How to Hire a CEO, 5 Expensive Hiring Mistakes to Avoid & Back-to-Back Meetings Compound Stress
9 April 2023 Newsletter
“It’s not the journey, it’s not the destination, it’s the company you keep.”
– George Gan
Hope you’re Thriving!
It’s been a short week, with a few days off, a retreat overseas, and a few good meetings.
This weekend in Australia we have both a Friday and a Monday public holiday, and if you’re fortunate enough to have the same, I hope that they are both enjoyable and rewarding.
Let’s jump in.
How to Hire a CEO
This week I came across one of the greatest application processes that I’ve ever seen. It’s from Chess.com and is open to anyone interested in leading the world’s largest chess community.
Applicants must be rated at least 1600 in online chess, have 10+ years of management experience in tech or gaming, and not have an MBA from Harvard.
But then we get to the process of filtering applicants. And that’s where the special sauce is applied.
Here’s a question to begin with:
“The American business environment has fundamentally changed, following the insider trading and savings and loan scandals (of the 1980s and 90s). Explain business ethics and how they’re applied today (required)”
Now perhaps that’s what you might anticipate for a CEO role. But let’s now take a look at another question:
“What is your earliest chess memory? (required)”
OK, that could be legitimate for the CEO of a chess company. Then things get a little different – remember this is an application only. Many people use quirky questions, but only during interviews.
“Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about your mother (required)”
Take a look at the next couple of questions (below). It’s an awesome filter. And yes, people may need to ‘trawl’ through lots of resumes – remember anyone can apply – and in fact, they’ve now closed the job because it got so much attention.
But they are now certain to have some outstanding candidates to select from.
Here are three things I love about the process:
- It’s prequalifying candidates’ purpose alignment with questions like ‘Who is the world champion of chess?’ and ‘What is your earliest chess memory?’
- It’s looking for values fit by asking for single, good things about your mother and about the American business environment.
- It’s looking for creativity and problem-solving with questions like “Did you just hear something upstairs?”
As noted above, this is an excellent applicant filtering system and the job has expired now, but you can see their job board here.
The Role of the CEO
I had a great chat this week with New York-based speaker and coach Mike Goldman, helping him to launch his new podcast.
Check out the podcast link here.
Back-to-Back Meetings Compound Stress
If you’ve ever felt tired from back-to-back meetings, you’ll love this.
Microsoft has released a study outlining the way consecutive meetings without breaks create more stress for attendees. Scientists had participants wear EEG caps to detect brain wave activity and stress detection and had them sit through four meetings back-to-back, with one group granted a ten-minute break between meetings.
The group that took the breaks experienced a reset in brain activity. The team that didn’t take breaks, but transitioned from one meeting’s agenda to the next resulted in compounded stress for the employee – as they were forced to switch and think about the new challenge immediately before they were able to close the challenges of the previous meeting.
This confirms numerous studies that show how much stress is involved in “switch-tasking.” In other words, the brain needs closure on one topic before advancing to another because people will often begin thinking about a future event minutes before it happens. Employees with back-to-back meetings are feeling stressed from the lack of closure from one meeting, while anticipating the uncertainties and potential issues with a new agenda in an upcoming meeting.
The key? Schedule meetings to finish ten minutes before the hour, or their next meeting – for example, a 50-minute meeting rather than a one-hour meeting. And, if that’s not possible, call a hard stop with ten minutes to go and ask people to go for a walk to clear their heads.
Oh, and my theory about why the people without a break go from red to green in the fourth meeting is that they are actually ‘mind numb’ and the brain is self-resetting. During that time people probably aren’t doing their best work.
Check out the research here.
How To Make $800,000 on Amazon
This Week on The Growth Whisperers Podcast
The 5 Expensive Hiring Mistakes to Avoid
Hiring can be expensive.
It’s expensive in terms of time for leaders to commit to an effective hiring process, it’s expensive in terms of recruitment fees or costs, and it’s expensive in terms of productivity. And that’s when you get it right!
Sometimes we can make mistakes when hiring, and this can be even more expensive. Perhaps busy executives are skipping steps or they might not know what things to avoid.
This week we talk about five expensive hiring mistakes you should avoid.
Listen to The Growth Whisperers
Or watch it on YouTube
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