“Rocket Science” behind Team Building [Part-1]

Building a team is tougher than it sounds. There is no chemical “X” which could offer you a miracle. Instead, you have to push yourself to the limit to pull out decisive steps to prepare a team for present and future. The three phases in a team building [In my view, of-course] are:

1) Hiring 2) Decentralization & Coaching 3) Finding your successor

I’m going to cover this broad topic through a series of 3 posts. Each post  precisely covering one of those 3 phases. So lets begin!  

1) Hiring:
“Get ready to fire up your brain and prepare some kick-ass interview questions”. If that’s your first reaction, then you better stop and settle down first or you wouldn’t be able to dodge bullets later. Here is what one must do.

a) Decide min. no of applicants you want aboard.

b) Heat-up your applicants by a written test [This is your golden opportunity to test applicants’ thinking process. Don’t waste it by asking stupid standard questions; Give a case study].

…….Now come interviews.

c) By this step, you already knew your interviewees’ thinking process [to some extent]. Therefore, to be absolutely sure, give them a modified version of the previous case study [it should sound/look absolutely different].
Whatever their answer is, just tell them the opposite. For say, if there is no variation in their approach; ask them why same concept to two different situations and if you see some variation, then question: why different approach to a same situation.

Sole purpose here is to check: interviewee’s sharpness and whether or not they have an eye for details. 

d) Final stage: Ask them tough questions [to dig deep]; preferable ones are:

d.1) What similarities and differences you can point out b/w you and “ABC” firm?
d.2) Whom you talked with, in “ABC” firm and what did he/she say that inspire you to join us?
d.3) What initiative(s) you took? What challenges you faced? Do you consider yourself successful in those challenges? and why?
d.4) How much changed person are you now?
d.5) How much “ABC” firm can help you with your long-term prospects?
d.6) What you want to be remembered for, lets say after 15 years from now? And how you gonna achieve it?

You can definitely add more to the above list as per your liking. But remember! judge your interviewee on behavior and not on attributes.

I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies.
– Larry Bossidy