Common Leadership Hiring Mistake #2

As I said in my previous blog on this subject, I have had the privilege of being a part of several hiring processes of new leaders for teams and businesses. Through those processes, I have noticed some common misconceptions many of the people involved in these processes have. Today I will focus on another one of the errors that usually leads to an unsatisfactory outcome.

I have seen searches where rather than trudging on until they find the best fit for the organization, they “settle.” They go through their interview process, and in the end, they realize that none of the candidates have won them over. Instead of opening up the search to find the right person, they settle on the “best available option” in front of them. Sadly, some organizations are more interested in winning the press conference (where they announce their new hire) than they are in getting the right fit for the position.

Doing what is expedient or convenient rarely equals doing what’s best. When you hurry things, that means you no longer care about them and want to get back to doing other things.

One of the better-conducted searches I have seen was a situation where all of the constituents wanted a “big name” to be hired and fast. Well, as the search dragged on, negative rumors flew, and people began to lose hope.

Ultimately, the person they hired was either unknown or simply an underwhelming choice to most of their constituents, and the press conference was anti-climactic. It is now a decade later, and this organization has experienced the best stretch of performance in its history with that person at the helm.

Although the S.O.S. Band was referring to something other than hiring leaders in their 1980s hit song “Take Your Time (Do It Right),” this usually turns out to be a winning strategy in hiring processes as well (and most everything else for that matter). Why any organization would allow the pressure of time to get in the way of doing what’s best for their organization is beyond me, but like the water cycle, it happens all the time.

As I tell my clients who are golfers. If you go through your pre-shot routine and then step up to hit the ball with any doubt whatsoever in your mind, it’s time to step back and go through your entire routine again, and again if necessary, until you can step up to the ball and trust your preparation with no reservations. When it comes to hiring a leader, it’s imperative that you have that same discipline not to make a choice until you can do so without reservation.


You can follow Sam on Twitter @SuperTaoInc


Comments are closed.