Make the Call about Team Members

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring, Leading
Reading time: 1 min.

We can waste a lot of our leadership energy worrying or complaining about and then trying to fix the flaws in our team members. As we and they dance around our uncertainty, the whole company suffers.

So let’s make the call. Either we believe they can do it and we support them to get there or we believe they can’t and support them to find a better place. And if we aren’t sure, then let’s give ourselves a deadline for making the call.

All will be better off when we make the call.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: As you can see, we can make calls like this in line with our values and with full transparency & care. Or we can be jerks about it. Let’s not be jerks.

PPS: Here’s a magic trick you can use especially for people who you think are close but not quite there. Try believing they can do it even if evidence doesn’t yet support the idea. Make this call and watch them bloom.

 

Today’s photo courtesy of Alexas_Fotos.

The Value of Value

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring, Leading, Money, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

Hire this person who has the experience or wait to find someone who fits our culture? Discount out of fear that this client will leave or hold out for clients who appreciate and pay for our value?

If we make decisions for expediency and against our values, we give away the value of our values.

Right?

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: BullionVault Bullion bar in sea of coin via photopin (license)

Hire The Expert…?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring, Leading
Reading time: 1 min.

Who would you rather hire: the expert or the novice? Which we should hire depends on what we mean by “expert.”

Often we think we need experts who know how to do the work really well and who can be up to speed quickly. They already know how to make the sale, work the numbers, write the code, design the things, or make the decisions.

But what if someone is expert in leading, following, contributing, collaborating, taking accountability, organizing, coaching, promoting, engaging, problem-solving, and communicating, and caring? What if they are expert at being good people we trust? Most of the time, this is the sort of expert we really need.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Given the large cost of searching, hiring, on-boarding, and turnover, it’s usually cheaper to hire people who are experts at being good people and train them in any technical skills they may be missing.

 

Today’s photo credit: Karen Baijens cc

What to Do When We See People Struggling, Pushing, Fighting, Complaining, Burning Out, or Leaving.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring, Leading, Strategy, We=All Who Matter, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 2 min.

Every business must have a rhythm for people getting the right things done well together.

The rhythm includes

  • regular, sane, productive meetings,
  • a way to select, do, track, and course-correct strategic projects,
  • communication and accountability norms,
  • role designs that say what results (not tasks) we expect from each person,
  • hiring people who understand and support the rhythm, and
  • an organizational design (how to split up the work, who reports to whom) that supports the goals.

Our job as leaders of both new and existing organizations includes ensuring that this rhythm always evolves to match the age, stage, and size of our organizations, that people know how it all works, and that they work with the rhythm to succeed well, often, and happily.

It’s time to improve the rhythm whenever we see goals missed and people struggling, pushing hard, fighting, complaining, burning out, or leaving. We can tell we are doing this well when the right things consistently get done well, with ease, and we are hitting our goals.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: We may think that being the leader means being in charge. That is, we set the direction, make decisions, and delegate. Being in charge is an important part of leadership. Stewarding the rhythm is the other important part. If you prefer doing one part, consider hiring someone to take over the other part.

 

Today’s photo credit: Lif… cc

What Not to Focus On When Hiring

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring
Reading time: 1 min.

What to look for when hiring? It’s not what usually appears on people’s resumes. It’s not grades or degrees. Google has proven that for us. And it’s not experience or accomplishments; these are too tied to the work of past collaborators and to past companies’ cultures, industries, and market conditions.

Instead, focus on the role. Determine the personal traits such as communication, resilience, self management, and personal accountability that would be needed to do a great job. Then hire for those traits.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Look at grades, certifications, and accomplishments, for sure, but don’t put too much weight on them. Past performance is simply not good enough of an indicator.

 

Today’s photo credit: Alice cc

Nice Beats Experience

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Hiring, Job search, Leading
Reading time: 1 min.

We can waste a lot of time struggling with people who are smart, hard working, experienced, connected, and/or driven but who are not the good, nice people we want to work with.

Hire first for attitude and values. Then for smarts and relationships. And train the rest.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Leaders who have made the mistake of hiring the smart-or-experienced-or-driven-etc-but-not-nice know they will never, ever do it again.

