Once you’ve set a goal for yourself as a leader—whether it’s to create your own enterprise, energize your organization or lead your small team—the challenge is finding good people to help you accomplish that goal. Gathering a successful team of people is not only helpful, it’s necessary.
To guide you in this daunting task of picking the right people, here’s a four-part checklist.
1. Check their background or history.
This might be the most obvious step, but it’s vitally important. Seek out available information regarding the individual’s qualifications to do the job.
2. Check their interest level.
Once you’ve learned their qualifications, gauge the potential employee’s genuine interest. Sometimes people can fake their interest, but if you’ve been a leader for a while, you’ll be a capable judge of whether somebody is merely pretending.
Arrange face-to-face conversation and try to gauge his or her sincerity to the best of your ability. You won’t hit the bull’s-eye every time, but you can get pretty good at spotting genuine interest. The most interested prospects are often good ones.
3. Check their responses.
A response tells you a lot about someone’s integrity, character and skills. Listen for responses like these: “You want me to get there that early?” “You want me to stay that late?” “The break is only 10 minutes?” “I’ll have to work two evenings a week and Saturdays?”
You can’t ignore these clues. They indicate his or her character and often reveal how hard he or she will work. Our attitudes reflect our inner selves—so even if we can fool others for a while, our true selves eventually emerge.
4. Check results.
How else can we effectively judge an individual’s performance? The final judge must be results—and there are two types of results to look for.
The first type is work activity, and it’s simple to follow up on. Within a sales organization, you can request a new salesman make 10 calls his first week. If he starts telling a story or makes excuses for poor results when you follow up on his progress, it’s a definite sign. If his lack of activity continues, you’ll soon realize that he may not be capable of being a member of your team.
The second area you need to monitor is productivity. The ultimate test of a quality team is measurable progress in a reasonable amount of time. Be up front with your team as to what you expect them to produce. Don’t let the surprises come later.
When you’re following this four-part checklist, your instincts play a major role, and they will improve each time you go through the process.
Remember, building a successful team will be one of your most challenging tasks as a leader. The good news is that it will reap you multiple rewards for a long time to come.