Thoughts on Hiring a World Class Team:

One of the most important traits to look for when hiring is whether or not thecandidate is likely to take initiative.

Why? Because people who take the initiative are the kinds of people you want to work with everyday. Those are the kind of people you want on your team and the people you can rely on to get things done.

People who take the initiative demonstrate they’re capable of making decisions on their own. They understand the value of time.

Coincidentally, they’re also the type to constantly try to further themselves by learning new skills.

I got an email from my assistant last week asking me if I cared about my hire rates on UpWork:

What a good looking guy in that picture!

Sven took the initiative to warn me because this was something he figured was important enough to bring to my attention. That tells me he’s responsible, that he’s more than capable of understanding the task at hand and most importantly, cares about doing right things.

But could he have done better?

Sure.

I wrote back:

He could’ve assumed — based on my past answers — that I don’t care about how frequently I hire. He could have also taken the initiative to tell me what he was going to do next without expecting any response from me. The difference is giving me a heads up, vs. asking me for permission.

Giving me a heads up is the ideal situation because it would’ve saved me time from having to reply to his email — a lack of response would tell him I agree with his decision and in turn gives him the confidence to do things faster and more efficiently.


People who take the initiative are rare. They take the responsibility of the decision upon themselves and make shit happen. All you’d need to do is share with them your vision and the reason behind doing something and they’ll know what to do. If they get stuck, they’ll do their own research and learn whatever is needed to complete the task.

Someone who takes the initiative — that’s the kind of person you want to hire.

About the author

Jon Lee

I travel the world in search of lessons worth sharing. Addicted to culture shock and transparency. Currently working on heeyy and duuck.

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