Headhunting Pumpkins

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"I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion" – Henry David Thoreau

When I lived in the UK I don't think I even knew what a pumpkin was – let alone Halloween. The only reference would have been catching it on a Charlie Brown cartoon. Fast forward a few years and with children and living in North America it takes on a whole new meaning.

This weekend we spent all of one morning going through corn mazes, taking hay rides, visting boo-barns and then carefully studying the pumpkins for sale to ensure that the right ones were picked that were going to make the best carvings.

I have worked with clients who take less time picking their next sales person than I do picking a pumpkin. I recall one such incident when I was interviewing with a client back in the UK, it was our first time interviewing together and we had a full day booked.

He suggested that in order to spend as much time with the more promising candidates we have an agreed signal to wind up an unproductive interview sooner – he would close his folder.

About a third of the way through the day a candidate came in and started to go through the process, after 5 minutes the client closed his folder. I assumed he had made a mistake and had forgotten our pre-assigned signal so I carried on. Five minutes went by and the client opened his folder again – I thought I was right!

Wrong, he more firmly closed his folder this time, I hesitated and thought it unfair to close the interview with this poor candidate after just 10 minutes ( even though he was certainly the worst we had seen that day by a long way!). The client was having none of my generosity two minutes later he promptly slammed the closed folder on the coffee table – I wound up the interview quickly before he took it much further!

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