People Are Like Seeds

An experienced gardener recognizes that some seeds/seedlings grow better in certain climates and soils.  Instead of planting any seed in any climate or ground, she selects varieties that will thrive in the soil and climate where the garden is located.

As leaders in the workplace, the same principle applies.  The book Good to Great by Jim Collins tells us that the very best organizations ‘get the right people on the bus’.  They don’t get caught in the “he was the best  we could find” mentality (for proper effect, shrug your shoulders here with a resigned ‘sigh’) .  They search harder to find the right person for the job.  They carefully define the job so they know just exactly what qualities they need.  They structure the interview to gather the information that will tell them how well each candidate meets those criteria.  And if they don’t have someone in this round of interviews that will be a good fit, they continue the search.  Recently I became aware of a position that an organization finally filled after a year-long search.  They weren’t dragging their feet or just unable to make a decision.  They just had a clear picture of what was needed and were unwilling to settle for less.

People, like seeds, will prosper better if the situation and job fit their needs, temperament, personality, skill and/or knowledge level.

What steps would you suggest to better select the right people?

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