products, managers, and strategies. We recognize there is a spectrum when screening out sin stocks, and different Christian organizations may have different goals. Some may want to eliminate all funds that invest in abortion, pornography, or alcohol, and some may just want to focus on earning the highest return possible and not screen at all. We help our clients identify where they fall on the spectrum. 

Once we understand a client’s goals, Innovest utilizes our vast experience in finding and monitoring managers that invest in publicly traded companies according to preferred biblical criteria. We help fiduciaries assess and carefully implement a biblically-responsible investment agenda to ensure that any investing they initiate or contemplate does not violate their governing regulations or their fiduciary responsibilities. Christians are challenged to build biblically-responsible portfolios while maintaining prudent diversification and high-quality managers. In fact, Innovest goes a step further and monitors the fund manager’s adherence to biblically-responsible investing. We have reached out to all our fund managers and have included their responses specific to Christian based biblically-responsible investment policies in our manager database.

It was through our extensive due diligence, asking values alignment questions, that we uncovered a fund manager was taking Christian client fees and donating them to Planned Parenthood. We asked them why they work with so many Christian organizations, and they said that Christians are backwards and through their work with those in the church, they hope to influence them.

Mark: We noticed while researching your organization that you have been able to grow in a relatively short period of time. Our readers are nationwide – primarily Christians in the marketplace, higher education, and those in pastoral or ministry careers. Can you share with them how you have been able to expand so quickly? What would you say is the key to your success?

Culture Is Important In HIS Name HR LLC

Rich: Our culture is our key to our success. Peter Drucker said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Our culture is our secret sauce. We have a Christian culture at Innovest. We are stewards to our employees, clients, and community, including the Kingdom of God. We strive to serve, not to be served, and as a result, our people flourish. Our professionals see their work as a vocation where there are no boundaries between Sundays and Mondays, allowing for an integrated life. They understand that they represent Innovest at all times. While this may sound onerous, Innovest has won “Best Places to Work” nearly every year. While we care about intellect, education, and experience, none of those trump character. We thoroughly evaluate the character of each potential Innovest candidate.

At Innovest, we “give back” to our community monetarily and actively with our time. Each month, we volunteer for the less fortunate. Our team members have invested in the community by feeding the poor, painting houses for the elderly, giving comfort to those on the street, and donating school supplies, among others. We tithe 1% of our Innovest revenue.

Faith-based organizations seek us out because of our values, our reputation as a character-first firm, our expertise at building biblically-responsible portfolios, our thorough due diligence, not only of investment strategies, but also of fund providers, and our “fee-only” approach. We work as a team, implementing a consistent process for all clients to deliver nothing short of our best.

Mark: Rich, if an employer like a Christian primary school wanted to use your firm in managing its 401(k) plan, is that something your firm could do directly? Or would they need to choose a broker to work with? 

Rich: Yes. We can help any Christian organization with managing their 401(k) and/or 403(b) plans. For instance, we currently work with Focus on the Family and other organizations such as colleges and universities, churches, and dioceses. 

There is no need for an organization to work with a broker, they are conflicted, and they are not fiduciaries – meaning they are not legally bound to act solely in the best interests of their clients. We are a consultant and a co-fiduciary; we will act in the best interest of the organization. We will ensure the organization is offering a quality retirement plan for their participants. As part of our retirement plan services, we will analyze the goals and objectives of the plan, design a thoughtful participant friendly menu, and assist in creating an education strategy. In addition, we will mitigate fiduciary risk to the plan sponsor. 

Mark: Are there any sectors your firm invests in that the average investor is unaware of but should know about?

Rich: Yes. Alternative investments can be a great way to further diversify a portfolio, especially for long term assets. Examples of alternative investments include private debt, private equity, and real assets. Alternative investments have a lower correlation than equities and bonds; therefore, they can help portfolios withstand volatility in the markets. In 2022 when equity and bond markets were down, Innovest had reduced exposure to fixed income and increased exposure to real assets like timberland, farmland, and infrastructure. These all work well with a biblically aligned portfolio.

Mark: What advice would you give to smaller employers? We have many smaller organizations with 10-40 employees that are looking for retirement plan help and investing help.

Rich: Offering a retirement plan can be a challenge for smaller employers. We are in conversations with a Christian membership association about creating a MEP, a  multiple employer plan. A MEP allows multiple businesses to participate in a qualified retirement plan. They benefit from economies of scale in pricing and minimize their fiduciary liability. Furthermore, a MEP removes the administration burden so employers can focus on running their organization. We recently implemented a MEP with Catholic Benefits Association, and we are exploring the same solution with an association that serves evangelical organizations. A MEP can be a great resource for smaller organizations. We welcome any opportunity to speak with smaller organizations to help them find a retirement plan solution. 

Mark: Do you have a specific success story to share with readers? Perhaps an individual or organization that used your firm and achieved kingdom-minded results while also achieving financial success?

Rich: We recently started working with a Christian university.  The reason that they chose to work with us is because of our Christian values alignment, great reputation, and 27 years of experience.  Their previous consultant did not share the same values as the university.  They told them that their portfolio was aligned with their Christian values, but as we started analyzing the portfolio, we recognized that their portfolio wasn’t what they were promised. We started to implement high quality Christian products, managers, and strategies into their portfolio. 

Mark: What is the best way to have an interested person contact you for kingdom investment services for their employees?

Rich: They can reach out to me at rtodd@innovestinc.com or my colleague, Sarah Newman, Vice President, at snewman@innovestinc.com and we can set up a call. My cell is 720-586-6353.

___________

Concerned about the HR programs at your organization? The benefits of having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence are invaluable. Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.

Rise with us by implementing our high-performance remote human-resource programs to help find great people! E-mail us here.

Mark A. Griffin is president and founder of In HIS Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter

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