Can she do the job?

by Brian Brittain on September 27, 2019


Can she do the job?

My thinking and conclusions on how to discern this have evolved a lot over time. Now I would say, there are four critical components to assess when wondering if a particular candidate for the role is likely to be successful? There are 4 key questions to ask?

1. Are they BIG enough to handle the intellectual complexity of the work in the role?

  • When you are thinking about the job requirements and the potential candidate, you need to ask yourself the following question. Does she have the cognitive power to be able to get her arms around the dimensions of this job? This is NOT something that one can develop. They either have it or they don’t. This dimension can evolve over time but you can’t speed it up.
  • An example would be some roles require the leader to hold on to 4 or 5 streams of work (projects) at the same time, making the appropriate trade-offs, and integrating those strings when appropriate. Some people can only hold one string at a time in their heads.

2. Do they KNOW enough for the role?

  • Does the candidate have the appropriate skills, knowledge and wisdom in their background to do the work in this role? OR, can I get the appropriate training for them so that they do?

3. Do they CARE enough about the work?

  • Are they motivated to do this work? Does it fit with what the candidate desires or values? Or are we taking an excellent sales person and turning them into a mediocre sales manager?

4. Are they MATURE enough to handle the social complexity?

  • This is a more subtle one, but essentially depending on the level of leadership it will require a level of self and social awareness. This is required in order to show the appropriate self-control over emotions and response to the social situation and demands the leader is in.
  • It also requires a level of ego-development where behaviour is no longer a reflection of what others want and expect of the leader, but a reflection of a leader’s individual and unique self-authorship (values, motives, points of view).

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