www.LandandLatte.com: Who Would You Hire?

Who Would You Hire?

I read a quote from Mark Zuckerberg this morning.  When asked what he looks for when hiring a prospective employee, the brainchild responded, "I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person."  Words of wisdom from a Millennial genius.

Is there truth to... Great minds think alike?  Should we surround ourselves with brilliance?  People often say that if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.  My childhood mentor used to tell me that "Iron sharpens iron."  Nuggets of truth.

In a recent MLS class, a group of newbie Realtors fired off questions in usual fashion, which I had no trouble answering.  But then, I was hit with a few zingers that I hadn't encountered before.  In that moment, I recognized some brilliant souls in the room. 

The brave ones weren't afraid to ask questions about topics they knew nothing about.  The others sat quietly and observed.  Who would you hire? 


Melinda Peterson - Real Estate Cafe LLC




Melinda Peterson ~ Principal Broker

The Naked Blogger

Curator of Happy Endings


Serving Central & Southern Oregon

Ashland - Bend - Grants Pass - Medford 



© 2019

Comment balloon 43 commentsMelinda (Mel) Peterson • March 05 2015 08:01AM


Mel,  Very intriguing this morning.  It makes perfect sense.  A strong team is much better than one strong person leading the pack.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) over 4 years ago

Mel, This is so true in all forms of life. Being the dumbest one in the room can be tough to take at times

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Mel-You are smart when you are surrounded by people smarter than you because you can always learn from them.

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) over 4 years ago

We are only able to grow and succeed if we surround ourselves with those who are equally or smarter than us. 


Posted by Les & Sarah Oswald, Broker, Realtor and Investor (Realty One Group) over 4 years ago

Group efforts tend to do better than those who stand alone. Very great post.

Posted by Chandler Real Estate Liz Harris, MBA, #ChandlerRealEstateAgent (Liz Harris Realty) over 4 years ago

I would hire you in a New York minute.

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Jameson Sotheby's International Realty) over 4 years ago

I believe in the old saying you rise to your competition.  Same goes here. 

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 4 years ago

I liked Zuckerberg's take on the subject Belinda! 

LoL Donald! 

I subscribe to that philosophy Sharon!

Would you hire the inquisitive soul... or the silent type Sarah?

Thanks Liz ;-) 

Ahhh... Alan!  It is I who would work for YOU in an LA minute!  Wait... that might take too long.  Ditto in NY ;-)

Ah... the creme de la creme Gary!

Posted by Melinda (Mel) Peterson, Curator of Happy Endings (Real Estate Cafe LLC) over 4 years ago

Seek the company of the best and the brightest and you'll soon become one of them if you aren't in the club already. The most powerful inspiration comes from interactions with others who shine.

Posted by Julie Tulowitzki - (480) 369-8188, Your Friend in the Arizona Real Estate Business (HomeSmart) over 4 years ago

I no longer fear the questions, I'm only disappointed when I don't hear them. Something changed in me a few years ago (probably old enough now to realize it isn't about me) so I no longer seek agreement. I seek engagement. I'm on a journey and I expect everyone I encounter to be part of my learning... I am so one of your biggest fans Melinda (Mel) Peterson !!! The question engine far exceeds the answers engine... The thing I love about millennials is there is no mallice in the question. They just want to know. They have a question and want an answer... I am so fortunate and have a wonderful tribe that surrounds me everyday. Some day's I just so wish I were so much younger... Then I pause and realize, if I were, I may have missed what they have to offer... 

Posted by Rene Fabre, Marketing in the Digital Age (First American Title) over 4 years ago

Mel- I liked his quote!  We can grow and learn from the knowledge of others.  


Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 4 years ago

Having some on board that will challenge is a positive and a way for all to grow

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 4 years ago

That is a really interesting comment. You think that one over a few times.

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) over 4 years ago

I just noticed the Curator of Happy Endings moniker. What a great catchphrase. Kudos.

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) over 4 years ago

If there is one thing I have learned in this business is that everyday is a new learning experience.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) over 4 years ago

Wow, you know I would work for all but two people who work for me. 

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 4 years ago

I think this makes perfect sense.  It is good to hire those who make you stretch.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 4 years ago

Mel - I like to work with bright people who challenge me to be better.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 4 years ago

Melinda (Mel) Peterson - obvious choice is - someone who is more interested in the job - or learning, for that matter.

