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The First Two Rules of Leadership by David Cottrell

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Don't Be StupidHire Smart

“Here we go again. Another new person. Why did he hire this person? Everybody knows he won't last. This is stupid.”

“I am not going to spend my time helping another rookie. He is on his own.”

—Conversation between two tenured employees

  1. Meets minimum qualifications? Check.
  2. References? Check.
  3. Background check? Check.
  4. Drug test? Check.
  5. Decent interview? Check.
  6. Hire? Not so fast, my friend.

Smart hiring is not easy hiring. Smart hiring is hiring tough.

If the best opportunity to improve a team's performance is to hire smart, why do people hire quickly and in a vacuum to fill an open position? That is pretty stupid. You never really know what you are getting until the new person is already on the team, but you can increase your chances of getting a great person if you hire smart.

The most valuable asset in your organization is having the right people on your team; everyone knows that. However, some people tend to ignore the fact that the greatest liability any team faces is having the wrong people on your team. You cannot have a strong and effective team with weak and ineffective people. In fact, there is nothing any competitor can do to hurt your team as much as your hiring the wrong person to be on your team.

Hiring easy is welcoming the first person who barely meets the minimum qualifications of your team. That sounds fine, but it is stupid to hire easy. If you hire tough, your job will be easier; if you hire easy, your job will be a lot tougher. ...

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