One of the biggest mistakes leaders make (in my humble opinion; and humble is the only kind of opinions I have) is inviting the wrong people to join the team. I have lost count of the leaders I’ve coached who live with the wrong hires (or volunteers) for months (sometimes years) before mustering up the courage to let them go.

Dan Rockwell shares three must-haves for every team member

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell

Success is always about people.

The stronger your team, the higher your reach.


#1. Only hire curious people.

Dolts and divots don’t ask questions. It doesn’t matter how smart they appear to be. An hour with a person who doesn’t ask questions is an hour with a toothache.

People who are committed to the pursuit of excellence ask questions.

Curious people:

  1. Have enough confidence to be interested in others.
  2. Haven’t arrived. Inquisitiveness is an expression of humility.
  3. Are accepting of their weaknesses. Curiosity is about growth.
  4. Are transparent and candid. The questions you ask reveal your values. If you want to learn what matters to a person, listen to their questions.

The longer you wait to ask dumb questions, the dumber you become. Pretending we know more than we know is one reason we don’t know more.

The more you learn, the more you want to learn.

#2. Only hire people who have frustrations.

People who aren’t bothered by falling short, bother me. Frustration is an invitation to action. (Don’t tolerate explosive anger.)

A person who is never frustrated doesn’t care enough.

#3. Only hire people who lean into feedback, even when it hurts.

Everyone is thankful for useful feedback, when they look back.

Do more than receive feedback, seek it.

  1. Set an expectation that everyone seeks feedback.
  2. Model the way by seeking feedback yourself. Explore your performance with people who report to you.
    • Don’t be needy.
    • Focus on behaviors.
    • Don’t ask blanket questions like, “How am I doing?”
    • Ask specific questions. “How might I run our meetings more effectively?”
    • Say thank you, after receiving feedback.
    • Design an action plan. What specific behaviors are likely to make things better?
    • Schedule a follow up to evaluate, adapt, and move forward.
  3. Notice when people seek feedback. Honor them.
  4. Give an abundance of positive feedback.

What essential qualities do you look for in new hires?