One of my favorite bloggers, and a former Sun Microsystems colleague, is Nancy Householder Hauge. She writes several blogs as you’ll see in her profile. The one I follow is Consulting Adult. Back on February 22nd of 2012 she wrote a post with the premise that hiring only brilliant people is not good enough. You can read the whole post here.
She knows from what she speaks. She consults with many millennials and has seen this bias first hand. Not only does she make the point that this bias slows down the whole hiring process, sometimes to the point of not hiring, but it also presumes brilliance is enough to guarantee success. We all know that is not true. There are a few other qualities needed to be successful – among them,- courage, determination, flexibility, perspicacity (I love that word), management talent, and leadership skills (not just of direct reports, but of customers, partners, and peers, probably most importantly).
But beyond intellect and skills are values. If you don’t assemble a team of people who share common values, the enterprise will come apart at the seams eventually. Common values are what enable a team in crisis to survive and thrive. It allows them to be honest with each other, even when it hurts. It means they are naturally aligned.
So you have to do both. Hire for values and for appropriate skills. A great intellect is a bonus. We share a simple tool for our EOS clients to use to assess both values and skills. It’s called the People Analyzer. You can download it here. You can read two of my earlier blog posts, here and here, which explains how it is used.
Graphic credit: Intersection Consulting