Sam Walton and Hiring

sam-walton-and-hiringIn The 10 Rules of Sam Walton: Success Secrets for Remarkable Results by Michael Bergdahl and Rob Walton, they detail how Sam Walton hired ordinary people with no experience and the right attitude and got stunning success all the way up to top levels of the company. He understood what great leaders understand. Who a person is is more important then what they have in experience.

I rarely hire the best resume. Partly, this is because I can prove in detail where each of them is lying..The other part is attitude. Recently, I hired a purchasing and logistics supervisor.  I had plenty of folks who had experience in both and had overseen many people. I hired a guy who was true and with no falsehood.

He had never hired or overseen anyone in his life. I needed him to oversee a mitt full of people in purchasing, logistics, document control and domestic sales. He simply had done purchasing for many years. Why did I choose him, and why was he fabulously successful from the first day? Who he is inspired all the people he managed and coworkers from the start.  His teachability and learners attitude meant he grasped the key points very quickly even in areas he had not worked before. He brought life and cost down to what was dead and was not secretly plotting how to pocket money in the purchasing and logistics portion. I got more sleep, and the company prospered. He loved the challenge, and the confidence I placed in him helped him reach higher.

In my life and work I have seen this happen again and again. Form great teams by focusing on the unseen and unmeasurable aspects of who they are. I say unmeasurable, but that does not mean hire by gut feeling. We need to look deeper to find who a person really is. If they have experience all the better, but we must not place the cart before the horse. You can benefit from this part of Sam Walton’s success.

I deny the aspirational resume thinking I often see used while not realized by followers.  I often assist companies by helping them unravel the results of this thinking. Maybe it would be useful in heaven, but among self serving people in this world, it is asking for trouble and Sam Walton knew that in Arkansas.  Think of how important it is in China to think past resume, technology, and experience to the character, teachability and overall attitude of the individual.  We can learn from Sam Walton, and in China we can even take it up a level to better our team and especially our first hire.

What do you think?

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Posted in: China, China Recruitment - Getting Good People, Culture Development

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