The Three-Legged Stool

December 17th, 2013 by Rich Christiansen

Rich: Good morning everyone! It’s been a couple of months since I’ve recorded from my office. I couldn’t resist this morning for two reasons. First of all you’ve got to check out my beautiful view. I’ve got this amazing view overlooking the golf course with the ducks and geese flying around during the winter and beautiful mountains. You know, the primary reason we do business is to have incredible lives and to enjoy all the gifts that God gives us. The reality is we oftentimes forget that, so this morning I am so grateful for my view on life.

The second reason is one of the proof-cases of The Zigzag Principle was my super moms. After a year of attempting and swinging and missing they have their first really good hit. Emily, say hi to Colette.

Colette:  Hi!

Rich: Colette is running a company called Golden Zephyr and has had a great little win here. Emily is behind the camera there, say hi Emily.

Emily: Hello!

Rich: Emily and Colette and going to be interviewing today to assemble a new team for a new project and they were asking me what the key things were that they really needed to look for while interviewing and hiring. They have already compiled and composed their list of questions and you know this is an area where I’ve done pretty good through the years. I’ve literally hired and fired thousands of people, but it wasn’t until the last year and a half that I really discovered and put in place what I call The Three-Legged Stool of Hiring. The three legs are this:

Leg Number One: Skill. You have to check for skill. Rather than just talk about skill you should actually run through an exercise. Run through a series and sequence of events that they’d be doing on a daily basis. Leg number one is skill. However, a one-legged stool is pretty wobbly, isn’t it? So most people figure out you also have to have a culture fit and a personality fit. This leads us to the second leg of your stool.

Leg Number Two: Culture. You need to have a little bit of mojo in the relationship. So of course, particularly in the second interview you want to be interviewing for culture. Even with a second leg your stool is still pretty wobbly so this third and key leg is a concept that I wrote about in The Zigzag Principle.

Leg Number Three: The Doorman Principle or the Gatekeeper and that means screening potential hires for your values. The worst, most difficult hires I made in my career were incredibly skilled individuals that sometimes fit with the culture but didn’t align with the long-term values of the company.

When we started using this principle we started developing super-star companies. This little team that I have outside the door here: Stephen, Matt, Eric, and Jared who leads the team now. You’ve got Curtis and of course Emily behind the camera and all these individuals all together make up the most powerful team I’ve ever worked with. You’ve also got Landon running the warehouse and Zach down there with him. Everyone is focused. Everyone is contributing. There are no issues and they are a total delight to work with.

It takes all three levels, not just two. Skill is number one, culture is number two, and most importantly are the values. Go forward, build three-legged stools, not one or two, and hire well.

The Three-Legged Stool

December 17th, 2013 by Rich Christiansen

Rich: Good morning everyone! It’s been a couple of months since I’ve recorded from my office. I couldn’t resist this morning for two reasons. First of all you’ve got to check out my beautiful view. I’ve got this amazing view overlooking the golf course with the ducks and geese flying around during the winter and beautiful mountains. You know, the primary reason we do business is to have incredible lives and to enjoy all the gifts that God gives us. The reality is we oftentimes forget that, so this morning I am so grateful for my view on life.

The second reason is one of the proof-cases of The Zigzag Principle was my super moms. After a year of attempting and swinging and missing they have their first really good hit. Emily, say hi to Colette.

Colette:  Hi!

Rich: Colette is running a company called Golden Zephyr and has had a great little win here. Emily is behind the camera there, say hi Emily.

Emily: Hello!

Rich: Emily and Colette and going to be interviewing today to assemble a new team for a new project and they were asking me what the key things were that they really needed to look for while interviewing and hiring. They have already compiled and composed their list of questions and you know this is an area where I’ve done pretty good through the years. I’ve literally hired and fired thousands of people, but it wasn’t until the last year and a half that I really discovered and put in place what I call The Three-Legged Stool of Hiring. The three legs are this:

Leg Number One: Skill. You have to check for skill. Rather than just talk about skill you should actually run through an exercise. Run through a series and sequence of events that they’d be doing on a daily basis. Leg number one is skill. However, a one-legged stool is pretty wobbly, isn’t it? So most people figure out you also have to have a culture fit and a personality fit. This leads us to the second leg of your stool.

Leg Number Two: Culture. You need to have a little bit of mojo in the relationship. So of course, particularly in the second interview you want to be interviewing for culture. Even with a second leg your stool is still pretty wobbly so this third and key leg is a concept that I wrote about in The Zigzag Principle.

Leg Number Three: The Doorman Principle or the Gatekeeper and that means screening potential hires for your values. The worst, most difficult hires I made in my career were incredibly skilled individuals that sometimes fit with the culture but didn’t align with the long-term values of the company.

