Tl;dr of Who by Smart and Street

If you tell powerful people what they want to hear, you will get book blurbs from them and consulting engagements.

Who highlights

Reading Who by Geoff Smart

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Old me would have luxuriated in the pleasure of crushing the airhead authors and their pamphlet-of-tips-dressed-into-Hire-Us-the-Book form.

I will instead summarize the argument of the book:

  1. Know exactly what you are looking for in extreme detail when hiring
  2. Pursue the absolute best people and don’t settle for anything lower than the best best best
  3. One and two may take a little more time than all possible alternatives but don’t worry, and no we didn’t attempt to measure or quantify that
  4. Because…the best do better than the rest!
  5. QED

I will not bother disagreeing with vapidity of this chain of reasoning. Any big shot CEO who thinks there is nothing more to it than this…well they have more time and money than me.

It also seems to be a book for establishment companies that are not trying to change very much.

Now, there is something good from getting a couple of HR consultants to sit in front of a word processor and type for a couple weeks.

They have their list of questions.

Good questions are super super handy. I have this theory of Golden Questions. You can ask 200 questions in a satisfaction survey but only one truly matters (net promoter…).

In many areas this is true. In a roomful of high scoring grads of elite schools, why ask a puzzle question? Ask maybe “What’s the single most difficult thing you have ever accomplished?” Or propose a walk and ask about their favorite building in New York.

You can read their questions at that link of highlights.

Au revoir, Who!