by Michael Holland    

The show, Storage Wars on A&E on A&E, provides a look into the world of modern day archeologists seeking treasures buried in storage units that have been forfeited due to nonpayment.  Potential bidders for the auction have the opportunity to look through the door of the storage unit for a couple of minutes, but they cannot touch anything in the unit.   Peering in on the stacks and piles, the bidders must discern what treasures may be buried within the unit, using their wisdom, insight, and instincts.

When interviewing a candidate and making a hiring decision, we’re no better off than the bidders on Storage Wars.  We get some perspective, a glimpse of the real person, as we dig through their credentials, talk to references and work through the interview circuit.   But we can’t truly see the whole person, how they will interact with our culture or how they will deploy their experience and ambition.

It’s been said that you see the best of an employee during the interview, so you’re gambling that the reality won’t be too far removed from what you’ve found during the interview process.  But sometimes, every now and then, you do make an extraordinary hire.  You find that diamond in the rough.  Like the bidder on Storage Wars who finds the diamond ring buried in the shoebox inside the old duffle bag and smiles at the reality of finding a treasure worth 100 times what they paid for the storage unit.  This diamond for you is realizing that you’ve not only invested in a successful employee, but found a future leader whose rippling positive impact will be felt across employees, customers and vendors for decades to come.

Get Inspired:  Watch a previous Storage Wars show online.  Think through how the show, the bidders, and the storage units parallel your work environment, the team you lead, and your leadership behaviors.