No B. S. Hiring Advice: A Smart Question to Ask When Hiring Leaders

Some of you may know that I have been involved with an international men’s organization for more than 20 years. In our work, we spend time encouraging men to live lives of integrity, accountability, generosity and missions of service.

While spending some quiet time on the last weekend I attended, a thought came to mind about something I have been doing for years and how it can be applied to evaluating people who are being hired for leadership positions.

So I spent some quiet time and thought about about it and decided that there are missing questions that are not asked on most interviews.

Although this article is directed toward hiring leadership and management staff, the truth of the matter is it should be asked of everyone you interview.

The question is:

“Who do you mentor?”

After listening to their answer and watching their behavior for how congruent it is with their answer, follow it up with this question:

“What are you teaching them?”

You can continue this line of inquiry by asking them, “Who mentored you,” followed by, “what did they teach you?”

I believe you will learn a lot about the character of the men and women you interview from this series of questions. After all, the role of the mentor is to provide wisdom and knowledge to a less experienced person in a trusted relationship.

A leader who has no mentees is doing little to pass on the nuances of their experience and knowledge except that which can be observed.

A person who does this readily and speaks of the texture of their relationship with a mentee (plus has the ability to do the job, of course) can be the leader you need to build an organization with little turnover and strong staff.

© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2011, 2015

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