A Leader’s Guide to Hiring Zombie Hunters


“OMG bob have you seen the latest Walking Dead – SO not realistic”

I’ve had some amazingly frank conversations with leaders lately.  What has really stood out is that so many feel as though they’re living among a group of employees who’ve been infected with the Zombie Virus.  Mind you these employees aren’t eating brains yet.  They’re just infected and starting to show the signs (apathy, waiting around to be told what to do, etc.)

When I ask, “Have you considered hiring a highly independent zombie slayer who can clear your team of walkers – and maybe even deliver an antidote to those worth saving?”  I’m typically told, “Yeah, I’m just so buried right now I just can’t take that on.”  New Living Translation:  Don’t Bother Me – I’m busy dying.

Of course there are all sorts of excuses why leaders don’t hire crazy people to come in and get things moving and to change the course from a race to the bottom to amazingly branded experience. So when you catch yourself saying you’re too busy to tackle the fundamental future of your business – throw away all of  job descriptions and stop looking for compliant batteries to plug into your matrix – and go hire a zombie hunter.

There are quite a few zombie hunters on the job market.  Here’s what you need to know about them:

  • They don’t need much guidance because they’re creative, driven, and motivated by the challenge.
  • They like money, but like most other highly successful people, they love autonomy, mastery, and purpose before it.
  • They tend to ask questions that make people uncomfortable.  (Remember when you believed that discomfort was the precursor to breakthrough and growth?)
  • They don’t need 3 page job descriptions because they invent their own accountability by publicly creating meaningful work and delivering the results to the organization.  
  • They’re not afraid to fail because failure is confirmation that they’re one step closer to a great solution.
  • They love experimentation and believe that people should be hired for their ability to think critically – not for their compliance.
  • They love the challenge of parachuting into the unknown and creating something from nothing.
  • They often have broad sets of skills honed by years of exploration of new technologies and tools because of an insatiable appetite to learn new things.
  • They read a lot and view investment in themselves as antidote to zombie virus outbreak.
  • They are not afraid to say, “I don’t know” and are willing to volunteer “But I’m ready to figure it out.”

As more and more of the uninfected living become zombie hunters – they will stop applying for positions as batteries in the machine.  When there is no power the machine will shut down.  When the machine shuts down and all that’s left are zombies looking for brains – consider a vacation somewhere in the hills.  I hear the Georgia countryside is beautiful this time of year.

Category : Blog &Business &Leadership &Marketing

  • Mark True

    Perfect description of the job market these days, Doug. Research over the past three years says 20 percent of the workforce is actively disengaged and 50 percent merely disengaged.

    I believe some of those hiring managers created the zombies so they aren’t excited about giving up their perceived power. Others, I believe are so overwhelmed that they can’t see a solution and their fear meter is maxed out…they can’t fathom taking another risk on a zombie killer.

    That means we have to find hiring managers who are 1.) on the edge, ready to try anything (not an appealing option) or 2.) those other zombie killers who are already clearing the landscape and want to add like-minded souls so they never have to face the zombies again.

    • mitchgroup

      Thanks for the feedback Mark. The root of this is still leadership of course and I think to be fair – at some level – companies need some batteries or “people who are perfectly fine doing role A and leaving it at the building, etc.” Nothing wrong with that.

      I think it’s when the leaders see the zombification – and don’t take action to deploy change. It is overwhelming and time consuming but necessary if they are to survive the apocalypse.

      Take care man.

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