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Strategic Discipline Blog

Hiring Discipline – How Lucky Are You

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Nov 15, 2010

On a scale of 0 to 10 with ten being extremely lucky, how lucky are you?

My client, Steve, answered “6, I think I’m pretty lucky!” 

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Steve is looking for real-estate agents in the midst of one of the most difficult real-estate periods in our history.  Why would he ask whether or not an agent believes he’s lucky?  I wrote about this earlier in Zappos Employees Live the Brand.  Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO, asks a question to cover each of their ten Zappos Core Values to ensure candidates fit their culture. “How lucky are you?” is based on Zappos Core Value #4: Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded.  Tony created this question from a study he’d read about.  This question “how lucky are you?” was given to a group of people. Upon answering, the participants were given a newspaper to read.  They were unaware the newspaper was fictitious and hidden in the paper were several headlines that offered the reader $100 simply by mentioning the offer to the survey person.  The result from the newspaper headlines is dramatic.  Of the participants who indicated they were not lucky, not one noticed the headline offer.  Tony believes that luck is being open to opportunity.  If you don’t feel you are lucky you will not see opportunity even if it is readily available to you. 

The point of my question to Steve was to point out the possibility of his including a similar question when interviewing real-estate agents.  In the present economic times wouldn’t it make sense to have people working for you that feel they are luckier than others?

Getting the right people in your organization requires identifying how your culture is different.  It means establishing a set of core values and purpose so that not only can you recognize how your business is different but also whether or not the people you want to join you fit in with the culture you wish to build and maintain. 

You want better people?  You want A players?  You need to break the mold on how you’ve been doing your hiring and recruiting practices to attract the people who fit the culture you want.  This isn’t easy; however going the extra effort to develop specific systems that discover better fits offers your business to elevate its game to a higher level of performance. 

Topics: Discipline, A Players

Challenges of Scaling Up a Business 







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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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