Never have I gotten the fascination with Angry Birds and until recently, I’d never played this app with a variety of birds all angry and wanting to destroy pigs. Until Tuesday…
Out of pure curiosity I downloaded the app to see what all the fuss was about. I’ve now played 9 different levels of two different years and I’m seeing some valuable lessons for HR professionals, leaders, and those who conduct employment interviews. This may sound absurd, but I actually think you can find out about a person’s personality by asking if they’ve played Angry Birds, and if so, how they do it. Here’s why:
1. When talking with a candidate or colleague, ask them which is their favorite “bird”. If they like the big red one that destroys everything, that’s a clue they might bulldoze their way through team oriented collaborations. If they like the pink one that bubbles up, they are likely to take the approach that rising tides raise all boats and offer to help others who are struggling, in an effort to help the team succeed. If they like the one that blows up, they might be inclined to do so, and so on.
2. Angry Birds might be a barometer for leadership development and persistance. To complete a level, one must continue through a series of screens and persistently find the formula of slinging birds in certain directions, that works. Does the person you work with or want to hire, dedicate themselves to finding out HOW to get through the levels or did they try one level, not destroy all the pigs on the first round, and give up? Will they give up at the office when the going gets tough or they don’t get their way the first time?
3. While it takes up time, it’s a challenging little game. Leadership is not a task that is completed at the snap of a finger. It’s not a one-hit wonder sort of exercise. Do the leaders you work with try something once and give up or do they rise to the occassion, take on the challenge and find a way to save that team member or develop their skills, or find a position where they fit?
Sometimes, life lessons and insights into people’s real behavior patterns show up in the strangest places and this may certainly be one of the strangest, but hey, if it keeps you from making a bad hire or following a poor leader in your corporate or small business endeavors, this strange application of a popular game may not be so strange, but strangely effective. I’m not sure if we’ll use it as a hiring practice within Contagious Companies, but it’s a possibility. 🙂 What do you think?
Monica Wofford, MBA, CSP, is an international speaker, trainer, and author who helps managers who were promoted, actually become prepared to lead.