Hiring a CEO or key leaders or promoting people to top leadership roles are profoundly consequential decisions. The right choice results in unprecedented success. The wrong call can set an organization back decades.

Hire or promote slowly. Hire and promote for integrity and performance only. Adhere to objective evidence and avoid subjective and personal biases or irrational reasoning. Have a model process and allow it to work. Seek the input and insights of many. It will confirm a sound choice or avoid a disastrous decision.

A professional, disciplined, comprehensive, strategic, and evidence-based recruitment and hiring process seeking the best pool of top tier internal and external candidates leads to positive outcomes. Know your mission, goals, objectives, culture, and team and who you need to excel with them.

Your reputation enables you to attract a pool of high-quality candidates. You should have also developed a team of leaders in the organization ready for greater challenges.

Employ a search process guaranteed to locate, interest, and engage talented leaders of integrity. Look at your mission, goals, objectives, culture, and team and specifically advertise and recruit for leaders who match them. Position advertisements can’t be long generic wish lists. They are highly specific based upon the organization’s mission, goals, objectives, culture, and team.

Collect a lot of information from many different sources and create numerous different opportunities for quality interaction with the candidates and your diverse set of key internal and external stakeholders. Listen to and learn from employees and others who interact with the candidates.

Dysfunctional organizations resort to rapid hiring, snap promotions, and fraudulent or make-believe searches. They allow a single person to handpick their successor with no input from anyone else. They rig the game to get their personally preferred candidate.

Their reputation stops gifted leaders of integrity from ever applying. They allow friendships, family, personal likes or dislikes, being confident they can completely control the person, or any other non-evidentiary or illogical factor unrelated to performance and integrity to drive the decision. They write personal checks on the company account. Subjective biases replace objective evidence.

They don’t listen. In fact, they don’t want to hear it. They will pick a CEO over the objections of most employees, key investors, and plenty of customers pointing to the person’s total lack of qualifications for the role.

In the end, both high performing and failing organizations get what they want. Recruit, hire, evaluate, and promote for performance and integrity and you will get it. Decide on your leaders like it will strongly impact the careers and lives of many good people because it will. Choose them like the very survival of the company is at stake because it is.


Image: The Devil Wears Prada