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In today’s episode of the Breakthrough Leadership Vlog (Video Blog – Season 01, Episode 01), we outline five steps to help you hire new leaders at your company. The process for hiring leaders should go deeper than their experience, skills, or pedigree. There are five steps you can use to pull together a great leadership team.

You Must Surround Yourself with Great Leaders

Being able to surround yourself with great leaders is absolutely essential to your successThis concept is anchored in Biblical principles.

Proverbs 15:22 says,

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

Even if you have a bulletproof business strategy, you can still fail if you don’t take time to surround yourself with quality advisors. To hire better leaders, you have to understand what they value, what they believe, whether the timing is right, and how well they lead themselves. You’ll also need to be ready to provide strong support to the leader you hire.

The next time you interview a leadership candidate, or promote a seasoned team member into leadership, use these five steps to check whether they are in alignment with your mission.

  1. VALUES – Look at their values.
  2. BELIEFS – Uncover their beliefs.
  3. TIMING – Test the timing.
  4. SUPPORT – Can you provide them support?
  5. SELF-LEADERSHIP – Are they self-leaders?

The right leader will immediately cause new passion and vital growth in your team. If they’re the wrong fit, you could waste six months and cause damaged to your mission.

5 Steps to Hiring Better Leaders

  1. Look at Their Values – Discover what your candidate genuinely values and what matters most to them. If the leader’s role in your company creates a conflict with their core values, get ready for issues down the line. For example, if their children have regular extra curricular activities (i.e., what they value), and the role requires frequent evening meetings or travel, game over. You’ll have a conflict in values.

Take Away: Ask questions to discover where your candidate invests their time, talent, and treasure? What do they want more of in their life? What do they want less of? Why?

  1. Uncover Their Beliefs – Listen carefully to the words your candidate uses in every day situations. Your candidate’s language will indicate what he or she truly believes. A belief is a state of mind, or where this person places their confidence. Belief isn’t just about a religious worldview. New hires will tell you everything you need to know about how they plan to operate if you will listen with intent.

Take Away: Engage your candidate in two or three comfortable environments outside the interview process before you hire.  If appropriate, have dinner or coffee where they can interact in a relaxed setting. The conversation should not be limited to business. It’s better if you discuss a mix of business and personal topics. You should listen carefully during the conversation. What do they believe about life? What do they believe about themselves? What do they believe about others? Is it generally positive or negative?

  1. Test the Timing – Is the timing right for this individual to be hired, or promoted, into leadership? Focus on testing their timeline, not yours. You probably wanted this vacant leadership role filled yesterday, but that’s not what matters most. Take the time to learn if this person is ready to dive in the pool, not just dip their toes in the water. Listen for words that cling to the past rather than embrace the future.

Take Away: Don’t be in a hurry to hire.  Pray that God will grant you discernment and wisdom both before and after the interview process. Don’t settle. If you have ten criteria for a role, but they only meet nine, don’t do it. Wait. Promoting leaders before they are ready is a recipe for disastrous delays down the line.

  1. Can You Provide Them Support? – Do you have the time to provide on-going support for your new leader? Don’t take a “set-it-and-forget-it” attitude to your hiring. You might find the most talented leader, assemble an attractive compensation package, move them across the country, but fail to realize their objective was to be mentored by you. Before you hire a new leader, make sure you’re prepared to provide support for them, whatever that means for you: infrastructure, mentorship, a team, or technology.

Take Away: Don’t make promises to your new leaders that you can’t keep. Wait until you’re prepared to fulfill your promise for support. Consider how much time you should prepare and mentor them. Remember, hiring this leader will be about more than filling a role.

  1. Are They Self-Leaders? – Can your leadership candidate lead him or herself? Mature leaders work intentionally at leading themselves before they attempt to lead a team. People who lead themselves pull their own weight. They are deliberate about personal growth. You shouldn’t have to prop your leader up, or constantly defend them. If they’re self-leaders, they’ll contribute far more value than they extract. Address this now, so you don’t deal with a self-sabotaging leader down the line. Avoid a leader who feels they need to establish a current that sucks other people down it. Hire the leader who wants to take hold of an oar and paddle with you.

Take Away: Ask about their goals. Do they have any? What are their plans for personal growth? The leader you hire should delight you with their creativity and desire to grow.

Challenge When Hiring Leaders

Spend time asking this single question to everyone on your team. Ask them to tell you about the things they enjoy doing when they’re not at work. Ask questions like, “What gets your motor running?” If you begin to give permission for people to tell you what drives them, you’ll be taking the first step toward Breakthrough.

Watch Part 2 of “5 Steps to Hiring Better Leaders” here.


About Matthew

Matthew DeYoung is a serial entrepreneur. He is the cofounder of Breakthrough Leadership. He has been a cofounder of six other internet-based startup businesses. His past consulting clients have included Walt Disney, Universal Studios, Target, NASCAR, and the NBA. As a learner, he is always trying to demystify the leadership aspects of business. Matthew has been married for 17 years and has two daughters.

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