Hiring and Servant Leadership

Hiring well is difficult to do. Jack Welch admits this in his book Winning, and spends a chapter giving us tips on how to do it better.

For all staff, he recommends first screening for integrity, intelligence, and maturity. They need those to even make it to round one. Then you look for the 4 E's and 1 P:
  1. Do they have positive energy?
  2. Can they energize others?
  3. Do they have the edge to make tough calls when needed?
  4. Can they execute well?
  5. And do they have passion for the work?
For leaders, you need to screen further:
  1. Are they authentic?
  2. Do they have foresight in business?
  3. Do they surround themselves with smart people?
  4. And do they have resilience?
Jack has more to say on each of the above but I want to focus on the third of the leadership screens.

Leaders need to surround themselves with smart people. Jack shared examples of when he felt like the stupidest person in the room but by having these smart people push him and each other, the best answers came out. This is why it's so important for leaders to not fear looking stupid.

Have you ever worried that you're hiring your replacement or even your upgrade? I admit there was a time or two when I did but was glad to have overcome it and made the hire. It's natural to have the fear but leaders need to do what's best for the team, even if it makes them feel stupid.

And this is the true meaning of servant leadership. The true leader's purpose is to serve, so it should not matter how he looks to others as long as he is serving the greater purpose. The secret is that if done authentically, it actually raises the leader in the eyes of those he serves, not diminishes.

Have you seen this in practice? How did it make you feel?

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