R U Minding Your P’s and Q’s?

Blocks with letters on it

R U Minding Your P’s and Q’s?

Over the last 30+ years, The Synergy Organization has helped thousands of progressive leaders, including Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and Magnet Award recipients, to hire the “right fit” leaders the first time.  Integrating unique expertise, validated psychological testing, the findings from our Leadership Best Practices research studies, along with the Baldrige Criteria has enabled us to provide our clients with the precise data and confidence they need to simplify their hiring decisions, mitigate their risks and consistently hire extraordinary leaders most cost-effectively.


Hiring the right people doesn’t have to be complex.  Mind your P’s and Q’s and use evidence-based approaches to simplify how you decide who is the right fit for your most critical leadership positions.


Answer three questions (“the 3Qs”) to put things in their proper perspective:

  1. Have you ever hired someone you thought would be great… but who ultimately didn’t meet your expectations?
  2. Were you ever hired by someone who you subsequently learned you were not compatible with?
  3. In your personal life, how many people do you know who dated someone who seemed ideal initially… and later found out the match wasn’t as good as they had originally hoped?


Having asked these same three questions to thousands of senior executives, their answers have been strikingly consistent.  Upon reflection, they told us they wished that they had known these facts earlier both in their careers and in their personal lives… because they could have saved themselves a tremendous amount of time, money, and heartache…and they couldn’t help comparing their personal/dating lives with their professional lives.


Both our Leadership Best Practices Research Studies and our personal experiences have verified the similarities between hiring and dating.  Making informed decisions about the people we surround ourselves with is crucial to our success in life; it is these decisions that separate the best leaders from their average counterparts.   The best leaders in the best companies require better than average results from themselves and their team members.  They deliberately surround themselves with other highly capable people who can help them to achieve their goals.  They refuse to settle for the luck of the draw.


Stepping back for a moment, consider how “Personality” affects our decisions.  A useful way of evaluating someone’s personality is to look for the overt actions and words they consistently use over time.  This definition of personality focuses on a predictable pattern of observable behavior which a person displays on a daily basis.  This evaluative approach requires that we are honest with ourselves.  We are not psychics nor can we read other people’s minds!


We form our impressions of others’ personalities based on what they say and do and not their hidden, innermost thoughts.  Instead, we need to focus on others’ personalities in order to improve our hiring quotients and Follow the 3P’s … “Personalities Propel Performance“.  The Baldrige Criteria provide productive ways to apply this knowledge to:

  • Develop ever improving value to our customers and stakeholders and
  • Improve our organizations’ overall effectiveness and capabilities.


For example, Baldrige Category 1, Leadership, asks how do our senior leaders create an environment that engages customers, is innovative, and rewards high performance? Effective leaders in this category need to be driven to continuously improve, must be open and responsive to feedback, transparent, service-oriented, and willing to take intelligent risks.


Category 3, Customer Focus, asks us how do our employees listen and advocate for our customers… What do our leaders do to encourage and reward others to exceed customers’ expectations and to do more than does our competition?


Perhaps the most obvious category demonstrating how the right personalities propel performance is Category 5, Workforce Focus.  This asks how our organization assesses our workforce’s capabilities and capacity to facilitate their high performance.   Part of this includes what is the organization doing to recruit, select, develop, and retain high performers who will help to achieve the strategic objectives not only for today, but for the future as well.  Effective leaders know that when delegating responsibilities to others, they must demonstrate both the capacity and the desire to do their jobs well.


Just as evidence-based medicine recognizes that it costs much less to do the right things right the first time, progressive leaders understand they need to assess the specific criteria for success “up-front” in order to decide which candidate will be the best fit for their specific needs.  Using such straightforward, evidence-based approaches significantly increases confidence in our critical decisions and our selected leaders’ odds for success!