October 2, 2012 Leave a comment
An election year does weird things to people. For some, passion turns into fanaticism, communication turns into spam, and messaging becomes a broken-record. Others bash everything that is going wrong in the country/state/town to sell their candidate (the incumbent) while others only talk about what is right to support their candidate (the challenger). My advice? Pick your priorities and stand strong for those few non-negotiables that mean the most to you.
It is not possible to agree 100% with everything a candidate does and says. When someone says they do, I say “fanatic versus fan”. I wonder whether they deeply understand all that the candidate is selling or if they are blindly (and emotionally) bought into a personality or a party. If instead someone was willing to admit ‘I really like these three things about this candidate and have weighed the pros and cons of the other side” then I listen. Then I ask questions and consider the veracity and the value of their perspective.
It is the same when you are looking to hire someone for an important tole in your company. Let’s face it, everyone has warts. It’s just a matter of how long it takes you to find them! And, most people are on their best behavior in the interview. (Fortunately for voters the campaign trail is just long enough and just public enough to allow enough time and space for SOME of the candidates’ warts to be exposed.)
Before the interview process you must identify your non-negotiables and have a laser focus. And, your list of non-negotiables must be as tight as possible.
Dig, dig, and dig some more to make sure you are confident you are getting all you need from the candidate. But even more importantly, make sure you dig deep enough to uncover the warts… everyone has them remember, not just the incumbent you know so well. Your goal in the interview process should be to identify as many red flags (aka warts) as you can. And decide if you can live with each one. The more warts you identify during the interview process (or on the campaign trail) the less surprised you will be in the future. If the candidate has a strong dose of your short list of non-negotiables AND you can live with all exposed warts, then you know you have your best candidate!
Do you know your short list of non-negotiables for this election year? Stand firm on those and dig.