Self-Realisation

Toward the honest job interview

The candidate thinks, “I really need this job.”

The hiring manager thinks, “I’m tired of this, I really need to fill this job.”

As a result, the candidate says what he thinks will get him hired. He’s not listening, not really. And he’s not telling the truth, not really. He knows that he needs to thread a needle and say what needs to be said to get the job. He lies to himself about what he wants and lies to the interviewer to get the job.

As a result, the hiring manager isn’t really listening, not really. She’s looking for clues, unstated hints about what this person is really like. And when she shifts to sell mode about the organization, she alternates between glossing over the bad bits, exaggerating the good ones (“Everyone here is really creative, and there’s no office politics…”) and being impossibly skeptical about the potential of the person across the desk.

No one is acting badly here. Cognitive dissonance is real, and the hope is that once in the new role, the hired person will grow to love it. And no job is static, and the hope is that with the earnest and generous work of the hired person, the role will get better.

But…

We could all save a lot of time and energy if we could figure out a way to find an actual fit.

One person thinks, “I have room in my career for just a dozen jobs. Is this one worthy?”

And the other realizes, “We could outsource this work, but we’re going to keep it in house if we find the right match. Is it you?”

Reblogged from: here

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Uncategorized

Two heads or one?

As a company gets bigger, there’s an inevitable split between the people who market what gets made and the people who design what gets made.

At some organizations, it’s likely that these two people work in different buildings, and don’t spend much time together.

One of the most important decisions made in the early days of JetBlue was that the woman in charge of marketing the airline was also in charge of hiring and training. Amy designed the product and the marketing, both.

This was certainly one of the things Steve Jobs brought to the table as well.

There are a lot of reasons that this is quite difficult to pull off. That doesn’t mean it isn’t important.

Reblogged from:here

Self-Realisation

The handyman, the genius and the mad scientist

The handyman brings attention to detail and craftsmanship to the jobs that need to be done. Difficult to live without, but a household name, not a famous name.

The genius, Thomas Edison, relentlessly tries one approach after another until the elusive solution is found.

And the mad scientist, Tesla or Jobs, is idiosyncratic and apparently irrational—until the magic appears.

Who do you need?

Who are you?

Reblogged from; here

Self-Realisation

The jobs only you can do

One of the milestones every entrepreneur passes is when she stops thinking of people she hires as expensive (“I could do that job for free”) and starts thinking of them as cheap (“This frees me up to do something more profitable.”)

When you get rid of every job you do that could be done by someone else, something needs to fill your time. And what you discover is that you’re imagining growth, building partnerships, rethinking the enterprise (working on your business instead of in it, as the emyth guys would say). Right now, you don’t even see those jobs, because you’re busy doing things that feel efficient instead.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

Sight reading

When I played clarinet in high school, I never practiced. I blamed it on my dog, who howled, but basically I was a lousy music student.

At my weekly lesson, though, the teacher would scold me, guessing that I’d only practiced three or four hours the week before. I was so good at sight reading that while I was truly mediocre at the clarinet, I was way better than anyone who had never practiced had any right to be.

We often test sight reading skills, particularly in job interviews. In that highly-charged encounter, we test the applicant’s ability to think on her feet. That’s a great idea if the job involves a lot of feet thinking, but otherwise, you’re inspecting for the wrong thing, aren’t you? Same with a first date. Marketing yourself to a new person often involves being charismatic, clever and quick–but most jobs and most relationships are about being consistent, persistent and brave, no?

Reblogged from: here

Uncategorized

Two magical sentences missing from most job ads

If you’re working to build a unique culture staffed with people who make a difference, consider:

“If you’re not looking for a job, this might just be the job for you”

and, once the job is under consideration:

“You know, this might not be a good fit for you.”

Most jobs seek the low bidder, the person desperate enough to work cheap, or to sign up right now, and most jobs stress that ‘this is a great place to work’ (implying ‘great for everyone.’)

When you staff a place with idiosyncratic miracle workers who in fact have plenty of other options, it’s a lot harder to fill those jobs, but a lot more likely you’ll build something extraordinary once you do.

Posting this on Valentine’s Day is not ironic. As important work gets ever more personal, so does hiring… “Who’s available?” is not a good selection driver for work or for life.

[The flipside of the situation is also true: I frequently see job descriptions that are basically impossible to fill as specced. If you can’t think of a single individual that you’ve worked with over your entire career that would be the perfect fit for this job–and work on the terms you’re prepared to offer–there’s something wrong with the job you hope to fill. Wishing is not a strategy.]

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

“Oh, that’s just a hack someone put together…”

Just about all the big decisions, innovations and perfect solutions around you didn’t start that way.

They weren’t the result of a ten-person committee, carefully considering all options, testing the reasonable ones and putting in place a top-down implementation that went flawlessly.

[The idea behind Amazon, the Mailchimp logo, the medical approach to childhood leukemia, the cell phone, the microwave oven, ethical email marketing, Johnny B. Goode, the Super Bowl, Kiva, Buffalo chicken wings…]

No, they were the result of one person, a person in a jam or a hurry or somewhat inspired. One person flipping a coin or tweaking a little bit more or saying, “this might not work” and then taking a leap.

Inventing isn’t the hard part. The ideas that change the world are changing the world because someone cared enough to stick it out, to cajole and lead and evolve. But even though the inventing isn’t the hard part, it scares us away.

Before you tell yourself you have no right to invent this or improve that, remind yourself that the person before you had no right either, but did it anyway.

Reblogged from: here