F@%k It Friday: Your Past

by

, U.S. Senator from Nebraska.
I hate my past. All of it.

I don’t even like yesterday.

I like to think that every new day is better than the last day. I am constantly growing, learning and evolving. I think you are, too, which is why I always struggled with behavior-based interviewing. When people say that past performance is an indicator of future success, I blanch. I think interviewing for values and competencies — in coordination with behavior-based interviewing — is about the best we can do to capture what people are capable of doing.

But it’s a sucky model.

So when I heard that Chuck Hagel was nominated for Defense Secretary, I thought, “Oh man, here we go.”

Hagel is a former Senator. A Vietnam Veteran. By all accounts, he is a pretty decent guy. He seems to be the real version of the mythical John McCain: a straight talker with principles. And because he’s a straight talker, he called someone aggressively gay and also talked about his oath to the United States constitution and not to Israel.

I think the “aggressively gay” comment is gross, but in hindsight, I probably seem aggressively gay to a late ’90s version of a Nebraska senator. People grow and evolve. And while my Ashkenazim roots make me sensitive to the politically incorrect Israeli comments, I don’t really disagree with Hagel. We live in America and the Israeli agenda must always be aligned with the American agenda (and not the other way around).

But the dude has some work to do before he is confirmed as our Defense Secretary.

And I wonder — could you defend your past? Are you proud of every. single. aspect. of your life? Could you face the scrutiny of a Senate hearing? And what about people who have evolved? Can someone honestly grow out of being a racist or a bigot?

Curious to hear your thoughts. When human psychology meets interviewing meets politics, I love it.

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