Nothing is more important to the entrepreneurial leader than assembling the right team. In “Entrepreneurial Leadership,” I dedicate an entire chapter to hiring great people. The best way to improve team performance is to understand the brains, heart, and shortcomings of each candidate before you hire.
Brains are not just a person’s mental horsepower. One version of intelligence consists of having a flexible mind-set that combines book smarts and street smarts. That blend enables a person to navigate unfamiliar situations, make sense of conflicting signals. Can the candidate tell a good risk from a bad one? Can absorb knowledge fast and apply it in real-time? Does he have the social intelligence to work well with people? Will they learn from mistakes?
Heart is shorthand for the entire constellation of a candidate’s values. It is the system of ethics and beliefs from which all choices and actions arise. Do they dive into whatever they are working on? Can they deal with setbacks? Take responsibility and share credit? Make things happen when they’re tired?
Shortcomings are hard to deduce from a resume. Resumes are like marketing brochures, good for introductory information, but not the whole story. Only an in-depth interview can give a complete picture of the candidate and her fit with the team.
You’ll never have a perfect hiring batting average; but you’ll be doing a major disservice both to your organization and to the person you hire if you rely on data alone.