Are You Living What You Expect In An Interview?

What questions did you ask the last candidate you tried to hire? What expectations did you have about what they would bring to the table and the types of leadership and results you expected to see? What were the things that made you want to choose the person you actually hired?

Now ask yourself, are you performing at the level that you expect or hope for in your job candidates? Are you expecting something from a new hire that you aren’t even doing yourself?

No, I don’t mean the actual tasks that are being performed by that new person, because it doesn’t mean that you should just take on more tasks. Didn’t you focus on more than just task execution in your interview?

Maybe it’s time to interview yourself.

Using Urgent for Urgent’s Sake

One particular summer Friday a few years ago, I was fortunate enough to be working from a remote location at a beach town.  I wasn’t supposed to be working that day, but an “urgent” (in quotes because it was someone else’s definition of urgent) project meeting came up that was four hours long that I “had” to attend.  We were told to have the meeting urgently because it was described as a critical meeting to get something designed and moving that HAD to be completed immediately.

Beach towns aren’t always the greatest at WiFi connectivity (thankfully) so I had to ride my bike around town till I found a spot with internet connectivity. I sat on a rickety chair in the town library for the next five hours taking part in the meeting. Thankfully, because I was already at the beach, I could put the meeting out of my mind about ten minutes after it was over as next steps could wait till Monday.

Fast forward to that same weekend, one year later, and as I drove into that beach town again for the first time in the season I saw the library building and immediately had flash backs to that meeting–the meeting that had to get done on that particular day, because we had to get the project moving immediately.

Quickly my flash back turned into a great teaching moment as I realized that while it was now a year later, that particular project had still not started and was still having “urgent” meetings.

I just drove by that library again this season, and now every time I see it it becomes a great lesson in building trust with a team and how taking action to move a project forward is usually better than just talking about doing something.

Failure Awards

Very similar to Beg Forgiveness Cards

How about creating an awards program in your group specifically to highlight failure.

Celebrating success is great, but celebrating failure could just lead to better success.

What else do you need to celebrate in your group to help entice more of that behavior?

 

Beg Forgiveness Cards

Getting your team to believe that failure is an option or that taking prudent risks are OK is sometimes hard.  Most people in a work environment are trained to believe that things need to work out correctly all the time.

If you’re trying to get your team to live into the phrase “beg forgiveness rather than ask permission” maybe you can help accelerate their adoption of this with “Beg Forgiveness Cards.”

Think of little business cards that simply say “I took a risk and it didn’t work out. I am begging for forgiveness.”

Give out 2 or 3 to your team per year as a way to signal that they have a free pass to try something they think is risky, even if it does fail.  Maybe even include a line on the back like “and the thing I learned was ______.”

This shows that even when someone messes something up they can learn from it as well. After some time, you can display the collected cards for everyone to see what was learned and increase the overall risk tolerance of your group.

What other types of cards could people use at your office?  What could this little piece of “permission” unlock in your organization?

 

Realizing vs. Recognizing The People You Work With

Do you take the time to realize who you’re working or interacting with?

In the business and Corporate culture there is lots of talk about taking the time to recognize and reward the people you work with and/or your employees. However, there’s hardly any talk about taking the time to realize who you’re working with.

Realizing who you’re working with is tough.  It demands that you don’t wait till the end of a project or to see if the expected outcome is delivered, and it requires that you get to know the people you’re working with and really pay attention to them.

Realizing who you’re working with has many more benefits, too.

By taking the time to understand the potential of someone you get to work with (or lack thereof), you can help them achieve greater than what was originally asked.  Or, you can realize that the best thing to do is to stay out of their way.

In my own experience, realizing a few of the truly gifted people I got to work with (and some I still do) has allowed me to learn so much more than I otherwise would have and has hopefully allowed them to rely on me in a different way.

I wonder if everyone that worked with Steve Jobs in the very early days knew they were working with such a great mind, especially if his legendary personality rubbed them the wrong way.

I wonder who you’re working with right now that has an even greater mind and all you have to do to help let it flourish or learn from it is make the effort to realize.

Improving the Annual Performance Review with Linkedin

As part of many companies’ annual performance review process, employees are asked to submit the names of people they have worked with so their bosses can ask for feedback. Cross-pollinating that with the Linkedin recommendation section may be an interesting way to add value or participation to the overall experience.

How would using a recommendation-like process and making the business partner feedback public on Linkedin as part of an annual review process

  • change how the employee works with that partner all year?
  • change how well or thought through the person giving the feedback comments?
  • change how much the employee takes and acts upon the feedback provided?
  • change the conversion rate of people asked for feedback vs. actually provided?
  • change the overall value of the recommendation section on Linkedin for people searching for potential hires?
  • change the type of people that wanted to work in your organization?
  • change if it’s viewable to all others that person has worked with that year vs. public?

It seems like an interesting experiment to increase the overall value of the feedback process for everyone involved. Of course, it might have some real pain points in the short term but if it doesn’t get “gamed” it could work out very well in the long run.