Posted tagged ‘White House’

Building a Team

November 7, 2008

Now that the election is behind us, the hard work for our new president truly begins. President-Elect Obama’s first responsibility is to put together capable of leading our nation. Today, he began announcing his staff with the selection of Rahm Emanuel as White House Chief of Staff. This, therefore seems like a very appropriate time to discuss hiring and that is what the next few posts will address.

Executives spend more time managing people and making people-related decisions than anything else, and they should. No other decisions are as enduring in their consequences or as difficult. It is the people decisions that have the greatest impact on the cultural fabric and the performance of the entire organization.

Yet, according to Peter Drucker, the noted management guru, most executives bat no better than .333. At most, one third of these decisions turn out to be right, another third are minimally effective, and the remainders are outright failures.

Drucker goes on to say that this level of performance is unnecessary, and while we will never be perfect, there is no reason why we can’t bat closer to 1000 if the leadership and hiring executive adopt these basic principles.

  • If I put a person into a job and he or she does not perform, I have no business blaming the person, the Peter Principle, or complaining. Rather, I have made a mistake.
  • Employees have a right to competent leadership. It is the duty of management to make sure that the responsible people in their organizations perform.
  • Of all of the decisions that an executive makes, none is as important as decisions about people because they determine the performance capacity of the organization. Therefore, I’d better make these sorts of decisions well.
  • Don’t give new people mission critical assignments without very strong monitoring and guidance. Doing so compounds the risks we all face with a new employee. Giving this sort of assignment to someone whose behavior and habits you know and who has earned trust and credibility within your organization is always better. Putting a newcomer into an established position in which expectations are known and help is available is the ideal. Many small companies though don’t have this luxury. In those instances, you would be wise to monitor and guide.

Once these beliefs have been adopted, how does one become effective at making the right hiring decisions? Here are a few important steps that will enable you to select the right people for your company. The context and the most fundamental rule to apply is that we are here to “screen out” inappropriate candidates rather than “screening in” people.

In the next post, we’ll take a look at the way one should go about hiring the team.

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