I just read a blog post from Guy Kawasaki called, “The Art of Recruiting” (2006). In it, Guy talks about how the idea of “A” players hiring other “A” players and “B” players hiring “C” players. His conclusion is that “A” players actually need to hire “A+” players; candidates better than themselves. While “it takes self-confidence and self-awareness” to do this, “it’s the only way to build a great team.” The Bozo explosion, he notes, is the slippery slope of hiring “B” players who then hire all the way down to “Z” players.
So how do we get to be “A+” players? I’d like to suggest that while we may not all be “A+” players, we can learn to be “A+” versions of ourselves in our chosen field.
- Commit to learning how to manage yourself (Peter Drucker) and never stop. Find a mentor or co-mentor and tackle the hard work of self examination. What can I do better; how can I be more effective? What are my strengths and how can I build on them?
- Read books. Smart people write books. I love to talk to people about the books that interest them. Reading a book takes effort and it feels great when you finish. Add the book and what you learned to your Linked In profile.
- Listen. This seems so elementary and yet, I’m always working on this. Here’s a test. The next time you meet someone new, sit down immediately after your conversation and write down the questions you asked them. Think about how much time you spent listening versus talking. After you shake hands to part company, honestly assess how well you listened. What are the 5 things you learned about that person? What did you admire about them? If you can’t recall, you probably could have listened better.
- Demonstrate passion. Guy’s advice to recruiters is to hire passion not skills. To job hunters he says, “Passion can overcome the lack of a ‘perfect’ educational background and work experience.
I learned to listen while raising my children. The more I talked, the less they listened. The more I listened, the more they talked. Pretty simple. Let me know how you are growing to or maintaining your “A+” status. I need all the ideas I can get!