In my seventeen years coaching leaders, I’ve concluded that one of the things that can either make or break your leadership effectiveness is who you bring on your team, whether paid or volunteer. Just Anderson ( shares some things to think about before making this critical decision.

Originally published by Justin Anderson at Context Staffing, a part of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network.

You’re about to add a new team member. You have carefully vetted the person’s character. You are confident that the person has the competence to carry out the role. You are optimistic that the person will fit your culture well. But you cannot even be close to sure that a potential team member is the right culture fit until you have spent substantial face-to-face time with the person.

You have probably noticed that spending a few days with a person is far more effective in getting to know a person than 20 coffee meetings. Before you add any person to your team, bring them into your local context for a few days. Here are a few ideas for what to do for a person’s multi-day visit.

  • Get out of the office and into different situations. Go to a baseball game, a community event, or something not work-related.
  • Arrange for your potential team member to spend time with several different kinds of people and get feedback on how they connected.
  • Have your potential team member stay in someone’s home rather than in a hotel. You can learn a lot about a person by having them interact day and night in someone’s home.
  • Bring in both husband and wife so you can interact with both and watch them interact with each other.
  • Pay attention to how curious a person is and what questions he asks. (I would never hire a person who does not ask questions.)

There is no way to guarantee the perfect hire, but diligence in assessing culture will help you avoid significant hiring mistakes and the pain accompanying them!