Getting them on board

When managements don’t let you get involved with something that you think you are capable of, but do let someone else deal with it who mucks it up, what would you do?  May be you will carry on for a while.  But if it persists, helplessness gets the better of you and some day soon you will quit in sheer disgust. This has happened with several talented people I know of, who have eventually found their moorings elsewhere and became rock stars.

If you were a hiring manager, who would you rather hire — someone who could deliver the results, or someone who had all of the skills? Having the skills and experience listed doesn’t mean the person can do the work or wants to do it.  If you want to hire superior people, first define superior performance.

Most managers know it’s not the skills and experiences that matter; it’s what the person does with their skills and experience. Lou Adler suggests the use of what he calls – a Performance profile, that provides a handle to identify this important difference.

Some great tips that I found in this post by Marc Andreesen, co-founder of Netscape communication division.  Excerpts –

“I define drive as self-motivation — people who will walk right through brick walls, on their own power, without having to be asked, to achieve whatever goal is in front of them.”

“Driven people don’t tend to stay long at places where they can’t succeed, and just because they haven’t succeeded in the wrong companies doesn’t mean they won’t succeed at your company — if they’re driven”.

“If a candidate has just followed the rules their whole lives, showed up for the right classes and the right tests and the right career opportunities without achieving something distinct and notable, relative to their starting point — then they probably aren’t driven”. And you’re not going to change them.  Motivating people who are fundamentally unmotivated is not easy.  But motivating people who are self-motivated is wind at your back.

“I also like specifically looking for someone who comes from some kind of challenging background — a difficult family situation, say, or someone who had to work his/her way through school — who is nevertheless on par with his/her more fortunate peers in skills and knowledge”. [This is my favorite too. These types have their back facing the wall and would do all it takes to deliver the results so that they can move ahead in life.]

Happy hiring !

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