Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hiring Questions for Leaders

These questions get at the heart of the criteria for good leadership. They aren't in an open question format. I'll leave that to you. (Most of this comes from a classic leadership book by J. Oswald Sanders.)

Have you ever broken yourself of a bad habit? (Since change is important to an organization, a leader needs to demonstrate that he/she can change.)

Do you maintain control of yourself when things go wrong? (If you can't, you could lose respect and influence. In addition, you wouldn't be a good role model. Would you really want everyone to fly off the handle? And at what level of nuisance, annoyance, trouble?)

Do you think independently? (Are you subject to the latest fad without any critical thinking of how the methods apply to your organization? Are you easily swayed by a majority opinion even though you might have additional facts that bear on the situation?)

Can you handle criticism objectively and remain unmoved under it but seek to understand how it might benefit you and your organization? (Whether it's your behavior or your proposals or your desires/demands, criticism of them should not be taken as a personal rejection and tempt you to seek vengeance.)

Can you use disappointments creatively? (We've heard that resilience is key.)

Do you readily secure the cooperation and win the respect of others? Or do you bully them into compliance through emotional manipulation, bribes and other deceits?

Can you invoke discipline within the organization without a show of authority? (How often do you rely on reasoning, encouragement, appeal to improvement, etc.?)

Do you keep peace or make peace? (Evasive, passive, defensive, and aggressive responses to conflict may keep the peace but they don't make peace that requires understanding, rebuilding trust, etc.)

Can you inspire people to do what they normally wouldn't do?

Are you at ease in the presence of everyone in your organization? Are others at ease in your presence?

Can you anticipate the likely effect of your words on another? Do you possess tact?

Have you worked at anything until you became an expert at it, like leadership and management? (Like an older Nike commercial, amateurs practice till they do it right but pros practice till they can't do it wrong.)

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