Why Its a Bad Idea to Hire Someone Like Yourself

There’s a weakness shared by many leaders—one that spans cultures and industries—and most aren’t even aware that it’s a weakness. It’s this: in hiring, most leaders gravitate toward people they can relate to, people they can get along with and enjoy working with. While the results of such hires may not be disastrous, they fall short of being the best choice for you and your team.

When you hire someone like you, you’re duplicating a skill set, a background or a perspective—or all three. You already have someone like you on your team; what you need is someone who can complement your strengths, not mirror them. The differences between people are a valuable asset, and the more diverse your team is—the more skills and perspectives you can bring to the table—the stronger it will be. Seek out a range of people, hire them and appreciate them for who they are and what they contribute.

When you hire someone you like, you’re working from the wrong criteria. It’s great to enjoy the people you’re working with, but it’s far more important that they can stretch who you are and what you know. And sometimes the people who stretch us the most are those who can be frustrating and challenging. Don’t look for the most likeable candidate but the one who can bring the most to your team and your leadership.

When you hire someone you get along with, you may be creating an echo chamber. It’s always a good experience when you have positive chemistry with a prospective hire—when something immediately clicks—but you may be surrounding yourself with people whose personalities are too similar to your own. While you don’t want to hire anyone toxic or exceptionally difficult, remember that some tension is necessary for developing great work. The right kind of tension means you and everyone on the team are challenged to be open to new ideas and to shift your way of thinking—and that’s a positive force.

Making a bad hiring decision can be costly to your business and your leadership reputation. But bad hires are easier to avoid than the ones that aren’t terrible but also aren’t the best you could do. Filling positions with the right people is crucial to making your business and leadership work smoothly, so keep an open mind and remember the value of diversity when you’re tempted to hire someone who appeals to you on a personal level.

Lead from within: If you keep hiring people like yourself, people you like, and people you get along with, you’re depriving yourself and your team of important opportunities for growth and achievement.

 

 


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The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

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