Avoid “Silver-Bullet” Hiring in Business and at Work

Periodically throughout my career, I have encountered leadership teams / business leaders who have engaged in “silver-bullet” hiring:  that is, their fervent but unfortunate belief that the hiring of one team member will solve all of the problems of a leadership team or even an entire organization.

My interview process early in my career with one such leadership team was interesting, to say the least. Each leadership team member, including the CEO, said the same two statements to me as a job candidate:

  • That the main goal of the person hired for the position would be to “bring the team together.” (The stated job description did not include that requirement.)
  • That I should ignore anything that one particular leadership team member asked me or said to me: the stated consensus of their peers and their manager was that they were an “asshole.”

The lack of self-reflection and dysfunction of this particular leadership team was particularly stunning, given the depth and breadth of their organizational and fiduciary responsibility. Which is why their efforts to support teamwork throughout the rest of the organization was ultimately not fruitful, as they did not walk the talk of teamwork themselves.

How will you avoid silver-bullet hiring and keep the focus on the efficacy of your existing leadership team, in business and at work?


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