When individuals grow, organisations grow, says Debra Bednar-Clark,
CEO and founder of career and leadership coaching firm
During her time as head of global head of business strategy and growth at Facebook, and as Microsoft’s director of US market strategy and engagement, she found that it’s best to facilitate that growth from the moment a job applicant enters the interview.
“One of the first things I do when I’m interviewing an employee to hire them is ask questions about, ‘How do you want to be of service?’” she told Business Insider.
“I start there because I think it’s an interesting place. You can be of service to people, to the planet, to animals — whatever currently inspires you. Different positions require different things, but if you can understand what a person is innately good at and where their interests and passions live, you can better align them with the goals of the organisation.”
“When you have those conversations from the outset you can understand who this person is, what why’re best at, and you can make the connection.”
Bednar-Clark gave an example from her time at Facebook, when she was managing a team that incorporated members of varying backgrounds ranging from creative directors to data scientists to producers “with different backgrounds, experiences, aspirations, hopes, and fears.”
She learned an employee’s father was an inventor, “and that was something he was very proud of and he considered himself to have that trait. I started thinking: He was working on programs for short-term revenue growth, but we didn”t have anyone thinking about building out the pipeline for long term revenue growth. I thought, if he’s an inventor, why not give him the opportunity to do that?”
Working with a person’s strengths doesn’t have to mean giving them an entirely new project. It could be as simple as mapping them to different vertical, she said, and allowing them to lend their strongest skills to the company’s existing work. In any team, she said, “those small pivots go a long way to make someone feel really fulfilled.”
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