If you listen longer than most people listen, you hear things most people never hear. –Carey Nieuwhof

I’ve been reading John Maxwell’s book The Leader’s Greatest Return: Attracting, Developing, and Multiplying Leaders. It’s a great read, very insightful and helpful with regard to leadership development in your organization. 

Typically, we’ve found great success at Southview by hiring from within. Almost our entire staff currently was found within our church. But there are times when you have to look externally for specific skill sets or talents that are just not present internally.  

In his book, Maxwell references an article by David Walker, CEO and cofounder of Triplemint real estate brokerage in New York City. Walker notes “while every company has a different culture, there are four questions that will help you identify if a candidate is a good culture fit, no matter where your company falls on the culture spectrum.”

Walker’s four questions:

  1. How did the culture at your last company empower or disempower you? This helps you understand the culture that the candidate is coming from.
  2. What were the characteristics of the best boss you’ve ever had? This helps you understand their view of leadership.
  3. Describe how you handled a conflict with one of your coworkers. This helps you understand the candidate’s relational skills.
  4. What kind of feedback do you expect to receive in this role and how often do you expect to receive it? This helps you understand the candidate’s feedback expectations. 

These questions, or a variation of them, are now standard in my process of evaluating candidates. If you’re in a season of attracting or developing leaders in your organization (and what leader would say they are not?), I’d highly recommend Maxwell’s book. It’s worth your time. 


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