Leaders Provide Advice Critical To Success – Part Four

Certain beliefs, convictions and statements keep being repeated in our conversations and seminars and feedback sessions with both managers and leaders. Here is Part Four, dealing with advice critical to success in the areas of Leadership and Hiring and Selection.


In a new job, three things you need to do right away are; get to know your boss and his top three expectations; take action on an issue that you have inherited; and identify your “universe” – the people and processes that have direct impact on your job.

Step up to situations you instinctively feel are issues the first time they happen – once you have let them go the first time it becomes more difficult to approach them the second time, even more difficult the third time. Learn to practice the art of Constructive Confrontation.

90 to 95 percent of the answers to any organization’s issues lie within the people in the organization – getting that “collective genius” to work is a source of huge competitive advantage.

Replacing assumptions with expectations is critical – and it is done through the establishment of goals that align individual effort with organizational goals.

Personal savings and investments buy you independence and the freedom to make choices – and make you much more effective as a person not compromised by need when you have to take a stand – on anything.

17% of the population learns by reading. That means 83% learn by observing, doing or a combination of the two. Ensure your processes and programs reflect this reality.

The biggest mistake is making a mistake and then not admitting it. Leadership is the ability and willingness to step up to mistakes and fix them and be accountable, while others avoid blame or wring their hands and hope for the best.

Your set of skills, experiences and accomplishments have broad application to a variety of opportunities – place a high value on how much you bring to the table.

Encourage constructive, “what if” dreaming – encourage turning dreams into goals that lead to action that lead to the dream being fulfilled.

Opportunities will be presented to you – some will be more obvious than others. Train yourself to think in terms of opportunities – particularly if you instinctively think in terms of consequences. 30% of the population thinks in terms of opportunities and 70% in terms of consequences.

Avoid putting your boss in the position of having to choose between you and another person – bosses really don’t like being put in that position. If a choice has to be made, there is a good chance your boss will resent having to do it, and even if you win, you may lose.

If you have a manager who constantly communicates they could do better if only they had better people, you have a leadership problem, not a people problem.

Hiring and Selection

In successful organizations, every hire is seen as an opportunity to improve the organization

Hiring and selection is the job of the leadership of successful organizations. Staff functions can provide help, but the leadership leads.

“A” players are defined as the right persons in the right jobs. That fit is defined by the organization, not by the flow of applicants. An “A” player in one place may be a poor fit somewhere else.

Spend at least as much time and effort on development of new hires and selections as was spent on their acquisition.

The manager of the person being hired must be accountable for the hire decision – it is amazing how many managers do not consider themselves accountable for the decision to hire.

Make sure you have a hire process, and insist that it is followed – sloppy hiring leads to all kinds of things – all bad. Most employee lawsuits arise out of poor selection processes and practices.

Other things being equal, select the smarter person. Make sure your process can identify applied intelligence as part of the selection process.

Leaders will know within 90 days whether or not a person is going to make it. If they are not going to make it, they take action quickly.

Share these beliefs, convictions and statements with your own universe of people and be amazed at how effective they can be as a tool to begin discussions on the issues in your organization. One example of how a leader used these pieces of advice: She distributed them to her work group and asked them to highlight those pieces of advice that they felt needed discussion and then return them to her – unsigned. She then shared with her work group what responses had been received. That set the stage for some really valuable discussion and actions to improve what had been unspoken issues in the group.