Who should lead?

Yesterday, I wrote this post about The Standards of Your Life. I mentioned that a leader is someone who sets the standards as a basic definition. If you’re trying to decide who should be in charge, the typical way is to look at backgrounds, experience, education and a variety of other work in attempt to figure out who can do the work most appropriately. A different idea would be to look at each person’s standards.

Is punctuality important in the position? Perhaps the person who has never been late is better suited for the position than the person with the Ivy league degree.

Is presentation important in the position such as a restaurant? Perhaps the person who has a home that looks like it should be in Architectural Digest is a fit?

We all have varying standards for different items in our life, but almost no one judges people based on those because they are mostly invisible and no one is asking. It seems like a shame because the typical metrics of hiring leave much to be desired in terms of getting people who actually fit the position.

Think about this, if you were hiring a marketing person, would you rather hire a fresh graduate marketer with a marketing degree and little experience and a tiny portfolio he did for school, or a person who went for an engineering degree, but blogged every day during his 4 years of college and built a following of 10,000 people?

One built a standard of marketing for himself, the other followed the standard set by the industry on how to get a job in marketing. Which one is more likely to set the standard for your organization?