A friend wrote, “Your latest post on “Hiring: Character or Competence?” was rather interesting. Might I add that as much as both Character and Competence are indispensable, so is the Calling? Without the passion, drive or desire towards the duty or function, it’s all futile.”

I totally agree.  For instance, yesterday’s editorial page in The Hindu had an excellent article on the missing ‘Es’ in medical education.  These include empathy and ethics – both being the outcome of calling or vocation.  It is calling that determines our academic choices and our career paths.  Or, at least it should.  Too often, when interviewing candidates for higher education programmes, I find their choice of subject is decided by whether or not a course has “good scope”.  

Perhaps this is a reason why two Hewitt consultants, Mick Bennet and Andrew Bell, write in their book Leadership & Talent in Asia, “The reality is that one out of every two employees throughout Asia-Pacific aren’t excited about getting out of bed in the morning and heading off to work. . . . They feel stuck and constrained in jobs that don’t stretch or challenge them, and where they see organizational values written in two-foot-high letters on the meeting room walls – but people actually behaving very differently.”(p.2)

The focus then is on certification – like the business executive who bragged that he was working on his 10th degree.  The next degree was going to be a doctorate. And yet, with all this certification, there was at best limited evidence of calling, character, and competence.

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