A recenct discussion focused on hiring. Our last topic dealt with the type of person to hire. Rick asked specifically about hiring a rock star. The consensus of the group was that a rock star might contribute strongly in the short term, but their long term effectiveness is totally dependent on their ability to work as part of a team.
An underlying principle from the day’s conversation is that scalable growth is a team effort. In profiling jobs and ideal candidates, building a team of solid players is more valuable than hiring 1-2 star players.
We talked about Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Belichick builds a team of versatile players who understand and fit within the culture of his organization. While Belichick’s public facing persona is almost non-existent, his persona in the eyes of the team is of a solid leader who establishes a clear team culture.
Belichick’s approach illustrates some of the concluding tenets from our discussion:
- Understand the culture of the organization and the team. Be clear on how the people work together and the underlying principles that are necessary every day e.g., discipline, work ethic, respect for teammates, respect for management, etc.
- Evaluate candidates based on their match to cultural characteristics AND job characteristics
- Hire for emotional maturity first. Can this person effectively fit into the culture? If yes, you can train for specific skills. If no, their skill set will be diminished because of a cultural mismatch, no matter their skill level.
- Know yourself as a leader, and the type of culture you establish by example and how you lead. What you do is much more important than what you say.
The process to hire the best people for the organization can take longer. However, it’s short term time investment for much longer term positive results.