How to Hire New Leaders and the Surprising way to Maximize their Success
“The biggest hiring mistakes happened when I was tired and under duress. We really needed help.”
Jeremie Kubicek, co-founder of the GIANT companies, mentioned two worst case scenarios. One occurred when he hired a friend and tried to force them to fit. The second occurred when he didn’t find alternative candidates.
4 factors for successful hiring:
- Include others. Jeremie said, when looking back on a hiring mistake, “I should have had two or three board members be part of the process.”
- Determine what the role needs, not just who you feel personally comfortable with. In one case, Jeremie said, “I should have looked for a true leader. I looked for someone to copy me.”
- Understand your biases because of your personality. Read, 5 Voices, by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram.
- Seek to develop diversity of personality on the team. Too often teams end up with only two or three personality types.
4 ways to maximize new hires:
- Provide opportunities for the team to get acclimated.
- Describe what success looks like. Share expectations openly.
- Help new leaders see what they can’t do well. “You’re going to fail and that’s alright,” Jeremie said.
- Balance challenge and support. Stay close during the first 100 days.
“The goal is to get new leaders to conscious incompetence as quickly as possible.” Jeremie Kubicek
Jeremie referenced, the Four Stages of Competence, model developed by Noel Burch.
- Unconscious incompetence. Individuals are unaware of how little they know.
- Conscious incompetence. Making mistakes is one way to enter this stage.
- Consciously competent. It takes conscious work, like going through steps, to practice new skills.
- Unconsciously competent. New skills become second nature.
Build a relationship that allows new leaders to make mistakes.
Leaders who maintain the facade of competence hamstring personal growth and team success.
What hiring tips might you suggest?
How might a new leader get to conscious incompetence quickly?
*This post is the result of a conversation I had with Jeremie Kubicek. I found his book, 5 Voices, a fascinating read.
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This article was an interruption at first. However I agree the quicker we help team members know what they know, and be aware of what they don’t know the better. That is why the culture must welcome people raising their hands to say…” I don’t understand”
Thanks Mark. It’s a powerful moment when a leader says, “I don’t know.” It’s gives permission for others to become learners.
A dual-purpose blog as it can address both new hires and team selection/promotion. Too often, selections are made due to quotas (“We have four openings, therefore we must hire/select four people even if they are not all qualified.” A recipe for disaster.) “Gut instinct” (“I’ve got a bad feeling about this person”) is often discarded by managers and Human Resources because it’s difficult to quantify and put in writing – but they will rely on your gut instincts when addressing other issues. Asking others to participate in the process is essential – it’s amazing what an “outsider” can see that people in-house or too close to the situation fail to notice at first glance. Good references – thanks for sharing!
The four stages of competence is new to me, but it makes since. Often the 1st step in teaching is acknowledging what you don’t know. By setting up an environment that allows new hires to know that mistakes are going to happen, and that is okay. We can get them to let their guard down enough and encourage them to keep an open mind to learning. (Not always an easy thing to do when starting a job, especially because most start, and want to impress their new team right away.) Often the thing that would be the most impressive is an open mind and an understanding that you (as a new hire) has a lot to learn!
Great post thanks!
Interesting suggestion to look for a leader not a copy of you when hiring. When interviewing potential employees, we tend to see how they measure up against us (we all think we are the best), but we should be looking for a leader in themselves. Different personalities can bring different strengths to a team.