I am reading an article by Michael Hyatt and I think this sums it up just perfectly. The article is about hiring people. What should we look for in people that we hire, someone just recently told me that it isn't the resume that gets you hired. Well it should be, or that should be playing a huge role. Basically, when you tell me this, I am thinking then you are not hiring the person that is the most qualified for the job, you are using some other criteria. When I hire someone I am going to hire the person that is the most qualified for the job.
If you are a leader you want to build a high performance team, however, there are few hiring managers that actually take the time to sit down and define exactly what it is you are seeking. Good leaders start the hiring process with a written job description. This includes education and technical skills and the basic qualities of the candidate. Now I have sat here and read job descriptions that I find posted online and think, this is ridiculous. If you are hiring someone and paying them minimum wage your expectations should be less, and sometimes corporate managers expect too much anyway. Don't expect the impossible from people.
Here are some questions to ask:
“What kind of prospective employees are we trying to attract to our organization?
What kind of people will it take to get the results we want and others expect?
What kind of people do we want to surround ourselves with?
What kind of people will contribute to the culture we are trying to build?”
Warm bodies are not enough, better than average is not enough, you need to be hiring people with higher standards, that is if you plan to achieve your mission.
Mr. Hyatt describes it this way:
Humble, Honest, Hungry and Smart
A humble person- humble people have a sense of self, they do not think more highly of themselves than they should (being too proud), and they do not think lower of themselves either (poor self esteem). They are sober minded, they are realistic, they know their strengths and weaknesses. Humble people are not about self ambition. I see so many workers in the workforce today and that's all they think about, self ambition. It's about working for a cause, and the cause is the company, the team, not just ambition for self. Humble people are not concerned about a title, or status, or their position relative to others. None of these things matter. Have you ever worked for a company and they don't want to give you more money, but they want to give you a new elaborate title? Well this is done to appeal to your sense pride, your sense of self ambition.
When you talk to other people if you are a humble person you will assume the role of learner. None of us know it all, nor should we ever claim that we do. Someone sent me a note recently that said “I know nothing”. What I didn't know is that actually came from Socrates. It would never cross a humble persons mind that they are the smartest person in the room. With all the talent out there today it would not be so smart to assume that you are the smartest person in the room. Humble people respect other points of view, and they ask questions to make sure that they understand the other position before criticizing it. I just had a few people criticize without fully understanding. Humble people make other people feel smart and competent.
Humble people acknowledge “the little people”, the ones that are over looked by everyone else. They are valued and treated as peers. Mr. Hyatt says that when he hires an executive he likes to take them to dinner. This way he can see how they treat others, are they courteous? How do they treat the hostess, the waiters, or even the busboys? Are they rude, demanding, arrogant, appreciative, or do they even notice them at all?
You should be leery of people that always want to “suck up” at work. They will suck up to the right person and be disrespectful of everyone else. There is no explaining it away this is a character flaw. Everyone makes mistakes, know how to say you are sorry, know how to apologize. I know a whole lot of people that do not know how to say I'm sorry, what I did was wrong. People with true humility know how to make it right, normally they have had plenty of practice.
Humble people know the contributions that others have made in their lives, to his projects, to their careers, and they are quick to give credit where credit is due. This is something that I was taught, that you do not steal someone's show, if someone has an idea, then you express gratitude and say thank you, without making a big deal over it. Mr. Hyatt says that a humble person does not see certain jobs as beneath him/her, they are just happy to be a part of a team.
I believe I demonstrated this recently, when I went and scrubbed toilets. Did I consider that to be beneath me, no. It turned out that the two cleaning jobs that I just recently held were some of the best jobs I have ever had. We were having too much fun, laughs. I want to come back next summer, please, I miss the golf cart, and my Mario Andretti driver, that's a long story, but she tried to toss me out of the golf cart one day.
Honesty is telling the truth, and according to Dr. Stephen R. Covey, it is one of the seven habits of highly successful people. It is conforming our words to reality, and integrity is conforming reality to our words. In other words, if we make a promise we should keep it, it fulfills expectations. It also requires an integrated character, a oneness, with self but also with life. When Mr. Hyatt says honesty, he means both honesty and integrity. Even at the most basic level an honest person does not lie, they do not exaggerate, they do not misrepresent the facts. If anything, an honest person will not brag, especially about his own accomplishments. They do not withhold negative information, they give you “the good, the bad and the ugly.” Honest people face reality head on, and they do not ask someone else to cover for them, or to lie on their behalf.
They do not create unnecessary drama, they give honest feedback without being hurtful, they keep their commitments even when it's expensive, difficult or inconvenient. Mr. Hyatt says that honest people will not say anything behind your back that they would not say to your face. I think this depends really on whether or not you are in a position to tell the person to their face. If you are in a position where you are not a supervisor, then you do not tell the person something to their face you think will offend them. So that one I think depends on whether you have the authority to tell someone to their face. And I learned that you can not do a job if you are not given proper authority to do your job also. In other words you want to give me a job that requires me to have authority, but you do not want to give me the authority to carry out my job requirements. That's dysfunctional. If you make a commitment to someone you need to live up to your end of the bargain. I was recently hired for a job and I explained to the hiring manager that I only wanted to work part time. Then when I got there they wanted to work me full time. That was not the agreement.
If someone is hungry it means their last meal is a fading memory. In other words they want to eat, and they want to eat now. This also goes back to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Eating is a basic need, but I don't think hiring managers should use this against a person either, that the hiring manager will say oh this person needs to eat, so I will be getting this person with all this experience at a low price because I can take advantage of the fact that they need to eat. Hungry people do not dwell on their past accomplishments, they are never satisfied, they always want more and they set higher goals, they are driven to succeed, it is just a part of their make up. Hungry people are intellectually curious, they constantly read, newspapers, magazines, and books. Hungry people read loads of books. They like to learn new things. My father told me to learn something new every day, and that we also learn from the people around us, to surround myself with successful people. Hungry people do not get stuck in ruts, they are open to new ideas and they find ways of solving problems, they look for the best solution and they embrace change if change is necessary. These people will take your company to new levels. They come to meetings prepared. Recently I went to a meeting unprepared, but I came home and got prepared, did research. Hungry people want to win and they are willing to pay the price.
Smart people normally score high on IQ tests, but this is not always the case. A smart person has the ability to think laterally, that is across disciplines. Smart people know how to make complex subjects simple without confusing everyone in the process. Mr. Hyatt says he would rather have the person that is street smart, that depends, and as for me I would rather have the person that is book smart. The book smart person knows how to do the research necessary to find the appropriate answer. He says he has read loads of books and thinks if this person is so smart why can't they explain themselves in simple terms. Well I think like this, if this person wants something from me, why don't they just tell me what they want, if you are so smart. I think people confuse the situation because they are practicing management by fear, they don't want you to take their jobs, especially in this market. I personally learned this statement a long time ago, Keep it Simple Stupid or Kiss. Smart people ask questions, they will not do something they do not understand without asking questions first. Smart people have diverse interests. Smart people are creative problem solvers.
How do you win a scavenger hunt without a list, it's impossible. So it's impossible to hire the right person unless you know what you are looking for to start with, so according to Mr. Hyatt you want to hire people that are humble, honest, hungry and smart. Then he goes on to say he developed a list of 25 questions, well not to be offensive, but I don't want to play 20 questions with a hiring manager, and I think the hiring process should be a little more simple, and I don't need someone constantly torturing me by keeping me hungry, for their own personal gain. I consider that to be sadistic torture and it goes back do you have any humility, because if you do, you aren't going to keep people hungry for your own personal prosperity..