3 Must-Haves for Every Great Team Member
Success is always about people.
The stronger your team, the higher your reach.
#1. Only hire curious people.
Dolts and divots don’t ask questions. It doesn’t matter how smart they appear to be. An hour with a person who doesn’t ask questions is an hour with a toothache.
People who are committed to the pursuit of excellence ask questions.
- Have enough confidence to be interested in others.
- Haven’t arrived. Inquisitiveness is an expression of humility.
- Are accepting of their weaknesses. Curiosity is about growth.
- Are transparent and candid. The questions you ask reveal your values. If you want to learn what matters to a person, listen to their questions.
The longer you wait to ask dumb questions, the dumber you become. Pretending we know more than we know is one reason we don’t know more.
The more you learn, the more you want to learn.
#2. Only hire people who have frustrations.
People who aren’t bothered by falling short, bother me. Frustration is an invitation to action. (Don’t tolerate explosive anger.)
A person who is never frustrated doesn’t care enough.
#3. Only hire people who lean into feedback, even when it hurts.
Everyone is thankful for useful feedback, when they look back.
Do more than receive feedback, seek it.
- Set an expectation that everyone seeks feedback.
- Model the way by seeking feedback yourself. Explore your performance with people who report to you.
- Don’t be needy.
- Focus on behaviors.
- Don’t ask blanket questions like, “How am I doing?”
- Ask specific questions. “How might I run our meetings more effectively?”
- Say thank you, after receiving feedback.
- Design an action plan. What specific behaviors are likely to make things better?
- Schedule a follow up to evaluate, adapt, and move forward.
- Notice when people seek feedback. Honor them.
- Give an abundance of positive feedback.
What essential qualities do you look for in new hires?
What essential qualities do you look for in new hires? Straight shooters jumps out for me, tell it like it is. Willingness to learn new things. Educational background, do they know where they want to be? Where do they see themselves in the future? Are they confident? Eye contact, people who hold their head high and look you in the eye. People who have experience or come from family run businesses, farming for ex. Mechanically inclined if your work applies to these capabilities. General appearance and grooming are key components ( may depend on public exposure), depending on where you need the worker to be. What type of attitude they bring to the interview? Are they a self starter? Can they accept Leadership roles? Do they want to be a Leader?
Thanks Tim. Kind candor and courageous vulnerability are huge indicators of potential. Some people think candor and being harsh have to go together. I think that may be an excuse for just acting and speaking in inconsiderate ways. Cheers
We all have to eat!
Everyone for the most part needs a job.
Seeking the best for everything is great, but there always exist a diamond in the rough.
The quiet, shy individual who just needs a break, a chance, a blessing for them to survive, I don’t do the hiring directly, but do have some input.
I do believe everyone deserves and opportunity, unfortunately as complex as the world has become, it is not that simple for everyone to get the chance. You have to roll with the punches.
You make a great point. The first impression of a person may not be the best indicator of their strengths. Leaders come in different shapes, sizes and styles. Yet, the honest, motivated, ambitious and courteous individual described in this article can shine through shyness.
Awesome and Excellent. Dolts and Divots are my Slinks and Zombies, with the Slinks not yet turned!
We need curious, involved People to generate good performance. And YES, you SHOULD hire great people (the same ones everyone else tries to hire), but then they hit the sloshy gummy non-engaging actual work environment and they turn – research says it takes about 6 months for the performance of good new hires to become average (Sirota). They need great LEADERSHIP, too.
The other issue is that few people are able to actually DO the hiring of new people and HAVE to deal with what they already have. That involves turning the Slinks into actual people!
Great food for thought. Thanks Dan. Freaky stuff, for sure.
Dr. Scott, I find the information about what happens to great performers in a non-engaging environment to be very interesting. Is there anything direct supervisors/managers can do to change the micro-environment?
Thanks Dr. Scott. It takes a real hero to overcome a sloshy gummy non-engaging actual work environment. 🙂
Give me a hardworking average performer in a great culture over a superstar in a lousy culture any day.
I know people who went to work in higher ed from the public sector. They said it touch them a couple months to slow down. Go figure!
Enjoyed reading about the value of curiosity in the workplace where people ask questions instead of typically telling others what to do. If people are encouraged and expected to become curious at work, maybe we can make those ‘sloshy, gummy non-engaging actual work environments’ a thing of the past. If new hires are curious during the interview process they are also going to pick up on the good, the bad and the ugly work environments and will be attracted to those where they feel others are like minded and curious.
Thanks Kathy. Nicely said.
Yes, see if they are curious during the interview process. Monitor what they ask about. Cheers
Dan in my old private company the Founder and Owner looked for three things which are similar in some ways. People who were:
1. Smart to help grow the business
2. Loyal because it was a very private, private company and many leaders are a bit paranoid
3. Self starters since we had few rules and a loose management structure
And in 30 years the Company grew a lot before it was sold to a much bigger firm.
Brad James, The Business Zoo
Thanks Brad. You make me think that organizational culture is central to finding great team members. We must know who we are, before we can hire great people.
“The longer you wait to ask dumb questions, the dumber you become. Pretending we know more than we know is one reason we don’t know more.” Brilliant. Love this. Simple, yet complex. Just tweeted that out and now will be a the footer of emails.
Thanks Mike. I appreciate your encouraging words. Thanks for sharing.