Hire Right! What to Look for in your Next Rock Star Employee!

Hiring is a skill that doesn’t come easy. But like any skill, it can be learned and improved if we are aware. Most of us don’t want to admit what we’re not good at it. Because acknowledging that we’ve made some bad hires forces us to wake up and realize (i) we screwed up and, (ii) we definitely need to fire someone. Maybe ourselves, lol.

Most companies hold onto employees that aren’t the right fit for far too long. And that’s costing your business big time! Not just financially either. Having the wrong employees on your staff hurts your productivity, erodes engagement and trust and your company culture, and ultimately inhibits results.

There is good news!   You can avoid all that if you learn how to hire the RIGHT PEOPLE in the first place. And we do that by asking GREAT QUESTIONS during the interview.

What Type of Person Are They?

I’ve had the privilege of working with companies like Qualcomm, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Inuit and let me tell you, it doesn’t matter how good the candidate looks on paper or what credentials they have. If they’re not the right type of person for your company or team, they’re not the right fit period.

During the interview process, you need to figure out what type of person they are, what their strengths are, and what their whys are. We have a great PDF below with all the questions you should be asking to help you figure these things out, but two of my favorite questions are:

-What’s the biggest misconception others have about you and why?

-What three words would you use to describe yourself and why?

Both of these questions will help you confirm or deny your initial assumptions about what sort of person they are and also help you understand their level of self-awareness. It also lets you get into the “real” authentic person not the rehearsed interviewee.  To see how powerful these questions can be, try them out with yourself and with the people that you know well – you will be surprised at the results!

Are They Positive and Optimistic?

As quickly as our lives move these days and as quickly as the world of work is changing, there is NO room for negativity. You need to be hiring positive, optimistic people who have a can-do attitude. People who are positive and optimistic are more likely to seek solutions to challenges, rather than allowing themselves to become stumped or stuck. And that’s exactly who you need in your company – people who are going to just figure it out on their own and find the help they need to get it done.

To evaluate a candidate’s pre-disposition towards turning lemons into lemonade, a few of the questions I love to ask are:

-What do you think about failure?

-When you’d have obstacles in your life, what have you done to overcome them?

-What characteristics or behaviors do you believe have contributed to failure around the positions you’ve held in the past and why?

After you ask these questions, listen closely. Sometimes you have to read between the lines of the candidate’s responses so make sure you listen for clues that indicate whether they respond more positively or negatively to being challenged.  And, also ask targeted follow up questions.

To conclude, when you’re hiring you’re primarily looking to answer just two questions about every candidate: what type of person are they and are they positive/optimistic. It’s not rocket science and yet we get so caught up in fact-checking their resume and making sure they have all the technical skills, we forget to ask the questions that will help us figure out who the person sitting across from us actually is!

So, before you make your next hire, make sure you download our free PDF with the kinds of questions you should be asking every candidate. Just fill out the form below to get it. And if you still need help, please reach out to us for coaching!

Want to save your company time, money, and frustration by hiring the right candidate? Fill out the form below to grab our free download with all the questions you need to be asking during the interview process to ensure you're making a great hire.



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7 Strategies to Create a Habit of Learning

Have you ever noticed that when you run into someone you know at Starbucks and ask them how they’ve been, most people give you one of two standard answers? “Good” or “Busy”. Or my personal favorites, “Good, but busy” or “Busy, but good.” 

Let’s face it: we don’t know how to get un-busy anymore. We have too much going on at home and in the workplace. ESPECIALLY in the workplace!

We know the future of work is changing rapidly and we MUST keep up. So how do we prioritize our own learning and development to ensure it becomes a habit?

 It starts with hacking our existing habits to make learning fit. Choose any one of the seven strategies below and you’ll be surprised about how much learning you can add to your already packed day. 

Morning Routine Hacking

Most successful people have a morning routine, whether that involves going to the gym, praying or meditating, or just enjoying the first cup of coffee. Whether you already have an existing routine or want to start one, try waking up just fifteen minutes earlier.  Use it to read an article or just a few pages from a book related to your industry. Depending on the difficulty, the average person takes between two to six minutes to read a page.

