What do you believe are the key characteristics of a successful leader? How important are these characteristics to you as you look to move into a new position? Will having a manage or supervisor with these characteristics help you to be more successful? Do you want to work for someone who inspires you to do better, to grow and reach for higher goals?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I have one more for you. How do you identify these characteristics during an interview or hiring process? Better yet, how do you know the person you may be working for in the position you’re considering demonstrates these characteristics?
There is so much more to the work experience than schedule, salary, benefits and environment. There is the big ‘C’. Culture is often created and defined by the leaders in an organization; so how do you find out if you will be working for a leader or for a manager, because there is a big difference.
Navigating these waters can make you feel like Dory trying to find Nemo in the middle of the Ocean. Needle in a haystack doesn’t quite cut it. Where do you start? Who should you ask for help? Or do you, just keep swimming just keep swimming, swimming, swimming, swimming, hoping you don’t run into sharks, jellyfish or worse, humans!
Seeking a little assistance is never a bad thing. Here are a few questions you should stop and ask yourself and your interviewer/hiring manager before saying accepting any offer.
- What is the management style of the person this position reports to?
- What is their communication style?
- What training and development programs are available to help someone new to this position be successful?
- What does your new hire orientation consist of?
- How does this position play a part in overall mission of the organization?
- How frequently do individual reviews take place?
Yes this is a long list of questions and I could actually add a few more, but for the sake of brevity let me make my point.
- Does the company care about your success?
- Are they investing in human capital?
- Do they value ongoing training and performance management?
- Do you personally identify with the mission/vision of the organization?
- Can you see yourself spending 70% of your waking hours working with and for these individuals?
If you can positively answer those questions, then you can feel confident you are making an informed decision. If you find that they either don’t know the answers to the above questions or are unwilling to answer them; then I say again you can feel confident you are making an informed decision.
An interview is a two way street. It has to be a good fit for everyone, that’s when the magic really happens. When it’s a one sided relationship or when you are unclear as to the value of your role, expectations or performance, then back away slowly and carefully consider the steps you are about to take and if they will align with your longer term goals.
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