I recently had a conversation with a candidate about a company I'm recruiting for. Act I of our conversation centered around me pitching the role and understanding what he'd done. Act II featured me trying to talk him out of the role that I'd just pitched. Why? Because in a very short period of time he'd convinced himself that this role was his dream gig and developed an emotional attachment to the "Concept" of company I was recruiting for. This was all based on some sort of fantasy he cooked up in the span of 30 minutes. Reality check for Hillman. . . I'm good, but not that good. The warts were too evident. Warts. We've all got 'em - every candidate and every company. Problems don't necessarily come about by having warts (issues, negatives, whatever you want to call them) but by how we deal with them. Do we know we have them? Do we just try to put a little makeup to hide them or are we actively identifying and dealing with them. If you've got zero awareness about them, then you're like my candidate. He doesn't know what he doesn't know; I get paid to sniff these people out. If you or your company is hiding them, then it's like going to a substance abuse counselor who's a practicing addict . . . you may not know why you get a funky feeling, but you get one. It's because on some level the conversation doesn't feel authentic. Me, I'm a big fan of knowing thyself - or in this case, knowing your warts. Practice actively listening to others when you solicit feedback about yourself or your company. When you hear something that you instinctively recoil from, practice shutting up and listening. When you're open to discovering what you're most put off by, then you're close to discovering and clearing up your warts. Or, for those who are less evolved, closer to finding a more effective shade of cover-up!
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