“Who?” is the question

The most important decisions we make as leaders are not what, but who decisions.

As Jim Collins author of “Good to Great” said “Who is your #1 problem, not what”. What refers to strategies you choose, products and services you sell and the processes you use. You can spend your whole career chasing solutions. There are millions “What problems” affecting your business. That’s what most managers do… Unfortunately focusing on What means you will continue to feel stressed, make less money and lack the time you desire.. Or you can decide today to focus on who.

• Who refers to people you put in place to make What decisions.
Who is running your sales force?
Who is assembling your products?
Who is occupying the corner office?

• Who is where the magic begins or where the problems start.

Managing is easy except for people part – Economist cover story 2006 reported that finding right people is the biggest business problem today. Virtually every manager struggles to find and hire the talent necessary to drive the business forward.

Hiring Process

1. Score Card

First thing first – Start with the Score Card. SC describes mission for the position, outcomes that have to be accomplished and competencies that fit with both culture of the company and the role. A lot of managers don’t bother to define what they want before they hire someone.

2. Source

Now when you know what you are looking for let’s talk about the Source. The traditional method is to wait for the opening and ask HR .. the wait. This method is very passive as it relays on finding people in the talent pool at the particular point of time. As we all know talent pools go stagnant. Most people that you really would want to hire most probably have a job.

Address this lack of innovation by seeing people that you interact with on daily basis as the best sourcing opportunity. It’s simple just ask the talented people you know who are the talented people they know you should hire. You will be surprised! Ask your customers for contact information of sales people
they enjoy working with the most outside of your company, ask your partners for the best managers they worked with ask your vendors … Never stop looking!

3. Select

Common interview processes are almost random predictors of job performance. Extensive research performed by the top hiring companies proved that the best way to Select is to use a serious of 4 interviews that build on each other. A-player you are looking for should have a track record that matches your needs, competencies identified within your score card and plenty of passion.

The 4 interviews are
• The screening interview – 15min call
• The top-grading interview – registered trade mark that is based on 5 /simple questions (google it)
• The focused interview (verifying the specific skill-set)
• The reference check

There is a final formula I like to refer to while looking for talent – 4 Es + 1 P = A-player
• E – positive Energy.. Ability to go go go
• E – ability to Energize others
• E – Edge .. Courage to make tough yes-no decisions
• E – ability to Execute
• P – passion .. Heartfelt deep excitement about the work


“If I were running a company today, I would have one priority above all others: to acquire as many of the best people as I could. I’d put off everything else to fill my bus. Because things are going to come back. My flywheel is going to start to turn. And the single biggest constraint on the success of my organization is the ability to get and to hang on to enough of the right people.”

– Jim Collins