 So while you might only be reading three to twelve pages a day, keep in mind that many non-fiction books are fairly short – only around three hundred pages in length. At that pace, you’ll finish a book every thirty to a hundred days which means you’ll read three to twelve books a year! Not a bad result for devoting just fifteen minutes each morning to your learning!

Makeover Your Commute

For most of us, the morning commute is a pure and simple waste of time. But rather than spending it listening to music, catching up on the news, or having a casual conversation with a friend or co-worker, why not put on a podcast episode instead? There are thousands of hours of podcasts available on all kinds of topics and many podcasts take the form of interviews, which allow you to learn from the success and failures of others. Find a podcast related to your industry and take your education on the road! Some of my favorites podcasts are the GaryVee Audio Experience, the Tony Robbins podcast, School of Greatness by Lewis Howes, the Tim Ferris Show, and the Peter Attia Drive podcast. 

Knowledge by Subscription

What’s the first thing you do when you get to the office? Make a cup of coffee and gossip with your coworkers? Browse social media before the boss comes in? What if you started each work day with a bit of education instead? While most of us don’t want to add any more email to our already overcrowded inboxes, be purposeful about subscribing to email updates from an industry leader or coach whose content you enjoy. If you don’t have a particular person in mind, there are also services like NuzzelFeedly, or Flipboard that will send you a curated list of news articles that match a certain keyword or topic. 

Lunch and Learn

Most of look forward to lunch as the time we can take a break and relax. But I’ll bet that you often spend your lunch hour scrolling through Instagram or watching funny Youtube videos. So what if you took that time and redirected it towards your learning? Read an article from an industry leader, watch a how-to video, or put your earbuds in and finish listening to the podcast you started on your morning commute! For lunchtime reading, I recommend Josh BersinAriana HuffingtonBrené BrownRay Dalio, and Adam Grant

Daily Workouts for Your Body and Mind

Whether you hit the gym before or after work, the gym presents yet another opportunity to engage your mind in learning. While you might feel that you can’t workout without a good playlist, try listening to a podcast episode from an energetic speaker instead! And if you really can’t listen to anything, but music when you work out, use that time to review what you’ve learned recently and make a plan to implement the new knowledge as soon as possible.  

Social Media With a Purpose

After a long day at work, most of us can’t wait to wind down with some mindless time spent looking at social media or watching Youtube videos. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t allow yourself a little freedom to indulge in these activities, but what would happen if you spent fifteen or twenty minutes purposefully looking at content that educates or inspires you first? Who knows – those fifteen or twenty minutes could easily become forty minutes or an hour of learning!  I personally enjoy following and consuming content from Gary VaynerchukTom BilyeuGrant CardoneTom FerryMel Robbins, and Oprah.

Self-Directed Courses and Certifications

These days there’s no end to the continuing education courses and certifications you can take. While you can attend classes through a local college, for many working people it’s a lot easier to choose a self-directed online learning program without a hard deadline. That way you can work at your own pace and make learning fit your schedule, rather than the other way around. If you don’t know where to start, try looking up courses on Udemy.

Whether you spend five minute or five hours on your learning each day, what really matters is whether you actually DO something with the knowledge. Most people go to conferences, sit on webinars, read books, watch videos, and do NOTHING with what they’ve learned. If you can devote a small amount of time each day to learning something new and then actually implement it, you will win! Learners are Earners!

What’s Holding You Back? The 5 Most Common Fears That Are Keeping You From Success

I recently got back from a week in Singapore – a week that was bookended by two of the world’s longest flights. And I mean that literally. At 18.5+ hours, the flight from LAX to Singapore is one of the longest commercial flights you can make!

When you travel a lot as I do, you have a ton of thinking time, especially if you can’t sleep on planes like me. You also get to meet all sorts of people. People at their best and at their worst. The best rocks and the worst well, not so much. And when you’re meeting people at their worst, it’s usually because you’re bumping up against their fears – fear of flying, fear of enclosed spaces, fear of missing out (FOMO), fear of whatever. Fear can make people unpleasant, if not downright impossible to deal with. And what’s sad is fear holds people back and prevents them from connecting with their fellow travelers – we’ve all heard those stories of a chance meeting on a plane that changed someone’s life or career forever! So the big question is, how do we move beyond that fear and negativity?

