The 4th Option Junto
#49—Geoff Smart: A Proven Method for Optimizing Your Hiring Process

#49—Geoff Smart: A Proven Method for Optimizing Your Hiring Process

Dr. Geoff Smart is the Chairman & Founder of ghSMART. Founded in 1995, ghSMART helps Fortune 500 CEOs & boards, billionaire entrepreneurs, and heads of state achieve their goals through hiring, developing, and leading talented teams. They serve clients globally from 12 offices in North America and Europe.

For three consecutive years, Forbes named ghSMART the best management consulting firm in its industry segment. ghSMART is the subject of two Harvard Business School Cases, and its credo is “We exist to help leaders amplify their positive impact on the world.”

ghSMART has published three bestselling books. Who: A Method for Hiring is a New York Times bestseller that is currently ranked #1 on on the topic of hiring talented teams, among a number of other bestsellers such as TopGrading and the Power Score.

Geoff has personally advised four sitting U.S. Governors, a U.S. Senator, White House Fellows, world leaders in education, defense, and public health, and the President of the World Bank.

In this podcast, he shares:

  • What Peter Drucker really meant by “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

  • Insights from a decades-long study into hiring practices

  • The big reasons why the success rate in hiring is only 50%

  • The four practices you can put in place to raise that success rate to 90%


"So to me, strategy and culture both come from having better talent, more talented, diverse good-hearted people on your team than the next competitor. That's the work, that's the hard work once you have that "Oh, sure let's go international, let's go digital, let's smoke this set of competitors. Let's do this customer segmentation." You can do strategy when you have the right talent and culture."

-Geoff Smart


  • Episode Timeline:

    00:00—Introducing Geoff + The topic of today’s episode

    2:13—If you really know me you know that...

    2:54—What is your definition of strategy?

    3:59—What did you take away with your experience working with Peter Drucker?

    6:31—Could you give us a brief overview of the framework from your most successful book, Who?

    8:54—What are things you shouldn't do when hiring?

    10:49—What are the four things you should be doing for successful hiring?

    15:29—The third step of the hiring framework

    16:37—The last step of the framework

    17:19—What is something you've changed your mind about?

    18:14—How can people connect with you and learn more about what you're working on?


Additional Resources:

Personal Page:




The 4th Option Junto
The Outthinkers podcast is a growth strategy podcast hosted by Kaihan Krippendorff. Each week, Kaihan talks with forward-looking strategists and innovators that are challenging the status quo, leading the future of business, and shaping our world.