Hiring Mistakes: A Simple Way to Avoid Them

I recently spoke with some folks like you who have read the series of my writings about Leader vs Manager (vs Coach). I came away realizing that I had ignored something very basic in my prior emails, which was to spell out why it’s so important to know the differences among these roles.

The reason why it’s important to know these distinctions is simple: Mistakes in hiring and placing people.

If we hire a strong Leader in the role of an Employee who is expected to follow directions, we have a disaster waiting to happen. If we hire someone who naturally gravitates towards being a Coach or a Guide, she will make an extremely poor choice for the role of a Manager. By the same token, a Manager will more easily grow into the role of a Leader or Employee, but will struggle being a Coach or a Teacher. And an Employee will adapt better to being a Manager or a Coach but will struggle with the role of a Leader.

Don’t take my word for it. Just look around. Or probe your history of hiring and placing people. Get your ego out of the way and give it some serious thought. If you are like most business leaders I know, you will have hired based on resume, prior experience and what the candidates tell you about themselves. Sometimes we get lucky and stumble upon a great hire. But in most cases, hiring based on resumes and work history alone leads to misfits in workplace who drain everybody’s energies – including their own. So hiring, placing and promoting becomes a trial-and-error process where we keep hiring and firing people until we find the perfect fit. Or we learn to live with mediocre performers.

When we place right people in right positions, we set the stage for effortless – frictionless – yet efficient work environment. Equally important, we do a huge favor to the candidates who have little idea of what they should be doing, regardless of their college degrees and their work history. The lack of self-knowledge is a serious epidemic in our world today, where many people end up choosing professions they are not a proper fit for.

That’s why, I thought it would be helpful to list the resources I have developed so far about these roles in one place. So here they are. Simply click the link to read.

Leader vs Manager:

Leader vs Manager: Similarities and Differences

Leader vs Manager: Myths and Misconceptions (Lesson from movies Batman, Jurassic Park and Wall Street)

Leader vs Manager: Traits, Qualities and Characteristics

Leader vs Manager vs Coach:

Leader vs Manager vs Coach: Lessons from Star Trek, the Next Generation

Leader vs Manager vs Coach: Lessons from the Tudors (TV Series) and King Henry VIII

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Leader’s Fool: Lessons from The Tudors (TV Series)

Even if you did not see The Tudors (a Showtime TV Series), I am sure you have heard of Henry VIII, the notorious ruler of 16th century England. I recently watched the show and was transfixed by its portrayal of Henry VIII and its stunning recreation of his court and its political maneuvering.

More to the point, his rule and his court have many lessons for us businesspeople. The TV show contains an insightful presentation of the roles of leaders, managers and teachers (also known as coaches or guides) and the dynamics of their relationships.

Henry had many managers, all of whom died during his reign. Two of them were executed by the King’s order. He also had many appointed counsels. But he did not listen to any of them. He did listen to one person though, the only one who told it to him “like it is” and lived on to tell the tale. Who was he and why did Henry put up with him?

Find out here: Leader vs Manager vs Leader (Lessons from the Tudors (TV Series) and King Henry VIII)

Leader vs Manager vs Teacher: Lessons from Star Trek, the Next Generation

“The teacher does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” ~ Khalil Gibran

How is a teacher, a coach, or a guide different from a leader or a manager?

Because it’s not such an easy question to answer, I got some help from one of the most beloved cult-classics of our time: The TV series Star Trek, the Generation.

You don’t have to be a Star Trek fan to appreciate the key distinctions it brings out among these three roles.

And who knows, if not a fan, perhaps you will be one after watching some of the clips I have included in the article.

Read here: Leader vs Manager vs Coach (Lessons from Star Trek, the Next Generation)

See you at the next Star Trek convention!

Leader vs Manager: Traits, Qualities and Characteristics

If you were naturally left-handed and were forced to play a game, say tennis, right-handed, would you be able to play the best tennis you could? Of course, not. Unfortunately, that’s exactly how many of the leaders and managers go about running their businesses.

One of the most prevalent misconceptions in the business world is that a leader is somehow better than a manager and that a manager should aspire to be a leader. In my experience, nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the strongest leaders I know are also the poorest of managers. Some of the best managers I know are poor leaders and it’s futile for them to give up their natural tendencies and try to be something they are not natural at. That’s not to say a person can’t develop the specific skills of leadership and management. It’s just that knowing their natural style helps them figure out to best approach to their work.

It’s like being left-handed or right-handed in playing sports. One is not better than the other. It’s just a matter of preference in how we go about doing what we need to do.

It’s this misconception that’s the root-cause of many of the dysfunctional management teams and under-performing businesses and organizations. That’s why I have put together a simple self-assessment that will help you figure out whether you are natural leader or a manager. It’s meant not to limit you, but help you gain insights about yourself that you can apply in improving your work, your productivity and your results.

You can access this self-assessment here: Leader vs Manager (Traits, Qualities and Characteristics)

I wish you Happy New Year and Happy Success to your business endeavors!

Leader vs Manager: Myths and Misconceptions

What do the movies Batman (The Dark Knight), Jurassic Park and Wall Street have to teach us about being a leader versus being a manager? Plenty, I think.

On this interactive page, you get to take some super-short and fun quizzes (if you so choose) and learn a thing or two about how the myths and misconceptions propagated by the folklore of the ages could be dangerous, even disastrous for businesses and organizations.

More here: Leader vs Manager (Myths and Misconceptions)