What’s your criteria when you are looking to hire someone?

After having hired numerous people myself, I often find it comes down to two main characteristics, which are surprisingly pretty rare: Common Sense & Initiative.

When I hire someone, I need to be able to trust they would do a better job than me. As the founder of multiple startups myself, I’ve had to take on multiple roles. I find that my curiosity to do the role faster and more efficiently is a characteristic that developed as an Entrepreneur. This often happens because Entrepreneurs think multiple steps ahead, their minds are on making faster, more efficient progress that results in monetary gains.

The problem with common sense is that it’s just not that common.

What is common sense? According to the dictionary, it means: good sense and sound judgment in practical matters. I’ve found that multiple failures, experiences as well as trying and testing multiple outcomes helps develop a strong sense of judgement.

How to develop common sense?

1. Question everything!

If you’re someone who thinks they have good common sense, you must ask yourself when was the last time you challenged a particular way of doing a process.

  1. Were you afraid of failure?

2. Did you ever do things differently than you were told (and not apologize for it?)

3. Have you pushed forward ideas on that reduce time and cost while increasing output?

These are often questions that an Entrepreneur finds themselves asking when carrying out a process. It’s the ability to deconstruct the process and put it back together while taking out unnecessary elements that ultimately result in friction.

2. Believe and you will achieve

Developing common sense is about having an incredible mindset. In fact, the best metaphor would be one that is similar to a Spider. You must be prepared to fail again and again, but you must affirm to yourself that you will find a better and faster way of doing the process.

Your brain is like a supercomputer. If you ask what 2+2 is, it will generate 4. However, if you ask it to calculate something as complex as e=mc(squared) it will calculate that too.

With your brain being a supercomputer imagine the answers are governed by inputs. The moment you enter the “input” – there must be an easier and faster way of doing this, you’ll notice your brain working tirelessly in the background to find a solution.

The result of this will be an enhanced level of perception because you’ve told your brain to think on a higher scale that transcends your current level of thinking.

Let’s take the second characteristic: Initiative

I can’t tell you the number of times while growing up I used to ask my parents for solutions and they always used to fire back and say: “use your initiative”. I’m sure you guys recall moments where you’ve been told this to. Little did I know how powerful this would be at the time.

If you’re always given the answer to what you ask, your brain will become lazy – it won’t bother thinking of the answer. Over time your brain will associate asking a question with receiving an immediate answer and therefore as a survival mechanism it will be quite satisfied that it doesn’t need to question this.

According to Google, initiative means “the power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do.”

How to develop Initiative?

Entrepreneurs are constantly thinking multiple moves ahead. Personally, I always see the situation as a game of chess, where certain actions result in certain outputs. Before I go into a business meeting I try and think of every possible outcome and what action I will take if that particular outcome happens. I often find this is between 6-8 variables.

When I hire someone I look for initiative, they must think multiple steps ahead. Ultimately, it comes down to two main words:

What if?

The moment you start questioning “What if?” you’ll be best prepared for eventualities that will ultimately result in you being better at your job.

That’s it for now!


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