For those of you that have read Good to Great by Jim Collins (If you haven’t WHY NOT?) you will recognize one of Jim’s maxims. Before you figure out where your company is going check to make sure you have the right people in the right seats. In Jim’s recent book How the Mighty Fall he has listed six generic characteristics of the right people.
1. The right people fit with the company’s core values. You cannot force people to share your core values. You must hire people who believe in them and keep those people.
2. The right people don’t need to be managed. The right people are self-motivated and self-disciplined. These people may need guidelines but perform better without micro managing.
3. The right people understand they do not have “jobs”; they have responsibilities. This is similar to #2, they know what needs to be done and do it.
4. The right people fulfill their commitments. They will not overcommit or promise what they can’t deliver. But if they promise they will die trying to fulfill their promise.
5. The right people are passionate about the company and its work. While many people will find this hard to believe, a passionate person does their work for reasons other than money. When they can perform a task well it builds their self worth.
6. The right people give credit to others. When things go right they point to others; when things go wrong they point to themselves.
Companies get themselves in trouble when they hire people quickly to fill gaps. A carpet cleaning firm with 50 trucks has no advantage over a one truck operation because it is a one-to-one relationship with the consumer.
Your company will succeed or fail based on your hiring skills.