When we started using this principle we started developing super-star companies. This little team that I have outside the door here: Stephen, Matt, Eric, and Jared who leads the team now. You’ve got Curtis and of course Emily behind the camera and all these individuals all together make up the most powerful team I’ve ever worked with. You’ve also got Landon running the warehouse and Zach down there with him. Everyone is focused. Everyone is contributing. There are no issues and they are a total delight to work with.

It takes all three levels, not just two. Skill is number one, culture is number two, and most importantly are the values. Go forward, build three-legged stools, not one or two, and hire well.

Transparency is Powerful

December 3rd, 2013 by Rich Christiansen

This past weekend I was invited by Nancy Singleton to speak at a conference. I sit in a Mastermind with her and I’ve always liked and respected Nancy. She has amazingly high energy, a can-do attitude, and most important of all is her sheer, raw belief that anything is possible.

Nancy asked me to speak on the new world of SEO and present a new technology that will allow people to find and retain leads for their sites and businesses. I was particularly impressed as Nancy got in front of the crowd and, with transparency and openness, explained that some of the theories that she thought were high-powered last year actually ended up not working. One example she specifically stated was that social media turned out not to be a lead generation source, as she initially suspected it would, but instead was more of a supportive technology. The crowd was instantly drawn to Nancy via her truthfulness and listened intently to everything else she had to say.

Later on that night I watched as Nancy and her family played bluegrass music together and there was Nancy up on the stage, strum, strum, strumming her instrument and again I noticed how everyone was naturally drawn to Nancy.

I think one of her greatest characteristics is her authentic, open transparency. Too often in life we attempt to behave perfectly and act like we know everything and when we make a mistake we’re afraid to admit it. I believe Nancy’s following is largely drawn to her because of her authentic openness and transparency. We can all take note and learn a lesson from this. When we make a mistake we can admit it, when we stub our toe we can show it, and when learn something new we can adjust and adapt. I think this is one of the most powerful ways we can gain and retain new followers.

Thank you Nancy for once again teaching me this profound lesson.

Transparency is Powerful

December 3rd, 2013 by Rich Christiansen

This past weekend I was invited by Nancy Singleton to speak at a conference. I sit in a Mastermind with her and I’ve always liked and respected Nancy. She has amazingly high energy, a can-do attitude, and most important of all is her sheer, raw belief that anything is possible.

Nancy asked me to speak on the new world of SEO and present a new technology that will allow people to find and retain leads for their sites and businesses. I was particularly impressed as Nancy got in front of the crowd and, with transparency and openness, explained that some of the theories that she thought were high-powered last year actually ended up not working. One example she specifically stated was that social media turned out not to be a lead generation source, as she initially suspected it would, but instead was more of a supportive technology. The crowd was instantly drawn to Nancy via her truthfulness and listened intently to everything else she had to say.

Later on that night I watched as Nancy and her family played bluegrass music together and there was Nancy up on the stage, strum, strum, strumming her instrument and again I noticed how everyone was naturally drawn to Nancy.

I think one of her greatest characteristics is her authentic, open transparency. Too often in life we attempt to behave perfectly and act like we know everything and when we make a mistake we’re afraid to admit it. I believe Nancy’s following is largely drawn to her because of her authentic openness and transparency. We can all take note and learn a lesson from this. When we make a mistake we can admit it, when we stub our toe we can show it, and when learn something new we can adjust and adapt. I think this is one of the most powerful ways we can gain and retain new followers.

Thank you Nancy for once again teaching me this profound lesson.

Transparency is Powerful

December 3rd, 2013 by Rich Christiansen

This past weekend I was invited by Nancy Singleton to speak at a conference. I sit in a Mastermind with her and I’ve always liked and respected Nancy. She has amazingly high energy, a can-do attitude, and most important of all is her sheer, raw belief that anything is possible.

Nancy asked me to speak on the new world of SEO and present a new technology that will allow people to find and retain leads for their sites and businesses. I was particularly impressed as Nancy got in front of the crowd and, with transparency and openness, explained that some of the theories that she thought were high-powered last year actually ended up not working. One example she specifically stated was that social media turned out not to be a lead generation source, as she initially suspected it would, but instead was more of a supportive technology. The crowd was instantly drawn to Nancy via her truthfulness and listened intently to everything else she had to say.

Later on that night I watched as Nancy and her family played bluegrass music together and there was Nancy up on the stage, strum, strum, strumming her instrument and again I noticed how everyone was naturally drawn to Nancy.

I think one of her greatest characteristics is her authentic, open transparency. Too often in life we attempt to behave perfectly and act like we know everything and when we make a mistake we’re afraid to admit it. I believe Nancy’s following is largely drawn to her because of her authentic openness and transparency. We can all take note and learn a lesson from this. When we make a mistake we can admit it, when we stub our toe we can show it, and when learn something new we can adjust and adapt. I think this is one of the most powerful ways we can gain and retain new followers.

Thank you Nancy for once again teaching me this profound lesson.