Voices

Another needed needle

Is this rare person among WORLD's readers?

Issue: "Unions: Dues and don'ts," Nov. 30, 2002

Since launching WORLD magazine nearly 17 years ago, I've been regularly amazed how the magazine itself has been used to bring to our publishing team a remarkable group of men and women to sustain and enlarge WORLD's mission.

We didn't go looking, for example, nor did we employ a headhunting firm to find Marvin Olasky, our editor-in-chief. Instead, sometime in the late '80s, he picked up an early copy of WORLD and was moved to drop me a postcard that said something like: "I just read the latest issue of WORLD and like what you are trying to do. I hope we have the opportunity to meet sometime soon." We did meet over the next few months, and WORLD has never been the same.

When we started talking eight years ago to David Freeland, WORLD's art director, he was already acquainted with who we were and what we stood for. As a reader of WORLD, David found more here than just a job. He became part of something he believed in with his heart and soul. (The quality of WORLD's overall team was illustrated again last week, incidentally, when David and his assistants, Rob Patete and Matt Mulder, won a first-place award in an international competition for magazine graphic design. Their "Ozzie" came for WORLD's redesign last spring and beat out top-notch talent from dozens of other magazines around the world.)

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Still another WORLD reader, just a couple of years ago, showed up in my office to see whether there might be a place for us to use his management gifts. Tom Norman had just retired as a telephone company executive. "I've got a few more good years in me," he said-and was he ever right. Next year, Tom's plans dictate a few changes. But in the interim, he is another of God's great gifts to this organization.

So now I need still another person of that caliber for our team. This time, I am looking for a Chief Operating Officer -a seasoned executive to oversee the complex support structure of WORLD magazine and its parent company, God's World Publications Inc.

Specifically, this COO will supervise marketing, advertising, new product development, finance, information technology, human resources, facilities, and general administration for this $17 million, 110-person operation. It is a complex assignment, and not one for learning on the job. Oh, yes, I'm sure there will be some of that along the way. But candidates for this post should bring with them a record of marketplace achievemen-by which I mean some solid evidence that they have actually done most of these things in similar settings and on a similar scale. Running a successful yard sale last September may have impressed your kids, but it doesn't belong on this resume!

Here's what does belong:

  • Evidence of a serious commitment as a mature Christian. We'll be looking for an already existing involvement in the kind of biblical worldview thinking that is at the core of WORLD's mission.
  • Indication of hands-on experience in publishing or a closely related business.
  • Specifics about a broad business background, preferably including marketing, advertising, and/or financial control.
  • A record of achievement in a real marketplace setting.
  • Demonstration of an ability to see both the forest and the trees-to maintain a broad conceptual and strategic grasp of the company's activities, while simultaneously dealing with nitty-gritty details.
  • Evidence of ability to work in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment.
  • A record of working well with people, providing inspiration, guidance, incentives, and structure for their work.

So am I looking for a needle in a haystack? Of course. But I'm looking with the optimism born of finding people like Marvin Olasky, David Freeland, Tom Norman, and others-right among WORLD's own readers.

Our organization's mission is to promote Christian worldview thinking. Through periodicals, books, educational activities, and other media forms, we want to help people of all ages and in all sorts of settings consider all of reality with the God of the Bible at the core of their thinking. We want to take WORLD magazine, our publications for children, and our work with World Journalism Institute to new levels of performance and to significantly broader audiences.

If you think you might be this person, ready to commit yourself seriously to such a goal for the next decade or more, please let me know. If you're not this person, but think you know somebody who is, ask that person to get in touch with me. Write me personally, please, at Box 2330, Asheville, NC 28802.

Joel Belz
Joel Belz

Joel, WORLD's founder, writes a regular column for the magazine and contributes commentaries for The World and Everything in It. He is also the author of Consider These Things.

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