Leaders like to associate with other like-minded leaders. That’s perfectly natural. So, when adding to the team, in my experience, people typically tend to hire someone they can easily get along with, relate to and with whom they will enjoy working.
The challenge is that often translates into hiring people who think like them, make decisions like them, and even have similar life interests.
While hiring for cultural fit and chemistry on the team is certainly something I agree with and try to practice, I encourage senior leaders not to hire another “of them” for the team.
If we are not careful, simply because of the chemistry between us, we will be attracted towards candidates that are a lot like us. It often translates into hiring clones of the person doing the hiring. Before long, as the organization grows, it is full of people with similar interests attempting to reach the vision.
Again, while a team of “like-minded” people may sound good in principle, it can actually become a very limiting system. Variety on a team is what stretches the team to reach new heights.
You can hire people who can get along, but are still different from you.
The more I have grown as a leader the more I have concentrated on my weaknesses. I know my strengths well. I now need to know what is holding our team back from all we could be. In recent years I have strived to surround myself with people that stretch me and have skills – and even personalities and temperaments – different from me.
Leaders, as you are building your team, I suggest you look for people that are not like you. Don’t hire yourself – hire someone who completes you. Hire people that take you out of your comfort zone, maybe even conflict with your style a little. In the end, it will make your organization better.