I’ll admit straight-up that I’m a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps kind of person. My mantra has long been – Take initiative! Just do it! You’re responsible for your own success!
While I still believe that initiative and hard work are incredibly important, I had to own up to the fact that my do-it-myself personality impeded my growth and the success of my business.
Herbert Hoover beat the drum of rugged individualism during his presidency. He believed that the government’s involvement in the financial affairs of ordinary citizens would impede their growth. His fear was that if the government bailed people out during the Great Depression, people would lose initiative.
And if you’re trying to build your business or blog all on your own, it’s time to accept the fact that alone you’ll only be a fraction of the success that you could be with the help of others.
I know – the challenge is that it can take up to three years to fully integrate new team members. So it’s essential to hire the right team members.
One of the best ways to do so is to hire people of character. Here are 5 essential character traits to look for when hiring members for your team…
Nobody knows everything. Even if someone is an expert, he still has things to learn. If he joins your team, he needs to learn to do what you direct, even if he would do it differently himself.
This isn’t to say that YOU shouldn’t be teachable. In fact, it’s important to model each of the character traits in this post, including teachability, yourself. However, once you’ve made the decision to go a particular direction or do things a certain way, it’s vital for team members to support you in that decision, even if they would do it differently.
2. Strong Work Ethic
People with a strong work ethic go beyond minimums. They are always on the lookout for opportunities to do more than what is asked. And if you hire team members with a strong work ethic, you never have to worry about whether or not they are taking shortcuts, or failing to do assigned tasks.
Team members with a strong work ethic go the extra mile, and they do it with a smile.
Team members with strong character are quick to admit it when things go wrong. They don’t sweep mistakes under the rug. They shine a spotlight on them so that the problem can be clearly seen and dealt with.
They are humble enough to admit when they make mistakes, and resourceful enough to come up with a plan to keep the same mistake from happening again.
When hiring team members, make it clear that Debbie-Downers need not apply. Negative attitudes spread like wild fire. But so do good attitudes. Positive team members impact everyone on the team – including you – in a positive way.
Test out potential team members’ positivity level before hiring by asking about previous work situations. Do they go out of their way to badmouth, or do they speak about previous employers and teammates in a way that honors them?
5. A Heart to Serve
Team members who have an attitude of “How can I serve you?”- rather than, “What can you do for me?” – will be an absolute source of joy not only to you, but to others as well.
This is especially important when hiring team members who will interact with others on your behalf. For instance, if you hire an assistant that gets annoyed when people need help, it not only hurts others, it also discredits you. In contrast, an assistant that takes joy in serving others will represent you well, and actually attract rather than repel the people you most need to reach.
While some degree of team conflict and issues are inevitable, if you make a point of hiring team members with the five traits mentioned above, you’ll be well on your way to working with your dream team.
For a full description of these and other ways to select the right people for your team, check out Rebecca’s new book, Blogger’s Quick Guide to Working with a Team.