Do you use yourself as an example of what everyone on your team should be like? When hiring, are you trying to find more of you? If so, stop it!
Chances are, there are some things you are pretty good at, perhaps even a whole lot of things. There may even be one or two things you are really good at. While there are some people who have been promoted past their level of competence or people skills, most people are in a supervisory or management role because they demonstrated capability. Awesome. That very probably applies to you as well.
Now for the reality check. Just because you are good in some key areas, does not mean you are good in all of them. Just because you think and believe one way, does not make it the only right way.
Hiring a bunch of mini-me’s serves only two purposes.
- It feeds your ego.
- It stops meaningful conversation. After all, a group of people agreeing on everything, including how amazing they are and how everyone else needs to be like them, does nothing to take your business to the next level.
If you are brave enough, identify your areas of weakness. (Really brave supervisors and managers will ask the people around them to identify their weaknesses.)Then go and find people who are strong in those areas. Next … let them shine. Don’t take credit for their good work by telling everyone how amazingly smart you were to have hired them. All you’re doing then is turning the spotlight back on you. (See point 1 above)
Find people brave enough to let you know when they don’t agree. Wait … let me rephrase. Create an environment where people don’t need to be brave to let you know when they disagree with you. Quite frankly, if this isn’t in place, there is no point in asking others to share their insight on areas of weakness as per the previous paragraph. That will be an exercise in futility, unless the intent was to feed your ego and hear things like “I can’t think of a thing” or “Oh no, you are amazing. Nothing wrong with you.”
An effective, engaged team is made up of individuals who recognize and acknowledge individual strengths and weaknesses. They are strong enough to ask for, accept and offer help when needed. Individuals on a team agree on and work towards a common vision, but their perception of how to achieve the vision may differ greatly. Wonderful. Group think kills creativity.
Go ahead … acknowledge your areas of strength. Then go and find people who aren’t like you, people who are good or great where you are not, people who bring new ideas to the table, who look at situations from a different perspective and who make you stop and think … “I wish I’d thought of that.”