There is comfort in things that are familiar, but don’t let that stop you from hiring your opposite! That is my advice for aspiring leaders.

So many times we rely on “the familiar” when it comes to hiring resources for our companies. Hiring someone different from you isn’t easy, and sometimes working with them can be even more challenging. The rationale is that “we will work together easily and get more done.” But it never works out that way.

Finding less expensive ways to accomplish more work often requires cultural change that won’t come from a team that thinks the same way or does things in the same way. How many times are your ideas challenged? In my experience working with companies that successfully undergo major organizational and cultural changes, there is often conflicting and competing ideas for how to do things for a period of time. Nearly everything is “wrong” and everything is debated. This is often difficult for long-time employees, as the “the way we always have done it” is no longer accepted. But after a while an interesting thing starts to happen: people with different backgrounds and skillsets start to find smart ways to accomplish things, and it’s often better, cheaper, and faster!

If you are a quiet, big-picture, relationship-oriented person with an open position on your team, you might consider looking for your opposite. Hiring an outspoken, detail-oriented, process-focused person with a different educational background might be exactly what you need to take your organization to the next level.

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