People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.
–Mary Kay Ash

Our series on “what do leaders really want from their staff” continues, with this week’s topic being PEOPLE.
This is the 2nd “P” in linking the 5 P’s of Leadership with the 5 P’s of Ownership. The 5 P’s are:

  • Passion
  • People
  • Plans
  • Persistence
  • Profit

We’ve all heard that “people are our greatest asset”. It’s true. Owners know what they want, and know that they most likely need others to help them achieve it. They have a clear vision, and have a strategy that supports that vision. And, they know how to hire the right person for the right job!

I was listening to a local radio sports program where Jimmy Johnson was interviewed. (He was coach of the University of Miami and won a national championship, coach for the Dallas Cowboys where he won 2 Superbowls, and coach for the Miami Dolphins, where he made it to the playoffs).

There’s no doubt he was successful in his career. He knew how to find the “right” talent. During the interview, broadcaster Dan Sileo asked the questions: “what criteria do you use when hiring?” and “what do you look for in talent before you hire them or bring them into your organization”?

The answer is critical to our topic of ownership; it’s what makes a coach and leader successful. Think in terms that all good leaders are coaches. Assuming you agree, can you state what your hiring criteria is, and what you’re looking for before allowing someone to become a member of your team or organization?

Coach Johnson, without hesitation had the following response:
“Dan, we use 5 criteria when hiring and selecting someone to be on the team.”

  1. Intelligence – He defined this as being smart, acting smart and understanding the technical requirements of the game. Not making dumb decisions, and exhibiting appropriate behaviors.
  2. Play Makers – He said this meant the player needed to be a competitor and be found everywhere the ball was. When the going got tough, they became even tougher.
  3. Passion – They needed to eat, drink and sleep football.
  4. Gym Rat – When they were not playing football, they played other competitive sports and could be found doing something daily to remain in excellent shape.
  5. Character – You must consider how they will fit on the team. Are they truly team players and do they create a positive atmosphere for others?

The reason I was so impressed is that it flowed so easily. It was not something that Coach Johnson made up, but rather criteria he lived by and admittedly had refined over the years.

I think (and would stand by the fact) that this is what separates his winning record from other coaches. He knows what he wants, is clear about it, and doesn’t budge. He matches his wants and desires with a sound plan to win.

As leaders have we clearly defined what we want in our people? On our team? In our organization? Does everyone know that criteria? Do we deviate from it?

I would be willing to speak to other coaches and leaders that want to discuss more about this subject, would be interested in your thoughts, and welcome opposing views!