Bill Wagner, author of The Entrepreneur Next Door, once noted that “The most successful entrepreneurs know that the greatest knowledge is self-knowledge. They’re not necessarily blessed with a higher intellect or more charisma than others, but they understand how to make the best of their talents and how to manage or compensate for their weaknesses.” This is true. 

Most entrepreneurs compensate for their weaknesses by hiring a team that can work together, successfully.

How do they do this? Well, it’s much more complex than it may sound and sadly, most entrepreneurs fail their first few times around. Who you hire and how they work together can make or break almost any business. Therefore, it’s essential to get to know your candidates well, before making any decisions on who to hire.

Typically, teams consist of different types of people. Some are quiet, others can’t stop talking. Many work fast, many work slow. Some will think logically, others will think creatively, and so on. Therefore, when getting to know your candidates, it’s essential to understand the value system they fall into.

successful team 2

In his book A question of values: Six Ways We Make the Personal Choices That Shape Our Lives, Hunter Lewis notes that everyone falls into one of six overarching value systems.

  1. Artistic: People with this type of value system express a dominant interest in beauty, harmony, imagination, and the pursuit of art and creative expression. They are interested in turning intuition into artistic creations.
  2. Logical: People with this type of value system express a dominant interest in using deductive logic, dialectics, and advanced mathematical tools to solve problems and make decisions.
  3. Social: People with this type of value system express a dominant interest in altruism and philanthropy, helping other people, and nurturing and caring for others.
  4. Authoritative: People with this type of value system express a dominant interest in having power and influence, as they value competition and leadership as ways to achieve power.
  5. Physical: People with this type of value system express a dominant interest in the use of their physical prowess, hand-eye coordination, and agility.
  6. Scientific: People with this type of value system express a dominant interest in the exploration of the nature of the world or of human beings. They are interested in collecting data and doing scientific research.

No value system is better than the next. Each system comes with specific strengths and weaknesses that vary from other systems.

Therefore, in order to develop a successful team it’s essential to hire people of all different value systems.

Group of businesspeople looking at laptop and cheering

 

How to better understand a candidate’s specific value system? Here are 6 interview question to help you find out:

  1. How do you approach making career decisions?

  2. How do you interact with coworkers and supervisors?

  3. How well do you like the work that you will be doing in this position?

  4. How would you define your strengths? Weaknesses?

  5. How do you recognize and value diversity in others?

  6. How do you solve problems and resolve conflicts?

Asking candidates each of these open-ended questions and giving them an opportunity to elaborate, will allow you the information needed to understand their values, and to which system they belong. It will also give you the chance to have a “normal” conversation with each candidate, just like you would in the workplace.

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