Don’t place too much emphasis on prospects’ past successes

For an entrepreneur, company founder or CEO, the ability to attract and hire stellar employees defines the potential of your success. When I reviewed our  biggest mistakes as a fast-growing startup, they seemed to be almost entirely centered around bad hiring decisions and investing in bad hires for too long. I used to interview people for functional competence and ability, basing decisions on prior accomplishments with an overemphasis
on past successes. My process today is very different.

People who have had successes in the past doing the same job are in many cases less likely to continue to score additional successes. However, those individuals with a demonstrated pattern of success who are trying something different have the potential to be great. People innately need new challenges.

An employee recently told me, “I have a great eye for spotting all-stars,” referencing a colleague with a deep and complete résumé of successful experiences and accomplishments. My reply to him: “Finding people who have already done something is easy. Spotting people who are about to do something huge — that is the talent required to encourage greatness.”

When I look for new people to join our mission, I focus on their core values and belief systems. We look for individuals who are deeply passionate about their work and careers. We also recruit people with a strong sense of self-awareness and commitment to personal improvement. If you’re aware of your strengths and weaknesses, then a commitment to improvement and passion are the paths to achieve anything.

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