Would You Hire You
If we aren’t careful, as time passes, leaders expect more from others and less from themselves.
Would you hire you, if you interviewed yourself?
You expect the people you interview to answer important questions with concise clarity. Maybe it’s time to hold yourself to the same standard.
Questions to interview yourself:
#1. Imagine 20 years have passed.
- What have you accomplished that makes you proud?
- What have you done to enrich the lives of others?
#2. What do you wish you could do better?
Don’t humble-brag by saying silly things like, “I tend to work long hours.” Or, “I find it difficult to take time off.”
- How have your weaknesses held you back?
- How are you compensating for your weakness?
#3. How forward-looking would the people you work with say you are on a scale of 1 to 10?
Suppose you believe your colleagues would give you an 8 on the forward-looking scale.
- Why didn’t you give yourself a 7?
- What would be true of you, if you were a 9 on the forward-looking scale?
#4. What have you done to develop your leadership over the last 3 months?
Development requires focused attention and purposeful practice. If you aren’t working at developing your leadership, it’s not happening.
- How much time do you spend reflecting on your leadership practice?
- When are you reflecting on your leadership trajectory?
#5. What leadership behaviors are essential for your future success?
#6. If you don’t achieve your dreams, what will you have left undone?
#7. What value do your strengths bring to the organization?
Bonus: What is your definition of leadership?
- How do you fulfill your own definition of leadership?
- How do you fall below your own definition of leadership?
One way to stay humble and connected is to give yourself a job interview.
What job interview questions might be useful points of self-reflection?
What an excellent article! Thanks, Dan! At the end of each year, I assess the past year(s) and note my accomplishments in my personal and professional life. The questions posed in this post will now be the basis of my reflections.
Thanks Lisa. Congratulations on taking time to reflect on the journey. It’s easy to get lost in day to day activities.
I don’t believe there is a day that goes by, that we think of something we can do better, that day, week, month etc. The key is realizing there is better ways to do thinks and build on them, enhance our givings to support the entire process. Just yesterday I was doing some invoices and when completed, I saw that if I was more clear on the description, the Billing department would not have to ask me to clarify how we came up with the values associated with the invoice.
We all can find ways to “go the extra mile”! Lesson learned for the next billing cycle.
Thanks Tim. Little things yield big benefits. Sometimes we’re looking for the magic pill or the dramatic change. In reality, it’s something like being more clear on an invoice! Brilliant.
I really enjoyed this exercise Dan! I learned about some missed opportunities and about my priorities for contribution! Thanks for sharing! The kind of interview questions I like to ask are about process. For example, imagine you are given a project that you have no idea how to accomplish – what is your approach? Or: imagine you are given a project that you feel is impossible – what do you do?
Hey Valerie. Love your interview questions with a focus on process. It’s more interesting than, “what have you done?”
Thanks for joining the conversation.
An interesting post!
Indeed, we prepare ourselves for a likely job interview with some of these questions and probable answers to impress the interview panel. The idea you have thrown is more if self-introspection to really test your own success.
It can be done at least once a year, may be in the last week of year end, to commence the new year with areas for improvement and development plans to become more acceptable leader.
Thanks Dr. Asher. The idea of setting aside time to reflect on our own leadership keeps us humble. This is especially true if we evaluate ourselves by the same standard that we evaluate others.
Great questions Dan.
You have mentioned self reflection in other posts and the notion that you don’t always get the best picture when you depend on only your own self-image. I think to get an ultimately true answer to your question above you need those around you in the spirit of good candor, to help assess yourself.
The sticky part comes with the truth that others candor will either be met with acceptance or defense.
Way to go, Will. You’re pushing it.
Here’s a thought on receiving feedback. First of all, if it never stings then it’s probably not useful. No one gets up in the morning with the aspiration to fail or to fall short. When someone points out a short-coming, it might sting.
The other thing that comes to mind is to practice humility. You might not feel humble, but you can practice humility. For example, most of us have two responses to negative/constructive feedback. We blame and excuse. We tend to blame others and excuse ourselves. Doing this only solidifies poor performance.
The practice of humility is about leaning into the feedback that stings. Owning our own performance and not blaming someone else.
There can be many reasons why we blame. Perhaps we feel the person giving negative feedback isn’t as qualified as we are. This is the “They don’t really get it” problem.
Rather than blaming, own the 10% that’s right.
Thanks for your comment.
(1) Would you expect someone to do something that you yourself have not done? (2) Do you acknowledge fairly and correctly? (3) How do you maintain balance and focus in difficult situations? (4) How well do you interact with others and how do you interact? (5) Are you an equal contributor to the team, if so how do you contribute?
Powerful and challenging. So glad you decided to stop in today, Thinker.
Question 5 is a kick in the pants when you get to “…if so, how do you contribute?” This helps me get real.
Am never far way, I am still taking a peek every now and again. You’re a hard blogger to put down.
Your post got me thinking, thinking further, with more possible, “kick in the pants”, “self-reflection” questions.
Firstly, I will explain why I would ask such questions. Having been in the ‘business world’, although not at a leadership level, which at times I am thankful for, as well as keeping my feet firmly ‘on planet earth’ for many years (cough, cough), I have heard of, seen the consequences of ‘mind games’ alone, as well as along with what goes with them being played, not pleasant to hear about or see, as well as being something I totally abhor and take as a sign of weakness rather than strength (rightly or wrongly).
Therefore, some further questions could be (1) do you play mind games? (2) why do you feel the need to play such games? (3) are you proud of yourself for playing? (4) if the answer is “yes”, what is the reason this makes you feel proud, gives you a sense of achievement? (5) if the answer is “no”, what is the reason for your ‘no’ answer? (6) would you like to have such games played with you!?! (5) are you willing to take the consequences of being a player of such games?
As well as your original post inspiring this response, another inspiration for this response could be attributed to a comment I received from an ex colleague recently. I had mentioned to them something I had said, where they responded with a tongue in cheek smile along the lines of “that not like you, straight to the point”, put straightforwardly, it was an ‘open’ and ‘honest’ comment, which in saying this could bring about some more possible straightforward “self-reflection” questions that require straightforward answers but…..I will “hud ma tongue” as one could / would say in my wee corner of the world!
I really enjoyed this exercise. I think that some over the “leaders” around me should take this interview to help them become more humble. I work with mostly men and at times I think they get power trips because of their seniority. They need to get back down to earth and to their employees level. Maybe their employees would feel more comfortable with asking questions and raising their concerns. Too often, people among the high ranks in some companies forget that they need to develop themselves and check their own behaviors. I bet they wouldn’t hire themselves, but they would never admit that.
Thanks Jenna. Brilliant. Experienced leaders can fall into the trap of thinking they’ve arrived. They don’t have anything else to learn.
Rest assured that anytime we think we’ve arrived, we haven’t! We are blind to our own opportunities to grow.
Very awakening article. We interview to find capabilities that may not be in us so that we can compliment each other or have someone do that which we may not be too competent in. All considered, would I hire me? Honestly speaking it’s a tough one. Too many flaws we try to hide but we should be alive to the fact that we need to keep improving ourselves to be better leaders.