No One Left Behind

The British media has already started to talk about Rishi Sunak becoming Boris Johnson’s successor to lead the Conservative party. So, did Boris make a mistake in promoting Rishi to Chancellor on the 13th February 2020; pushing him into the spotlight?

Currently, Mr Sunak has the Government’s highest approval ratings; one poll last weekend giving him a +41 rating, compared to Boris’ +2.

Some may argue that Boris Johnson has, inadvertently, hired his political ‘assassin’, who, over the next 3 years, will prove a constant threat to his leadership.

Last Wednesday, whilst Rishi gave his mini-budget announcement in the House of Commons, the television cameras turned continuously to the PM, ‘tucked comfortably into a corner of the Treasury Bench’. He was braying loudly as Rishi took centre-stage. Far from being threatened, it was reported that Boris ‘looked as happy as a football manager watching a classy new purchase bossing the midfield in a cup-tie’.

There is an opinion that, sometimes, executives are hired for being the ‘best fit’ not the ‘best candidate’.

However, a leader, confident in their vision, should not be concerned about this and should hire a successor not for where their business is today, but for where the business wants to be in the future.

This may prove a challenge for (and a threat to) both hiring managers and line managers involved in the recruitment process; as it may require a different set of skills and perspective to their own.

In order to hire the ‘best candidate’ and not just the ‘best fit’, a panel of interviewers can help level out individual biases, with cross-functional panel members able to express disinterested opinions. In addition, an external agency can not only add knowledge and experience to the interview process but can also help a client alleviate any internal biases.

To quote Richard Branson:

“It’s all about finding and hiring people smarter than you. Getting them to join your business. And giving them good work. Then getting out of their way. And trusting them. You have to get out of the way so YOU can focus on the bigger vision”. 

So, perhaps, Boris was right to bring on Rishi, as outwardly it shows him to be confident in both his leadership and his vision.