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The right people on the bus

Posted by Meg Bear on July 9, 2008


I’ve gushed before about how lucky I am and what a great team we have.  As someone who puts a lot of herself into her work, a great team is a big part of my own personal engagement

In the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about great teams I have worked with in the past.  Specifically those people who I would rehire if ever an opportunity were to arise.

In most cases my interest in rehiring someone is not as much about the current job opening, it is usually more about them being the right people to have on the bus.  So, what makes someone right for my particular bus? 

Been thinking about that too and here is what I’ve decided

  • People who solve problems — you give them a problem and they find a way to solve it.  Sure they ask for help, clarification, etc. but they will wrestle the problem to the ground.  You are never exactly sure why they are able to solve the problems they do, but there are some people who get stuck easily and there are others who find a way through.  It’s those who consistently get out the other side that I want back on my bus.

  • People who Lack ego— ok, this is not really true.   It’s not the lack of ego, it’s the ability to have an ego that does not require others to be lessened.  Inclusive egos.  People who see their accomplishments and achievements as better for the sharing, get those people on my bus.

  • Smart – yes, I admit it.  I have a strong bias toward people who are smarter then me.  Those who I have worked with in the past who have helped me learn, I want them around, preferably close to hand because I tend to have a lot of questions.

  • People who follow through – I am very much a “fire and forget” kind of girl.  People who are comfortable completing action items without reminders are absolutely people I want in my life.  I am a very competent nag, but boy is life better when you don’t have to exercise that skill.  If getting work from you is a lot of work for me, odds are I’m lukewarm about having you back on the bus.

  • Fun/Funny – I just can’t be serious for too long.  People who appreciate my own “special” sense of humor, who can tolerate my love of profanity.  People who do not take themselves too seriously.  Get them on my bus, you never know when you might need a party-bus.

Anyway, this is the list for my bus.  What about you?  What traits have the best people you worked with had?  What about them makes you wake up at night saying “I could totally solve that problem at work if only I had XXX back on my team“?

7 Responses to “The right people on the bus”

  1. Dan Norris said

    I suppose it’s probably somehow related to the first bullet you mentioned above, but for me, the most important thing I’m looking for when hiring is someone’s ability to learn new things and apply them quickly. This is a combination of resourcefulness, enthusiasm, attitude, and, often, troubleshooting skills. I don’t always hire someone for what they currently know–most of that will be obsolete in a few years anyway. If they can’t learn–and fast–I have little use for them. If they can learn, but have no desire to learn new things, I don’t have time for them.

    I sort of disagree with #3 in your list: Smart. I think intelligence is different than critical thinking and troubleshooting. For the types of work I find, someone that can take past experiences, apply them to a new situation and use that to predict what *might* happen next is the dude(tte) I want to work with me.

    I would have to say that the sense of humor is probably the most important trait to me. I tend to put myself in the technology equivalent of harm’s way pretty often. Those that get surly or unpleasant when servers and databases are crashing make my work much less enjoyable. The thing is going to crash if it is going to crash…why not have a laugh about it, won’t hurt anyone. See, feels better now, doesn’t it? kthxbye

    Thanks for a nice post!

  2. Meg Bear said

    @Dan Good point that I do use “smart” incorrectly/too loosely. It is a habit that I do a lot and I agree I’m wrong there. I know a lot of “smart” people who I don’t want on my bus. Your description is much better.

    I love that phrase “technology equivalent of harms way”, I think I will have to keep that for future. I think that describes my career😉. Thanks for the comments.

  3. Kris Dunn said

    Meg – love the list. I might add things to it based on my personal experience, but that would be nitpicking! I think what it comes down to for me is that I want employees who are natually engageed in what they do. I think your list captures that as well, thanks for sharing!

    KD

  4. Kris Dunn said

    PS – if my posts make you think about movies, yours make me think music..

    “get on the bus, gus”…

  5. Meg Bear said

    @Kris While I do love all things Paul Simon I think the point of that song (50 ways to leave your lover) was heading in the opposite direction from “rehire”😉

  6. Louise Barnfield said

    Great list! Recruiting sites would do well to include such a list of desirable personal traits up-front in all job postings!
    I don’t have additions. I’ll simply look at it from the passenger side if I may, and say that, with those as prereqs for my teammates, that’s a great bus to be on! Oh, and thinking back to my earlier post about synergistic teams … Bags, I take #5!

  7. Meg Bear said

    @Louise you are so on my bus!

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