Improving Team performance

Assessment to Success: Interviewing for Winning Teams!

Jeff Magee asked:

It starts with recruiting selection and orientation. It is easier to train an eagle then to teach a pig to fly! – Mel Kleiman

As a legendary leader, building a winning team from the beginning can make LEADING a winning team much easier.

In most business realities today, managerial-leaders assume their positions and thus assume their teams. When an opportunity presents itself to add a complimenting player to a team, management most often fumbles this opportunity.

Many times, the newly acquired player to the existing team is not objectively acquired as a personnel asset that truly compliments and adds to the pre-existing teams strengths by filling an existing teams weaknesses. Many times, the new player is a shade of what already exists.

Further complimenting this endeavor is management’s hurried approach many times to fill a vacancy. This lack of thorough objective analysis complicates the process of advertising, interviewing and adding a new player to a team.

Consider two strategic leadership actions, that will improve the quality of the personnel assets acquired in your future. Firstly, use the following template, for your determination of what your next PERSONAL ASSET must have, should have, and would be nice if they had, as they arrive to your team.



1. Start with a mindset that for every functional position you seek, you must craft a new assessment instrument for that position; some qualifiers may blend over from one position to another, but each position has unique functions and those should be detailed and measured. With this understanding, for every position, list the specific position on the top of a page. Adjacent to that “Position Statement” then note, the basic expected functions/tasks that a candidate to-be-hired will be expected to execute. Down the CENTER of the page, list each Trait Competency/Behavior/Skill necessary for a person to possess, to be capable to execute that function or task.

2. On the LEFT side of the page adjacent to each entry, place a measurement scale of numbers, one through five. This scale is for “Importance Of Skill Level Sought” for that position (1=Not Required; 2=Nice To Have; 3=Basic Requirement Needed; 4=Important; 5=Key).

3. On the RIGHT side of the page adjacent to each entry, place a measurement scale of numbers, one through five. This scale is for Candidates Skill Level Possession at the present time in relation to that position and corresponding traits sought (1=Unskilled; 2=Minimum; 3=Adequate; 4=Proficient; 5=No Improvement Needed).

As a leader, this template instrument will allow you to facilitate more effective dialogue and stimulate a thorough conversational interview with the candidates you meet. As a leader, you will want to have all interviewers use this same template when meeting with candidates. Then collect all profile instrument pages and cross-reference how others scored the candidates Skill Level Possession side of the score sheets.

Some of the variables that may need to be added to the CENTER of the page, where the Trait Competency/Behavior/Skill category appears, could be:

1. Basic functionality needs for a position and the obvious corresponding traits necessary to execute that need, and which the immediate supervisor desires, that may not come to the surface from the above due diligence.

Co-worker complementing needs to add to the over functionality of the team.

2. Immediate management needs from a position that may not come to the surface from the above due diligence should be added.

3. Immediate and future needs and expectations from the organization of a position should also be added.


To further enhance the effectiveness of the assessment instrument that you develop and use, another section for assessment should be POSITION AUDITION.

Given that evaluating candidates for your team and determining their true net worth is compounded by governmental legislation which precludes one from asking many of the core questions needed – due in large part to the election of mediocre individuals at best to Congress and their subsequent cascade of legislation and EEOC regulations that protect poor performers and cause the passing of one organizations’ baggage onward to others; witness the trauma in the media today of priests, teachers, employees at large that when significant crises arise, the media then learns that their behavior has been systemic and historic in nature!

A means of determining how one may enrich a team is to create real-to-life scenario driven audition for each candidate. Just as an actor reveals information via answers to questions and their resume in an interview for a part in a motion picture, it is the actual audition of that actor that affords the director (equivalent to the business managerial-leader) a glimpse into the raw talent that they potentially bring to the role if hired!

Some businesses accomplish this by providing a candidate a paid tenure (one or two day) exposure into a position as a ride-along with a sales professional in the field or working at the customer contact window in a retail outlet, etc.

This Personal Performance Interview Assessment Instrument* and accompanying Position Audition* will provide valuable information in determining who should be added to your winning teams, and how you can meet your future needs head-on with confidence as a Legendary Leader!

*for an eCopy of this template, send a request to

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