Selecting Achievers


I didn't coin the term, Gerry Bell did. Selecting Achievers is one heck of a program, and one that I use (at least pieces of it) hiring, making friends, even choosing a new shoe store or restaurant. The basic premise is that you need to get people to tell the truth. What a concept. It sounds obvious. But, it's rarely accomplished, especially in the hiring/interviewing process. Both sides are so busy telling each other how great they are, how interesting the job is and how much they've accomplished, that they forget that hype doesn't get the job done, or make the partnership work, or the marriage last. Honesty and action do...

While Dr. Bell's program is quite effective (again, I'm a huge fan) in ferreting out truth, like anything, it has a couple of disadvantages...the length of the interview process and the lack of a means to see the person in action. I understand the premise that the more time you invest up front, the less you'll find out about each other after it's too late. But, ten, twenty or even fifty hours of interviewing is extremely difficult to coordinate, especially in an operating hotel environment. And, even once you gain a mutual trust, you still haven't experienced the delivery of the to speak. So, I've habitually shortened the process, knowing the risk. I've had very open and honest sessions up front, pouring out my soul (this is a great way of getting the same in return) and then getting all parties involved into the game as soon as possible to see how things really work. It's worked about 85% of the time, which is a far better record than I had before I adopted his approach.

I was reminded about all of this three times over the weekend:

1. During conversations with two prospective associates...who are by the way no longer prospective...they're in the club. Congrats Debbie and Bridget...and thanks for all of your candor!

2.-3. As I began my morning 20 minute speed reading ritual, I saw two posts on  my Daily Read list which marvelously exemplified what I'm referring to here. Aki and Alex over at Ideas In Food gave us  a real-life example of how getting someone into the game reveals more than you could ever hope to learn in an interview. And, that really popular (and smart) fellow who writes about Purple Cows wrote this piece, offering this solution to the time consuming interview process...stop doing it! A radical departure from most HR programs to be sure, but once you understand (and accept) their rationale, I think you'll concur that there's some merit to this approach, enough to give it a try anyway.

Look at it this way (hey, the season's underway, so, you , might as well get used to it) can spend all your time hyping your team and that 6'5", 240 lb. freshman QB sensation...and it won't matter. What matters is getting him into the game, and seeing what the team can actually deliver. This is the point where the real truth gets told , and passion clearly reveals itself.