Get out of the spotlight and let others shine.

It’s tempting to take the lead when you meet someone for the first time, run a meeting, or try to resolve a problem. Of course, you want to be interesting and show why you’re in charge, right?

It depends on who…

Hint: It’s not “Your Office”

One little comment can turn your perspective up-side down as a leader. A simple story from several years ago made that real for me.

Several years ago, a friend of mine was appointed by the School Board to become the interim superintendent. …

It’s better to listen carefully than dig for fool’s gold.

“If you have to probe, probe, probe with an applicant, and you hire them, it will become prod, prod, prod.” - Tom Chambers, Principal, Greenville County Schools

This genuine gold nugget of interviewing wisdom came from a principal in one…

Cues can help you filter out the fluff.

Some job candidates and co-workers are really good at answering questions that sound good. But when you ask about how they handle a situation or about their experience, is it real?

Listen for a few cues to empty or vague answers.


Want to extend your impact as a leader? Humbly listen and learn.

Leaders often invest time teaching their team because they know things. They know how and why and when to do things correctly to keep work on track. This is important, but it’s not the most important part.


How many other thoughts, agendas, lists, triggers, and emotions do you have running through your mind when you interview? How does that head noise impact your quality of hire?

If you don’t use a defined process or system to hire, you risk letting your mind and emotions fly like a…

Yes, I get it. We’re excited if an applicant for a posting applies for the job… and their skills are even remotely close to what we want. We’re thrilled if the person even responds to a text or email. We’re elated when we get a phone screen or in-person interview…

How often do you help people reach across their gaps?

In an era of “yell-tell-hope-it-sells,” people who actually listen, ask questions, and look for common ground are the glue that holds things together.

These people are often humble, curious, and actually care about others. They often are not in the…

Are you hearing what candidates are really saying?

When do you want to know something isn’t what it seems — before your after you commit?

My team interviews candidates for clients in the final stages of hiring, mostly leaders and specialty roles. Several recent projects revealed candidates leaning into their…

When there are more jobs than people, it’s time to pivot.

Everything has changed. Normally my team responds to requests from clients who want us to interview their top 3–5 finalists for leadership or specialty positions.

3–5 finalists? Maybe.

More often clients say they can’t find 3–5 viable applicants to…

Paul Berggren

I help people listen and learn from each other. As President of Crown Global HR, I bring clarity to growing and hiring people.

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