Why and How I Hire Rock Stars

Ever seen a rock star at work? We’ve all seen a rock star on stage and on TV. I’m not talking about that kind of rock star. I’m talking about those folks who are ready to step up and do what it takes to finish a job. They are friendly with customers and coworkers. They do work that matters.

I have to brag just a little… I have an entire company full of rock stars! Here’s why and how I found them.

Several years ago Matt suggested I read John Maxwell’s book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. This book changed my life, and it changed my approach to leadership. The entire book is a must-read, and it shook me up starting with the first law shook. See what you think:

The Law of the Lid – Leadership Ability Determines a Person’s (and I add, Organization’s) Level of Effectiveness.

When I read this book, MPC was in a bad financial situation. We recently lost one line of business, and I was scrambling to replace it.We were working with some new customers who were demanding lots of attention. I felt dumped on and helpless.

This first Law was the swift kick in the pants that I needed. I set the lid for my personal effectiveness. And, as the CEO of MPC, I was the determining factor in my company’s effectiveness. I devoured this book, and I kept reading in order to keep growing & pushing my Lid.

I later read Good to Great by Jim Collins… also at Matt’s suggestion! This book drove home the point that placing the right people in the right seats in an organization makes the difference. Vision, systems, and remarkable products are a must. But, having the right people in the right places comes first. People, after all, help fulfill the vision, systems, and products.

Then, I read Michael Hyatt’s blog post, “What Should You Look for in the People You Hire?” He lists four virtues that I have since adopted as our own. His claim, and now my experience, is that if you look for these virtues as you recruit and bring on new team mates, you will start to build your own team of rock stars.

Here are the qualities I look for:
1. Humility: An humble person says, “I am not the center of the universe. What can I do to help?” An humble person accepts correction and realizes that no job is beneath him.
2. Honesty: An honest person says, “Here’s the good, the bad, and ugly truth.” You can bank on the fact that he will do what he said. Honest people help build trust within the organization, which helps everything go further, faster while lowering costs.
3. Hungry: A hungry person says, “What’s next?!” She is intelectually curious. She is prepared to win. She makes me run faster and continue growing. She pushes the Lid.
4. Smart: A smart person says, “Here is the problem and solution.” He knows what to do when he walks in the room…which might also include asking a question. He is book-smart and street-smart. He knows what he knows. He knows what he doesn’t know. And, he realizes there are things in this world that he doesn’t know that he doesn’t know.

In summary, people make the difference. Borrowing from Michael Hyatt again…. If building a great team is like a scavengar hunt, you need a list in order to find the treasure. Hiring people who are Humble, Honest, Hungry, and Smart is helping me find the rock stars and build a great and enduring organization.

Question: How would you describe your ideal candidate or coworker? I look foward to hearing from you in the comments below!

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