Hiring tens

I’ve been reading Bill Hybels’ book of leadership axioms lately.  (I’ve just resisted the urge to footnote that or even to give you its proper title.  I figure you could look this one up yourself!)  There’s loads in there that I need to learn from and I could write pages about them.  So you’ll be pleased to know that I’m limiting myself to one here…

Hire Tens  

Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If I am a leader who is a 5 on the an effectiveness scale of 1-10, then Hybels reckons that I cannot attract leaders who are 6s or 7s.  They just will not be interested in working with me.  That means I will hire 3s and 4s.  They, in turn, will hire 1s and 2s.  Eventually this compromises the leadership calibre of the whole organisation, just because of me!

So what do I do?  Well, Hybels highlights two parallel responses.  One is to grow myself into being a 6 or even a 7.  Then I will be able to attract and keep higher level leaders in the organisation (even if they are not the 10s!).  The other response is to hire more people at my level of leadership capacity.  It’s scarier cos they might just threaten me or be that bit more difficult to manage.  They might not even listen to me!  But if I will take this risk, then I stand a chance of reversing the downward trend of leadership gifting within the organisation.

So says Hybels, anyway.  But it makes me ask: what do I do?  Do I go for the leaders who are at my level or do I pick the easy option?  Do I choose people I think I can manage or do I draw in people who are going to challenge me?  And what am I doing about increasing my leadership capacity so that tomorrow I might just be a 6 or even a 7?


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