The system we grew up in is based on a simple formula: Do your job. Show up. Work hard. Listen to the boss. Stick it out. Be part of the system. You’ll be rewarded. Seth Godin, Linchpin

There is a connection between fear and a person’s potential to succeed. The trepidation that comes with ascending and achievement is systemic in the workplace today. Many work environments are managed by fear and anger as a means to control the cogs (employees) in the machine. In this system a worker is allowed to succeed by following the rules and listening to the boss. There is little or no room for opinion or individual contribution (except for the employee suggestion box. (Where do those notes go?). By design replacing employees in this system is easy. Easily replaceable parts means higher productivity, lower wages and less trouble. Damn, that is smart business. My father taught me how to supervise, manage, interview, hire and fire. I hired my first employee at eighteen and “my” belief began.

Employees must make decisions but usually won’t! The most important attribute of a great team member is courage. This is not an easy thing to measure but can be discovered through a detailed recruiting and interviewing process. In organizations that thrive there are more courageous decision makers than factory line workers. There is a place for them both and all will be respected for the contributions they give. But decision making is key to creating greatness. It takes courage to make a decision because it can result in great things, terrible things and everything in between.

Fear is the reason leaders stop, the reason employees defer and the reason companies die. When recruiting a team you will find people at different levels of courage. It is difficult to work through the masks of fear. In an interview a candidate comes donning his shield (resume), sword (letters of recommendation) and shining armor (years of experience and fast talk). It is all theatrics. Most interviewing consists of a lot of huffing and puffing of egos. You want to sell your company because you need someone to fill the position and they listen because they need a job. After all, they are the knight in shining armor and you want to have them at the round table. The “question” is the great equalizer. The first thing is to ask questions, a lot of questions. In order to ask great questions you will need to know what to ask. Click the button below to get 10 Interview Hints for better results.

There are no longer any great jobs where someone else tells you precisely what to do. Seth Godin, Linchpin