• Jim Canfield

The Business QB: Hiring Great Managers

Updated: Jan 20


Great managers are essential to help run a business successfully. However, not every employee is cut out to be in a managerial position. Mangers need additional skills and traits in order to have an optimal performance in the role.


Right Person for the Job


If it’s hard to hire great people, it’s even harder to hire great managers. That’s perhaps why current employees are all too often promoted to managerial spots because they’re the best person in their department—not because they have what it takes to be effective managers. Making this mistake hurts the company twice: you lose a bright talent in the functional area, and you have a new manager who can’t do the job. When filling a manager position, make sure it is the right person for the job.


Managerial Success Traits


Luckily, there’s a simple, easy-to-use tool that can help you navigate this hiring challenge. The Managerial Success Traits (MST) tool is a list of personality traits and abilities that strongly correlate with success at the supervisor, middle manager, and chief executive levels.


With the MST, you score each candidate or manager on a 1–10 scale on traits such as personal motivation, business skills, and decision making. The tool allows you to envision how the candidate will function in a managerial position.


Picking a Winner


The next time you need to fill a key manager spot, use the MST scorecard to rank both internal and external candidates on each of the traits. Discuss any low scores with the candidate during the hiring process. You’ll know you have a winner if a candidate wants to talk about his or her weaknesses and sees them as learning opportunities. Winners don’t pretend to be perfect; they acknowledge their shortcomings and explain how they’re working on them.


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