PPS: Employees who have made the mistake of working for the smart-or-experienced-etc-but-not-nice bosses also know they will never, ever do it again.

 

Today’s photo credit: happymillerman cc

Attitude etc.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring
Reading time: 1 min.

Most of us hire employees based on their skills and experience. We believe that these are the best predictors of success. We filter for them on resumes. We test for them in interviews. And we think we need to find people who will be productive right away.

But as the old adage goes, “When we hire for skills and experience, we fire for attitude.” Personal qualities such as attitude, self management, win-win, and a sense of accountability are far more valuable. Lack of these qualities are what we usually fire for.

Let’s run with the new adage, “Hire for attitude etc. and train the rest.”

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Cost it out. Assume a new employee won’t be productive at all during their first 90 days while they learn the ropes. The price of training them for those 90-days is 1/4 their annual salary plus any course fees and a relatively small portion of their manager’s, mentor’s, and other close colleagues’ time. The oft-sited, conservative price of turnover due to poor attitude etc. is twice the person’s annual salary.

 

Today’s photo credit: bwrabbitgirl cc

hiring

A Real Pain in the Assumption Biases when Hiring

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring
Reading time: 2 min.

Bias in hiring is not limited to discrimination against people belonging to specific groups or having certain traits. We must also watch for assumption biases. Without careful thought, we may select people based on hidden assumptions about the role, the environment, ourselves, and the candidates.

For example, take this assumption: “I have to get along with the person we hire.” Though it sounds natural, it is a huge, undocumented bias that leads to selecting people because they are like us rather than because they will be effective in the role.

Of course, we are not looking to hire people who are offensive. We merely want to expose and balance that desire to work with comfortable people. Maybe the answer is to expand our definition of what “get along with” means. Or maybe the answer is to expand our comfort zones.

Other big assumption biases include what work needs to be done by the role, how we’ll measure success in the role, and how the job should be done, managed, and rewarded.

Once we know about these unexpected biases in hiring, we can easily minimize them for everyone’s benefit.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Grzegorz Chrupała cc

net

Cast A Narrow Net

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring, Job search, Leading, Sales and Influence
Reading time: 1 min.

We may think that casting a wide net is best. That is, we look for jobs, clients, employees, markets, and other opportunities in as many places and industries as possible. “The more places I look, the better chance I have of finding something,” we say.

But wider nets paradoxically make our job harder. Wide nets turn up far more duds to sift through. Others find it difficult to help us because “any and all would do” doesn’t paint a picture. Nothing clicks to remind them of people or situations they know that could help us.

With a narrow net–a focus on one place or industry that resonates with our interests and values–we go deeper, become experts, and build strong networks of like minded people. We know what to say. People begin to expect to see us here. And others can better help us because our specific descriptions remind them of people and situations they know.

Stick to your niching.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: UlyssesThirtyOne cc

practically infinite

Practical Infinity and New Business

Posted on Posted in Career, Hiring, Job search, Leading
Reading time: 2 min.

Try this. Open up Google Earth or another favorite map and zoom in to your present location. Then slowly zoom out. Look around. Notice all the buildings on all the streets and think about the people that populate them. If we go slowly and notice, it’s hard to miss how huge this world is. And how practically limitless are our business and career opportunities.

We can have three reactions to this practical infinity: turtling, hoping, and riding the wave.

Turtling in the face of this infinity, we think that opportunity is rare and hard to find. We think people are unkind or at least uninterested. So we drain ourselves with old-school numbers games and struggle.

Hoping in the face of this infinity, we know the opportunities are great but fear they are only great for others. So we wait for new business to appear, like scraps from the table. We drain ourselves in hoping while fearing.

Riding the wave of this infinity, we understand how much opportunity is always present. We know that we are valued contributors to the party. And we excitedly engage the world outside our door. We fill ourselves while helping others as they need it.

Hang ten.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: We can ride this wave in sales, recruitment, and job search. It’s also good for finding helpful vendors, new friends, life mates, and even a really great restaurant.

 

Today’s photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center cc