Square Peg, Round Hole (Matthew 16:18)

One of the skills of a good leader or manager is identifying and matching an employee with the correct job and skill sets. When an employee appears to be a square peg in a round hole, a manager should carefully evaluate the situation and not simply dismiss an employee because they were unable to perform their job. Sometimes this may be a premature dismissal if another job is a better match for their skill set. Identifying and recognizing the potential in all employees is challenging but if done correctly, with patience and proper coaching and mentoring, the results may  be impressive and well worth the effort.


In another company that I worked, I recalled one employee who was a social misfit and several co-workers complained that she was annoying, always seeking to insert herself into everyone’s business.  Her strength was her good work ethic and she always completed any task assigned to her.  The manager was torn between keeping this person and attempting to smooth the fractured relationships in the office, or fire her.  Instead, the manager recognized that she possessed above average computer skills and made her the lead contact for a special middleware software integration. Although this added to her existing responsibilities, she thrived in this new position, which allowed her to interact with everyone in the department, as she always desired. As her confidence grew, even her social skills improved! The results justified the vision and confidence her manager had in her.


And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:18 (ESV)


Jesus Christ  is an excellent example of a leader and manager of others. When He chose his disciple Simon, He renamed Him Peter, after the Greek word petros, or rock. He recognized the potential in Peter to become one of the future leaders of the Church. But he was not ready, yet. He would fail, many times, even deny he ever knew Jesus. But when the time was right and the Holy Spirit came upon Peter and empowered him, he became one of the most important leaders of the early church. His first sermon on the day of Pentecost led to 3000 people being saved! And it was all because God did not give up on him.


A leader or manager needs to know when to trust their instincts and support an employee. But there is always the possibility that an employee will not flourish, decide to quit, or the manager gives up on them. Thanks be to God that Jesus Christ never quits on us!


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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