Cerco persone…

Looking for someone…

When we really look for someone to hire very often we struggle in searching the person who fit our requirement. It happens for almost any kind of job, level and wage. Why it happens? What are the skills that are so difficult to find? 



Cerco Persone in Gamba” I known the owner of this small bar in Italy. At that time he was struggling in find someone to hire, every day he had several interviews, he also hired several people but after a while they went away or he let them to go. “Finally they have ONLY to get clients’ orders and bring drinks to the tables…” he said. So the searching notice appeared on the high street: “I’m looking for SMART people” he wrote.  Many “people” later the bar owner left his business. 

My friend the British gentleman wouldn’t agree with me. Last Sunday we spent amazing time together with our families and in the very little time we talked about business he stated: “I struggle in finding good people, I receive CV almost every days, I do not read any of them, I have no time for it, I just read the presentation letter, if it catch me then I think to proceed, otherwise…

My friend is a real British gentleman and knowing him a little I can say he is a beautiful person. He is educated, skilled and proud of his work. His company near Nottingham employs some dozen of person who arrived there from many part of the world and they work happy in this good, almost centenarian, company. I can say he is a good person to work with.

The bar owner wasn’t so smart. He was well known in the town to be almost crap, bossy and not educated at all. He is the boss you won’t ever want to work with.

In some way neither the British gentleman nor the Italian bossy barman have really been able to find good people to work with. In the other hand how many employees we all known that struggle in finding a job? The situation is the same in that position too. 



To find the right people to get along is a tough matter, we can see it with the OnLine Dating industry that makes money on the need to “find the Soulmate” that very few of us really find. Or the Recruiting industry that makes millions just matching employer and employees. We can only say that sometime clarify the requirements and be able to build the relationship carefully can help, if not in finding the best people, it definitely helps in adapting people each other, to create a common sense and a reciprocal acceptation, the possibility to enter in the other’s shoes and life, to share deep intentions and beliefs, understand the person means to become able in seeing the beautiful that this person can bring on the table. This is not “the shortcut for solution” when things are so complicated the solution can only be reached with a more complicated process. 

Maybe to become aware that the “perfect Soulmate” doesn’t exist could help in creating a process that allow normal people to fit each other. In this way one idea arrives from the almost new movement Poliamory. This idea has been developed mainly over a big assumption: “Because the perfect soulmate doesn’t exist, I can develop a relationship with more persons in different fashions and intensities and for different reasons, but at the end no one partner will be so perfect to fulfil the whole of me”.  You can agree or not, but this movement takes things seriously. In my opinion we could find the soulmate, but if you just wait for he/she that appears into yours living room I’m afraid your dreams won’t become true.  

Obviously your “partner”, in life as well as in business, has to fit some (basic) requirements, but the more requirements we set the more difficult will be to match all of them. The result will be that even the potentially good ones won’t fit.

Instead to set many requirements in order to clarify what we want, become able to define clearly just fews important requirements that are fundamental would be a good method for the searching process. It will become important to be aware of what those basic pillars are and why and how over them we are able to build a win-win relationship that create value for both parties.

That’s not something that works one way only: both parties have to be able to set their own requirements patterns properly. Here the point: you couldn’t build a win-win relationship with a person who doesn’t know what he/she want.


It is what Peter Senge has called Personal Mastery: the ability to know ourselves and know how interact with others and the environment around us in order to achieve better results.

The Italian barista was the first who lack in Personal Mastery so he will find harder to get along with someone else properly, at least in his business. My British Gentleman friend has a good level of Personal Mastery and actually he is working with many people very well (and he has a wonderful wife and children too). His issue in finding good person to work with is more connected with the lack of Personal Mastery that he notice in many people in the job market. 

But this lacks in Personal Mastery is not just related to the countryside. Here, in the Greater London Area, a city of almost 15 millions of residents, the lack in Personal Mastery is even stronger. The high pressure of the stressed life and the high speed in doing things definitely affect the requirements’ pattern for both parties, workers and business manager as well. A lack in public education, a lack in training offered by companies, a huge amount of time just waste in commuting, the high pressure due to high life’s cost make the life of  anyone harder and harder. Only the good …survive!


Zygmunt Bauman in his “Liquid Modernity” shows how the investment in getting skills in advance has no more value because you don’t know if those competencies will really be useful in your life. Things change so fast in this liquid world that even good, valuable knowledges become soon out of date. This is a powerful disincentive in spending time, investing in building up great strong abilities BEFORE you are required to have them.

And the problem become bigger and bigger: if having the right skills in advance is not possible, what skills people must have to be able to get along each others properly? 

the fifth discipline

We won’t go into them now, any minimal list wouldn’t have sense without a proper explanation, but the meaning would be clear now: we have the solution to find right people: creating them. We have to invest in building the proper relationship working hard on its development starting by some good qualities: that Personal Mastery. As a society we have to set the possibility to anyone to develop his/hers own Personal Mastery as a standard, not only get knowledge.

A society that is able to help people in developing Personal Mastery is not an utopia, it’s something that Novo Nordisk , the company that has the best CEO in the world (HBR November 2015) is already doing.

The best environment that allow employee to growth properly and nurture their Personal Mastery is what Buurtzorg the Netherland based healthcare organisation is already creating day by day.  (Strategy + Business July 2015).

The Personal Mastery is something that my friend Jurgen Appelo with his “Management 3.0” is bringing into companies around the world pursuing the enhancement of the people management methodology that would allow people to become able to master themselves better and better. His collection of good practices in managing teams and persons is aimed to get better results; and better results depend by persons; and people achieve good results when they live and work better and smarter… When they become able to develop  their own Personal Mastery.

The Personal Mastery is what we have to enhance in people at any level, this is what our society should incentivate to nurture and develop in each person, this is what companies have to support has organisational effort to become real Learning Organisations. Personal Mastery will allow us to create relationships that work and through them get along each other much better in life as well as in work environment.

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