Are You Hiring Workers, Or Are You Hiring Leaders?

Gapingvoid delivered this question in their daily newsletter, and I believe how leaders answer this question determines how they view their company now and tomorrow.

What’s the difference between a worker and a leader?

Most organizations hire people to tell them what to do; to complete a set of tasks. They look for people who are highly competent in one specific skill and have a track record for repeating said competence. But as Simon Sinek has said, “When we tell people to do their jobs, we get workers. When we trust people to get the job done, we get leaders.”

Trust is the key word here. When you trust people to get the job done it means you don’t determine “how” they get it done; you trust them to figure out the how. When you do the opposite, you send people the message that you’ll reward people for following instructions.

This is why I believe most organizations only pay lip service to the concept of autonomy and empowerment; they’re the opposite of following instructions.

So, are you hiring people who challenge the status quo or are you hiring people who are happy to keep things as they are?

If you want innovation, you have to hire leaders; because innovation is another code word for leadership, learn how to identify more leadership behaviors and how to develop them.


Bottom line: To hire workers means you hire for short-term results; to maintain the status quo. To hire leaders means you’re building for the future; not just today.