Clearly, the workplace is also a place where you’re likely to meet people working from fear. It shows up differently for all people and sometimes doesn’t even look like fear, but unless you bust through it, it will continue to keep you from achieving the success you want for yourself, your team, and your company.

Over the 36+ hours I spent on a plane at the end of January, I had a lot of time to reflect on what holds people back in life and in their careers. After training over 14,000 millennials, I’ve found that most people struggle with the same five things. Occasionally, I’ll get a client with a unique challenge, but by and large most people get hung up by the same damn things! The good news? They’re all things we can coach you through!

 

Fear of Failure

Fear of failure holds you back because when you’re afraid to fail, you’re afraid to risk anything. You reject opportunities for growth or advancement because it means stepping outside your comfort zone and opening yourself up to failing. So you stay in the same role even though you have nothing left to learn. You stay at the same job you hate because you’re afraid to fail in a new role at a new company. You daydream about starting your own business, but never do more than dabble because you’re afraid to fail in such a public way.

But here’s the thing. If you want to get a promotion, start your own company, change careers – you need to accept that risk is part of the package. As the old saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained. You HAVE to risk failure and lean into the uncertainty in order to succeed. It is simply not possible to stay “safe” and crush your goals at the same time. You have to be bold and take action, regardless of the outcome.

 

Lack of Confidence

If you suffer from a lack of confidence, you will have trouble connecting with others and asking for what you want whether that’s a promotion, a new role, or the sale. Instead, you wait for these things to be handed to you. You hope that if you work hard enough, your boss will notice and give you the raise you’ve been thinking about. You tell yourself that if you’re nice enough to the prospective client, they’ll just decide to give you their business.

But it doesn’t work like that. You NEED to learn how to connect with others, articulate your value, and ask for what you want in a way that serves others. We call that “WIFThem”. ..What’s in it for them. Which again goes back to working on the relationship you have with yourself so you can know your story and what you have to give to others.

 

Feeling Unworthy

Somehow we’ve got it into our heads that being self-deprecating is the same as being humble. It’s not.

It might seem innocent enough to brush off a compliment or make a joke that puts yourself down, but over time, you begin to reinforce the idea that you are unworthy of the accolades, praise, and compliments of others. And when you feel unworthy of what you’ve already been given, you will shy away from opportunities to do more and be more. Which will never move you closer to your career goals.

Instead, you need to own it!!! We all have something to contribute so figure out what you have to give to others and own every inch of it!!!

 

Fear of Being Found Out

Also known as imposter syndrome, many people I’ve coached are held back by an intense fear that “other people will find them out”. That if people get too close, if they spend too much time with them, they will discover that they’re not as talented, smart, creative, innovative, imaginative, etc. as they’ve made themselves out to be. That once people take a look under the shiny hood, instead of the performance engine they expect to find, they’ll discover the car’s leaking oil and held together with duct tape. So they stay in hiding and keep people at arm’s length.

But if you want the career you’ve always dreamed of, you need to find a way to show your value and be vulnerable, which is one of the key leadership traits for success. Once you can share who you truly are, you’ll be able to make it about others. You can’t make it about others if you can’t be vulnerable and connect with them to find out what they truly care about! So until you let go of this fear that you’ll be found out as a fraud, which you won’t, you’re going to struggle to connect and move forward in your career.

 

Inability to Take Action

Some people are held back simply by their inability to get out of their own way and take action! They get so overwhelmed by the thought of changing jobs, starting a new career, or going the entrepreneur route that they stare at the mountain of decisions that need to be made and choose to do NOTHING. By the way, this fear usually relates to one of the aforementioned fears being buried down deep…but we won’t put you on the couch just yet.

Here’s the thing: you might think you’re abdicating or deferring the responsibility by refusing to make a decision. But you’re still making a choice. You’re choosing to do nothing about your current situation and you’re choosing to do nothing to move you closer to your goals. So if you’re telling yourself that you DO really want the promotion or the job, then you have to DO something about it. You cannot sit back and hope things just work out in your favor.

