A quick way to gauge talent

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in Hiring,Human Resources

Visitors to ancient Athens often came looking for the philosopher Socrates. One family approached him, said they were thinking of moving and asked if Athenians were good-natured, friendly and welcoming.

Socrates asked what the people were like back home. The family said their neighbors were negative, aggravating and actually horrible.

“Don’t move to Athens then,” Socrates said. “The people here are just like that.”

Another family later asked Socrates the same question. He also asked about folks back home. The family described their neighbors as wonderful—kind and caring.

“Move here then,” Socrates said. “People here are just like that.”

Lesson: When you’re hiring people, ask their bosses, mentors and co-workers. How they see their world is probably how they’ll see yours.

— Adapted from Liberating Passion: How the World’s Best Global Leaders Produce Winning Results, Omar Khan with Paul Brown, John Wiley & Sons.

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