Anupam Mittal, founder of and Shark Tank judge, posted advice on building a successful leadership team on social media jobsite LinkedIn on April 18.

Starting his post by claiming that “wrong leadership kills a company”, Mittal went on to elaborate on the significance of an effective leadership team and its impact on the success of a company.

What is Mittal’s Advice?

“How do you kill a company? By hiring the wrong leadership!” claims Mittal. he added that while one can “have a revolutionary product, a passionate team, and a booming market – all brought to their knees by a few bad decisions at the Leadership level”.

He further said that while it is common knowledge that hiring the right people in senior positions is important, it is among the list of things that fall into the “simple but not easy” category.

“Founders & CXOs today are bombarded with fancy recruitment tools, psychometric evaluations, and interview techniques promising the perfect hire. But, most of them are only marginally effective. Unlikely that a smart senior individual will fail an interview, no?” he noted.

To help, Mittal outlined the three factors that he focussed on while hiring for senior positions and roles — having multiple meetings with the prospective hires, conducting unnamed reference checks, and hiring “builders” who get things done.

Here’s how he elaborated it

1. ⁠Meet again & again &: According to Mittal, everyone has their guard up during office hours and official interviews. “The key is to be in a more relaxed environment and the best setting is over a meal – saves time too,” he noted.

Further, he believes that one such meeting won’t do. “You specifically need 3 (meetings) and here is the brilliant hack -> If every meeting gives you more confidence, you got your hire. If you get more doubtful, move on”, he advised.

2.⁠ ⁠Do “Unnamed” Ref Checks: Mittal feels that “named” reference checks don’t work. “I use my own networks to find common connections and request them for confidential 15-20 min reference checks”, he added.

He also shared his “PEARL” theory to conduct reference checks – as follows:

P – Promise reciprocity

E – Ensure confidentiality

A – Ask targeted questions

R – Retrieve critical insights

L – Learn to rehire potential

3.⁠ ⁠Hire Builders: “What you want in a leader is -> High learning agility + Strong ownership + Outcome orientation + High degree of candour,” shared Mittal. He added that “builders” usually have these traits.

“They (builders) like to roll up their sleeves and get shit done. Preachers and politicians can create toxicity in an organisation, what you are looking for are scientists who love questioning the status quo and finding the right answers,” he added.

To finish he concluded that “building a winning leadership team takes time”, but hiring right “will cut down half your workload”.

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Published: 18 Apr 2024, 01:18 PM IST

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