These days, I spend a lot of time trying to understand what potential candidates value, as well as being very transparent about what I and my company value. If what I’m saying gets them nodding along like it’s music to their ears, then they’re going to love this job. If not, that’s fine too. Even if they are super-duper talented, it’s better for them and me to not try and sell a round peg into a square hole. Each of us ought to be doing the thing we really and truly want to do, in an environment that cares about what we care about. Life’s too short to live otherwise.
I had a few things going for me when I first started managing. I was likable, I took my responsibilities seriously, and I always cared to know both sides of the story. But I also had my white whales: an Asian upbringing that taught hierarchy and going with the flow, a desire for perfection, a cavern of insecurities.