- Leandro Herrero - https://leandroherrero.com -

I wouldn’t hire anybody who is likely to follow the job description

The job description is dead. It is replaced by a Lego box, no instruction manual or a map.

Welcome to the company. Good to have you. Your business card says Director of Business Development but this is only in case you meet another Director of Business Development somewhere so you don’t feel too lonely.

Your role is to get this Lego box of pieces called possibilities and build something. And then another thing. Here is the map. We are going somewhere around here, and if you could help us to figure out how to get there safely, fast and profitable, it would be much appreciated. Mind you, the ‘somewhere around here’ may change a bit so you’ll have to be flexible and prepared to abandon the half made helicopter Lego model, and perhaps use some of the pieces for a submarine.

We hired you because you are, or we think you are, an entrepreneur. We don’t hire employees with backgrounds and skills anymore. We hire entrepreneurs with some background and some skills. Which means, entrepreneur as in ‘undertaking’ something, you know, actually doing something, as opposed to thinking of doing something. Also we love an old version of the term used in France somewhere in the 18th Century that says entrepreneur is ‘bearer of risk’.

So, just for the record. We don’t mean busy-ness, we mean business. We don’t mean any risk, we don’t mean chaos and we don’t mean permanent state of blue sky thinking. In fact, we are not in the sky much, but with our feet on the ground.

As you will find out in the next hour or so, your business card title bears no consequence internally, where colleagues do many things that the business card never says.

Here is the credit card, the toilets are to the left and then take a right, build your Lego, get moving, help us on the journey and have some fun. By the way, these are the non negotiable behaviours on this journey: (specific list to continue here).

Commentary. No standard, inflexible, pre-defined job description has a place today in the knowledge economy (agrrr, sorry, the term is so old) We are kidding ourselves. I personally would not hire anybody who is determined to follow their job description to the letter. So, whoever things like me, can we please stop writing those jobs descriptions as a shopping list for the supermarket?

The push back I get frequently is: surely you don’t mean any job description? To which, I tend to twist the question and ask them to list the jobs that could not follow the above rule. Usually, the list contains the ones that are most likely to be taken over by the digital revolution.

This position is not anti-skills or experts either! If I have a brain tumour, I want a neurosurgeon, not a paramedic. But, no apologies, I want accountants who can spell passion, passionate business developers who can spell spreadsheet, HR people who can spell R&D and R&D people who can sell something. It’s 2020 if you’ve noticed!

Just get many Lego Boxes of Possibilities, some maps and good leaders, and forget the Quantum-Physics-like Competence System. It looks good on a powerpoint and impresses the CEO, but it’s as useful as a little boat in a tsunami.


Continue the conversation – get your copy of Dr Herrer’s latest book, The Flipping Point. [1] A flipping point in the trend for adopting absurd management ideas needs to be reached. The Flipping Point [1] contains 200 short vignettes exploring what ’deprogramming management’ may look like.

This book asks you to use more rigour and critical thinking in how you use assumptions and management practices that were created many years ago. Our real and present danger is not a future of robots and AI, but of current established BS. In this book, you are invited to the Mother of All Call Outs!

Available from major online bookstores [2].