New York Times best-selling author Randy Street delivered an engaging keynote on “Running Your Business at Full PoWeR” at Opti-Port’s SPARK Conference at Vision Expo East in March. Over the past 20 years, Randy and ghSMART, the consulting firm where he is Managing Partner, have interviewed more than 15,000 leaders to understand the dynamics to success. With this extensive knowledge, Randy has co-authored two best-selling books, Who: The A Method for Hiring and Power Score: Your Formula for Leadership Success.
According to Randy, successful leadership starts with asking three questions:
1. Priorities -- Do we have the right priorities?
Randy defines priorities as “what needs to be done, and why that matters.” According to his research, only 20% of leaders have the right priorities. So, how do you test to see if yours are the right ones?
Testing Your Priorities
Connected to Mission: What are the 3-5 things you must accomplish this year to be successful relative to your mission?
Correct: If you accomplish those 3-5 things, will you achieve your broader long-term goals?
Clear: Are the 3-5 things clear enough for everybody to understand? Do they agree with them?
2. Who -- Do we have the right people on the team?
Finding the right people for your team is harder than you think. Randy’s research shows that only 15% of leaders have the right people. So, how do you know if your “Who” game is strong?
Testing Your Who
Diagnosed: Are you clear about who your performers are relative to your priorities… and who are not?
Deployed: Have you removed underperformers, moved others to the right role, and hired enough A Players?
Developed: Have you actively helped your team learn and grow?
3. Relationships – Do we have the right relationships that deliver results?
Building relationships that function well together and achieve results is the third aspect of Randy’s PWR Score. Only about 47% of leaders have the right relationships. So, how do you test this?
Testing Your Relationships
Coordinated: What do you meet about? Do you discuss and problem solve your priorities? Do you measure progress?
Committed: Is your team committed to the mission and helping you succeed? Are you a leader worth following?
Challenged: Do you challenged each member of your team to be their very best selves every day?
Cost of Mishires
Hiring the wrong people can be even more costly than you think. According to management guru Peter Drucker, 50% of all hiring decisions are mistakes. The average hiring mistake costs a company 15x that person’s base salary. For example, hiring the wrong employee at $50K/year will cost you $750,000 on average.
The WHO Interview
Also known as the Topgrading Interview, it’s a chronological walk-through of the interviewee’s career in order to gain insight into his or her background. For each job in the last 15+ years, ask:
What were you hired to do?
This question is a window into a candidate’s goals and targets for a specific job. Off the top of their head, they might not know, so coach them through by asking how they thought their success was measured in the role.
What accomplishments were you most proud of?
People love talking about their career’s peaks. However, be wary when a candidate’s accomplishments seem to lack any correlation to the job’s expectations. A Players talk about outcomes linked to expectations.
What were some low points during that job?
Getting candidates’ to share their lowlights is sometimes like pulling teeth. Reframe the question repeatedly until they give an honest answer. Questions like “What went really wrong? What was your biggest mistake? What would you have done differently?” will usually get them to open up.
Who did you work with?
Ask what it was like working with their previous bosses. Then, ask what their bosses will say about them. Be sure to say will, not would. This signals that you are going to call their references, so they may as well tell the truth now.
Why did you leave that job?
The final question could provide serious insight. Were they promoted, recruited, or fired from each job along their career progression? A Players are highly valued by their bosses, so it’s important to figure out if somebody decided to leave after being successful or if they were pushed out. Don’t accept vague non-answers. Get curious and find a clear picture of why they left.