Great leaders Engage and Develop Others. This is the second practice in the SERVE model. There are actually three parts to this practice. I’ll start with the first and explain the others in upcoming posts.

During one of Peter Drucker’s public addresses late in his life, he was asked about the most important decision an executive (leader) makes. He answer was simply: “Who does what.”

The longer I’ve been in leadership, the more I’ve come to believe that statement. At Chick-fil-A, we’re blessed to have very high retention. When asked for the reason, I confess that there are probably many. However, I think the greatest factor is selection. We work tirelessly to get the right person in the right job.

The first part of Engagement is who you recruit and who you select. As I’ve talked with other leaders about this, everyone agrees in principle. But how does your belief actually translate into the practices of your organization?

Here are a few practices to consider that could enhance your selection process:

  • Multiple interviews – not two or three, maybe 8 – 10 or more!
  • Behavioral based interviews – The best indication of future performance is past performance. Look for specific, tangible examples from the candidate’s past that build your confidence in their ability to perform.
  • Allow the candidate to interview the hiring manager. Give the candidate time to prepare and let them ask you the hard questions.
  • Provide the candidate with personal and professional references of the hiring manager. You’re going to check their references; why not let them check you out?
  • Targeted referencing at the end of the process – After 6 – 8 – 10 interviews, members of your staff may have specific areas they want to probe. Use their input to craft the questions you’ll explore during referencing.
  • Finally, try to talk the candidate out of taking the job.  If you can, you should. If you can talk them out of it, there’s a good chance they’re not a good long-term fit.

Think about how many of your problems would go away if you get the right person in the right job.

Author: Mark Miller

Mark is a business leader, author, communicator, photographer, husband, and father. He spends his time helping leaders grow.