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ChemistryI hear regularly from presidents and trustees who speak of “chemistry,” a shorthand term to describe the interaction among colleagues. As many of us have learned, bad chemistry rarely produces good outcomes.

While finely-tuned intuition remains a prized quality in employment decisions, there is no substitute for asking the right questions and fully understanding the candidate before extending an offer. The process requires attention to detail, which of course means the investment of time. Future problems and misunderstandings are best prevented by candor and clarity during the interview process, well before names are affixed to a contract. Failure to hire the person best suited to the position is a loss for the institution and detrimental to the career and wellbeing of the candidate. Everyone loses.

As we interview candidates for positions within our institutions—among the most important of our varied tasks—we will do well to remember the admonition from 1 Corinthians 14, verse 9: “Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying?”

If we follow this biblical advice, good chemistry is more likely to accrue.

The chemistry of a leadership team is important, and bad chemistry can lead to disastrous outcomes. Be sure to ask the right questions and take the time to understand the candidate before choosing your next leader.

Great leaders understand chemistry and the right leaders will foster chemistry within your leadership team and throughout your organization. FaithSearch consultants bring over 130 years of cumulative search experience in faith-based executive search. If you’re in the market for new leadership that will have a lasting impact throughout your organization, on your people, and in your community, FaithSearch excels in securing leaders for higher education organizations.

To learn more about FaithSearch Partners, visit Visit our services page to learn more about what our service lines can do for you.

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Andy Westmoreland

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