Hire the Best Before Anyone Else Does

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Ron Wolf says, “Hire the Best Before Anyone Else Does.” Whether you are referring to a professional sports team or a business/organization, recruiting and hiring leaders is incredibly important. Ron Wolf, in the 2nd chapter of “The Packer Way”, notes that if you’re in too much of a hurry to spend the time hiring the right people, you are likely to fail. Why must you hire the best? According to Wolf, if you want to be a great leader, you cannot do everything yourself. You have to surround yourself with experts to whom you can delegate tasks. My motto is: Do what you do best, and delegate the rest. The world is too complicated and sophisticated for any manager to spread herself/himself too thin. You cannot consider yourself so valuable … that your stamp (of approval) has to be (on everything)…”


Surround Yourself with People Who Complement Your Strengths/Weaknesses 

Wolf points out that, unless you surround yourself with great complementary leadership, you will fail. As a leader, you must determine your strengths and focus on deploying those strengths as best you can while hiring people around you who can overcome your weaknesses. Wolf echoes what many leaders say: “If you try to be great at everything, you won’t excel at anything.”


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Wolf demonstrates the value of hiring smart with the story of how he pursued Brett Favre. Why is it so critical to recruit and hire the best quarterback? First of all, the quarterback has to be able to lead your team and perform consistently. He must also create, choose, and execute the right play at the right times. The better your quarterback is, the better your chances that your team will win. In any organization, you must also hire the best leaders. You must find the right people to execute all the right decisions at the right time.


Hire Those with Great Potential

Wolf compares signing a great quarterback to hiring a supervisor, manager, or other leader in your organization. Whether we are speaking of a leader or a quarterback, if this individual has great potential, he/she will grow and mature into the position. As the person improves, he/she will naturally improve others. Whether it’s a quarterback or supervisor, a great leader will bring out the best in the team and launch you into a much stronger position.


Hire Inspirational leaders

Although Favre was not the best quarterback Wolf had scouted, he was drawn more and more to Favre’s special abilities. Apparently, Favre had the trait Wolf wanted most in a quarterback: “the ability to cultivate in his teammates, when the task seems impossible, the feeling that as long as he’s on the field, the team has a chance to win”. This allows the team to accomplish more than they would have achieved on their own. Inspirational leaders can have the same effect on your business.


Trust Your Gut, But Network & Get Recommendations Too

Wolf claims that he didn’t spend a lot of time polling people to determine what others thought about Brett. Although he realizes that you need to get recommendations when hiring leaders, he encourages you to make choices based less on the opinions of others and more on your gut feelings. For example, Wolf writes that using a consultant or a search committee to find candidates indicates “…fear that you aren’t good enough or smart enough or sophisticated enough to do it right (yourself). It’s lazy…” He isn’t suggesting that you ignore the input of others. But, he does see more value in networking.


We all know that networking takes a lot of time and persistence. So be careful that you do not waste any time gossiping or passing along rumors. Recommendations you get from networking should help you create a list of potential candidates for positions.  Also, do your research and don’t be swayed by an impressive resume and a favorable reputation.  Focus on the winners who produce!

In summary, everyone you consider should be a quality candidate. Never adopt a “just-fill-the-job” mentality. You will sacrifice your organization and your future if you place someone into a position even though you don’t believe they have all of the qualifications. When Wolf hired Holmgren and Favre, the Green Bay Packers had what it took to improve quickly. Wolf acquired fresh, intelligent, talented leadership because he hired the best before anyone else could do the same.

Barbara Jordan,
Author, Trainer/Facilitator, Executive Coach

LPI (Leadership Practices Inventory) Certified Coach

DISC Certified Behavior Analyst

AdvantEdge Success Coaching & Training

Leadership from the “inside-out”. Not only what great leaders do, but also how they think. More than just skill sets–mindsets, tooBeyond information, to TRANSFORMATION!


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