It’s the first week of the year and we’re all (those of us that matter anyway) out trying to start on the right foot. We’ve assessed the past year, set our goals and are ready to kill it. This year will be different though, this year we’ll stay on the path, keep at it throughout the year; we won’t let it all fizzle out by March-ish. What’s the difference between the “A” Players that accomplish what we set out to do and everybody else? I say it’s consistency. Keenan says it’s the “Why?”. Read more here. If you ask “why?” to the goals you are setting yourself, you will get to the root of what drives us to do what we do. If we understand the motivators, we can keep our goals more effectively. So you’re looking for that rock star “A” Player for your sales team. It’s important that you find out if your candidate is consistent. Here’s an idea, use this line of “Why?” questioning. See if your candidate knows the “why” to his personal goals. If not, this may not be the right guy. Start with a goal. Personal or professional (even better, have the candidate choose one of each; you’ll probably get a better picture).
Here’s an example from Keenan’s blog post:
Exceed quota by 50%
To maximize accelerators and be in the top 1% of the sales team
Why? (Second level why)
To be able to save X amount of dollars for my kids education and take the family on Safari. And to prove to myself that I’m one of the best sales reps.
Why? (Third level why)
My daughter is a very talented in math, and I want to give her the best opportunity to accelerate in it. I want the family to do something together that will bring us together AND grow as people. I sometimes question if I’m good and I want to stop questioning my abilities.
Consistency is a by-product of someone who is driven. You get to the “why” of the matter, and you’ll get a pretty good indicator to whether the goal you set will be planned and executed on consistently and throughout the year. Why do you think all those people flock to the gym hardcore the first few months of year?…then flop. (I hate goin’ to the gym this time of year ’cause it’s so frickin’ packed full of amateurs…) They’re motivated to set fitness goals but aren’t moved on a deeper level. Going one more level, self-awareness is a trait “A” Players have. You ask, why does it matter if the candidate is able to answer the “why”? That’s where self-awareness comes in. If someone is thinking several layers into everything he/she does, this is someone that can identify the “what” and the “why” to every situation. There’s a keeper. That’s someone who knows their strengths and where they can improve. An excerpt from an interview w/ Maynard Webb, Yahoo Chairman, and his hiring techniques:
“But if I’m meeting you for the first time, I’ll probably start by asking you about your first job and what you’ve done outside of school and work. I’ve found that there is a high correlation between work ethic and people’s extracurricular activities that weren’t driven by mom and dad.
Then I would ask about other things to look for truth and self-awareness, like: “Six months from now, we’re going to know each other very well. What will your team and what will I say that you do really, really well? And then what will they say that we all wish you did better?”
You’d be surprised at the number of times I’ve heard people say: “Oh, nothing. You’ll just love everything about me.”
And I’ll say: “Dude, that’s not true. It’s not true for me. Let me give you some examples of the things you’ll wish that I did better.”
I’m just looking for self-awareness and openness. And then I try to probe on value systems and how they work in teams. Tell me about situations that were really tough, and how you got out of them. I like to hear how they tell stories.” Read More
How self-aware is your candidate? If you don’t already, keep this in mind as you ask your questions. Don’t depend on the resume, we don’t. A piece of paper detailing work history and accomplishments won’t tell you whether your candidate is self-aware and driven. Here’s to digging deeper and finding the “A” Player for your team!