Technical Skill can be Trained, Character CANNOT

Finding the Right Fit

Finding the Right Fit

As a business owner, I have learned that my TEAM is the absolute most valuable resource I have.  It is impossible to grow a successful company all on our own.  In order for any of us to be successful in business, we need people… we need GREAT people surrounding us as we grow and develop our company.

The hiring process has been one of the most frustrating areas of business growth for me, or at least it used to be.  I have made many mistakes over the years, by hiring the WRONG people.  And let me just say, there is absolutely nothing more frustrating than hiring someone and 3 months later realizing they are not a fit, then starting that interview process all over again.  There were days I wanted to give up and quit, just because of this process.  It is so costly when you mess up and hire the wrong person.  I really started thinking it must just be me!  I must be a magnet for hiring bad candidates.  So about 10 years ago, I made a real effort to study this area, I read numerous books and articles, and spent a ton of money on seminars and workshops so that I could become much better at hiring.

Out of everything I have ever learned, there is one thing that is the most important by far!  Hire for a person’s character and attitude first, and hire for technical skill second.  Technical skill can be trained, a person’s character cannot!

It is critical to learn how to pull out character traits during the hiring process. It is also critical to get people to reveal their true self, so that there are no surprises later.  One employee with a bad attitude will undermine your entire organization.  You want to do everything possible at the hiring stages to figure out if your potential candidate is a good fit for your company and company’s culture.  Do NOT settle, if you aren’t feeling it with the selection in front of you…don’t just pick the best of what you have available.  Keep looking, this area is far too important.



Saying goodbye to 2012

I have to admit, 2012 was the hardest and best year I have ever had in business. While we will be recording the highest revenues and most profitable year in the history of our company, I feel I have been through the toughest time of my life. Most of my difficulties this year have been around saying goodbye to employees that no longer belonged in my company. I have learned over the past year that I am not good at firing people AT ALL! I tend to give my employees chance after chance after chance because I so badly want to believe the best in people. I think it is also because I simply hate starting all over again with someone new.

Reading the book Good to Great this year was a real wake-up call. The concept of getting the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus really resonated with me. I started seeing things differently, I started seeing how a bad employee was not only aggravating to me, but they were aggravating and hurting my great employees. That was the incentive I needed to start weeding out the bad.

Well holy moly, it was like pulling on a thread that just kept going and going. I not only weeded out bad employees but bad representatives and bad consultants. Then I started thinking something must be wrong with me, it can’t be that all these people are bad. After all I was the common denominator…right? I started getting depressed, each person that was eliminated created a hole in my heart. Thank God for my business coach Paula, she helped me to see that each person was a real loss to me. She said that each person was like a breakup that I needed to not only mourn but honor. She also explained that yes, I needed to learn from my part in the failure of the relationship, but that I also couldn’t accept all of the responsibility. Because in the end, each person really was not right for the overall good of my company.

Anyone who thinks that being top dog in an organization is nothing but roses and sunshine clearly has not been top dog. Trying to lead and deal with employees is one of the most difficult aspects of running a business… at least in my book.

If I had to give one piece of advice regarding my lesson learned this year… Don’t wait and face it head on! Looking back, deep down I knew all along I had issues with these people, I just didn’t want to face it or deal with it. But the awesome part about finally dealing with it is that it’s now behind me. My weeds are gone and my bus has the right people on it. So here’s to being ready to start new in 2013!