Fortunately, we also have DISC, AVA and other tools that help us 'hire' or 'recruit'.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 4 years ago


I love challengers, and I love people who are willing to drop their preconceived notions and start from the bottom and rebuild...People like that are a joy.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) over 4 years ago

There is a reason why Mark Zuckerberg is a humble billionaire with a decent reputation if this is actually how he handles things.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 4 years ago

I do also sense a true passion in The type of people who believe in their dreams and believe that other people are equally valuable to help them achieve them.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 4 years ago

I would hire someone who has initiative and the will to learn. But What Mark zuckerberg said was also brilliant. It makes sense why Facebook has grown so much.

Posted by John Jonas, John Jonas (ReplaceMyself - Virtual Assistants) over 4 years ago

I speak at a local real estate school a few times a month to students and I can always tell the ones who will be good at this job. They are never afraid to ask complicated questions and they actually listen and take notes when you answer. The "go-getters" are easy to spot. 

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) over 4 years ago

Great Post! Alot of these are ideas that I have not considered before.

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker GRI, SRES (Windermere/lane county) over 4 years ago

Mel, I like your statement about being the smartest person in the room. So true!

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 4 years ago

I saw a 6 year old girl make more sense the other day when sharing her views that most adults I run into...Yes to speaking up, innocence and asking questions

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 4 years ago

Hi Melinda - sounds like a great meeting and that you did have some brilliant minds in the room. Glad they were not afraid to ask questions.

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate (Compass) over 4 years ago

I love this quote - I wasn't familiar with it. "People often say that if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room."

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 4 years ago

just like a pack of dogs, everyone looks towards a leader. I don't know much about Zuckerberg, but I do like that quote"I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person." 

Posted by Doyle Lee Austin Davison Iv, 28+ years serving Investors Banks Buyers-sellers (Surf City Realty 714-968-6767) over 4 years ago

Small children constantly ask "Why?" and "How does it work?" Then adults try to drum it out of them. Fortunately, some people never outgrow the urge to ask questions and learn more. 

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 4 years ago

 Hey Mel, congrats on the feature. We've missed your insight in the Rain. I too think those who are confident enough to question are good hires. We will be adding agents soon and it's one of the qualities we'll be looking for in new agents. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) over 4 years ago

There is a lot of wisdom here.  We want loyalty and people that will do what they are told to do.  But at the same time we have to be open to new ideas and being challenged.  We cannot be threatened by not being in control or the one with all the answers.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 4 years ago

I've enjoyed this post.   I'm in the process of making a hiring decision and this will be something I remember ...

"I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person." 

Posted by Diana Dahlberg, Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563 (1 Month Realty) over 4 years ago

I love sourrounding myself with smart and humble people. People who are willing to learn every day.

Posted by Armen Hareyan (HULIQ.com Where Every Real Estate Agent is Welcome To Blog and News is indexed by Google News.) over 4 years ago

Some very good food for thought here. Not everyone can be a leader or pioneer.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) over 4 years ago

Eagles soar with other eagles, so attitude, knowledge, experience, confidence and being fearless are the attributes I seek in an associate.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) over 4 years ago

Dear Melinda,

People, who do what needs doing, speak up, if they have a question or comment & compliment my skill set would be swell, with a dash of good humor & sense of the absurd for those crazy summer days.

Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) over 4 years ago

I would hire the brave ones... and I too liked  Zuckerberg's quote... makes a ton of sense...

Posted by Beth and Richard Witt, Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940 (Long Island Cash Home Buyer) over 4 years ago


The answer is so simple, you of course. cheers cvc

Posted by Curtis Van Carter, Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire (Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group) over 4 years ago

Interesting words Mel, I am always interested in hearing how people who really made it with their brains like Mark Zuckerberg  have an impact of us.

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) over 4 years ago

What a great read I came across today, keep them coming for the active Rainers.

Posted by Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA (Winston Realty, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Ideally I'd love to be in the position to hire Mark Zuckerberg.  I especially like the idea of where i'd be in doing so.  

Posted by David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor, Your local Expert (Keller Williams Realty Phoenix) over 4 years ago