 

So what’s holding you back? And how are you going to bust through it to get the life and career you want? If you don’t know, then start by scheduling your exploratory coaching call or signing up for our next Strengths & Story workshop.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  1. Take Risks. Lean into Uncertainty.
  2. Be Bold. Be Vulnerable.
  3. Own Your Value.
  4. Connect With Others and Make it About Them.
  5. Choose Action.

5 Tips to Help You Get Promoted at Work This Year

Want to get promoted at work this year? Turns out, it’s not just up to your boss to decide whether you deserve it. There are things you can do to ENSURE you’ll get the promotion! But it all goes back to the two topics we’ve been talking about over the past two weeks: UNDERSTANDING YOURSELF and MAKING IT ABOUT OTHERS. When you know yourself and can communicate it to others in a way that benefits them, you are sure to get promoted. It’s that simple. So if you want to climb the career ladder this year, make sure you put these five actionable tips into practice:

 

Tip #1: You Must Understand the Power of Relationships

Relationships are the most important life/work skill you can have because everything you do is focused on connecting with other people. You must build relationships not only with your boss/employer but also your peers and clients. At launchbox, we’ve worked with many managers, CEOs, and entrepreneurs. One of the things they all consider when promoting an employee is how well that person works with the rest of the team and how well they connect with the clients and customers.

But you cannot begin to truly connect with others until you’ve done the hard work of building a relationship with yourself. That’s the first relationship you should focus on. Which leads me to tip #2.

 

Tip #2: You Must Understand Yourself and Your Strengths

Your strengths are something you’re naturally good at. They are the things you bring to the table to the benefit of your employer and their company. And they’re not hard skills like knowing how to design a logo or understanding python. They’re things like your innate leadership ability or your work ethic. These are strengths you might not even be aware that you have on the surface, which is why building a relationship with yourself is such an important part of the work you need to do to get a promotion. Knowing your unique strengths will help you articulate your value to your manager and cement your place on the team.

 

Tip #3: You Must Know Your Values, Skills, and Passions

The Platinum Rule is treating others how they want to be treated. So along with knowing your strengths, you must know your values, skills, and passions because you need to figure out how to apply them to others. At launchbox, we call this WIFThem: what’s in it for them. You need to be able to communicate how your unique values, skills, and passions add up to a win for your boss. For example, in a discussion about your skills don’t just say, “I’m a people person”. That doesn’t add up to a win for your employer. But if you say, “My skill is that I can connect with other human beings immediately which leads to stronger teams and better client relationships for your company” that’s a win! When you communicate your skills, passions, and values in a way that is other-focused, you will get that promotion.

 

Tip #4: You Must Know Your “Brand”

Brands aren’t just for companies. You need to know and be clear on what your “brand” is. Brands are about who you want to be and how you want to be perceived in the world. At our Strengths & Story workshop, we can take participants through the process of choosing a few brand words for themselves. You can do this, too. Pick three words that define your personal value and how you want to be seen by the world and then hold yourself to them. In business, great brands succeed because they know who they are, what they have to contribute, and then they deliver on it over and over again. Learn from them. Know your brand and consistently demonstrate it to your employer.

 

Tip #5: You Must Learn How to Tell a Connective Story

Finally, to get promoted at work you must learn how to tell a connective story. And not just any story. The story you tell others about yourself must provide value for them so you can connect with them. Remember even though you’re talking about yourself, it’s not about you. Not every story is for every situation. You need to tailor your story to suit your audience and their needs.

Telling a connective story is also not just about what you say. Listening and receiving feedback is just as important as the words leaving your lips. People love people who want to help themselves so be open to receiving suggestion and even criticism. As hard as it may be for you to hear what they have to say, allowing the other person to talk will help build a connection. And when you can connect and make it about them, you will win.

 

Need help? Call (858) 314-9867 to make this the year you stop hoping for the best and start working for it! Sign up for individual coaching and claim your promo code for our next Strengths & Story workshop on January 22nd!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  1. Know the Power of Relationships
  2. Build a Better Relationship With Yourself
  3. Tell a Connective Story