A final word on Ricardo Semler!  Semler as well as other management writers I’ve read talk about hiring staff based on their cultural fit with the organization.  I would consider it differently.  When hiring, is the priority character or competence?  The instinctive choice is competence.  Yet, whenever I’ve hired for competence, the outcome was conflict.  On the other hand, whenever I’ve looked for character first, the outcome was always positive. 

For instance, when hiring my administrative team, honesty was vital as money was being handled.  For my sales team, I looked for motivation in applicants.  The difference between the two groups was telling.  With the latter group there were constant problems such as staff reporting sales that were not closed, failing to fully brief customers on the product, etc.  The support staff on the other hand were highly motivated, self managing and efficient.

Of course, I write this with the benefit of hindsight.  It was Semler’s books that got me thinking.  And when I looked back at my hiring choices and the results, I realized character made all the difference.