When I interview people, I look for basic courtesies. The ability to tell a good story. The feeling that this person has the capability of having my back and not plunging a knife through it. The hope that tough situations will be made more bearable by their presence and assistance.
The last few times I hired, that’s what I hired. I think it worked out for the best, for the most part. One ended up having zero talent beyond being a nice person. Another had mad talent but fell off the grid and proved to be a bit on the unreliable side. And the third is still with me, keeping me sane for the most part.
I had the chance to interview someone recently. I absolutely wanted nothing to do with this person going into it. No manners. No grace. No access to a shower that morning, apparently. Just, all-around bleah.
The interview was OK. Showered, check. I didn’t see effort as far as dress or other preparation. And someone needs to put a shock collar on that one to notify them when they say something that makes me go, “Did they just say that?” And I’m not even a formal type of person. Because, let’s count the stupid things I say in a day. Hmmm. …
Anyway, I got to wondering whether I would do better managing someone who has no redeeming social qualities.
I mean, the people who are nice and reasonable AND talented are the best. But I don’t know about the people I’ve been encountering lately. You either get smarts or experience or talent or grace or personality. You don’t get them all.
I think this one could eventually learn to be anything other than a social Asperger’s case. I did not hold back in telling them (nicely) what they were doing that would piss off any reasonable interviewer type.
This one has a level of delusion about reality in general and their own abilities in particular that concerned even me.
On the other hand, I wonder if the secret to really being an effective mentor is to not particularly care for the person.
Like, you can care about them but not for them.
I shared my wisdom as articulately as I could. I really didn’t care as much how it was received. Whereas with others, I said what had to be said but I was also concerned that their sensitivity would mean they didn’t take it for what it was worth (and use it).
I look at a friend who was let go recently. He was kind of everyone’s buddy rather than their boss. So they brought in someone who is more boss-like and less “someone who does the same kind of work and understands the type of people who are doing that work.”
Of course, I also see the wrong people sucking up to the new person and making things difficult for the rest of the team that actually is valuable.
I don’t know. I want to believe in being stronger together. But you really are an island in the end. And I want dragons in my moat from now on so people don’t get too close and, ultimately, drag me down with them.
There’s always the hope you can bring them up to your level. I will always have that hope. And that’s what made me invest SO MUCH in so many. But in the end, the cheese stands alone — at least at review time. And harmony does not necessarily equal profitability. And the hole in the cheese’s heart grows a little bigger because of it.
I don’t know if Stinky Cheese will become part of the charcuterie platter. But I do have a feeling that if anybody can beat them into submission, or at least destroy their dreams and/or delusions, it’ll be me.