On hiring

It’s been a while since I posted about my adventures with company values, leadership and employee engagement.

Mostly because when you spend 2/3 of your week going against all things holy and finding ways to pacify the savage beasts in the moat around your castle, well, priorities.

I’m working my way back from a long burnout odyssey (that counts as vacation, right?) and if I don’t re-engage my brain, I’ll be on the short bus right back.

My friends Bill Catlette and Richard Hadden over at Contented Cows sent an e-letter this weekend that struck a chord in me about hiring the right person for the job …

1. J.C. Penney invited candidates for a high-level job to dinner. The most-recommended candidate, he passed over, in favor of a man who tasted his potatoes before seasoning them. It showed he wasn’t as quick to judge as the “best” candidate, who salted his potatoes immediately.

2. Bill Marriott, who likes to travel with his future potential leaders, had a young man who was brilliantly polite to a food server in a restaurant where things were moving slowly. Marriott’s stance was that you want people on your team who are kind to waitstaff, airline employees, bellmen and others — people who show grace belong at your side when you’re running your business.

I have second-round interviews on Tuesday. And I will be keeping these successful businessmen’s stories in mind.

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