Getting the "Right" People

Getting the "Right" People My favorite quote about getting the right people comes from the movie Miracle about the 1980 USA Gold medal Olympic hockey team. In that movie, Coach Herb Brooks says of his player selection, "I am not looking for the best players.  I am looking for the right ones."

Coach Brooks had thought about the team, the talents needed BEFORE he started looking.  The more common method is to look at all of the candidates and pick the most impressive (the best).

When looking at your team, and the individuals that make up that team, it is vitally important to put them in a role that they can excel.  If there is not a match, it is a matter of time before performance begins to be less than optimal.

Finding the Right Person

When selecting new members of your organization, I argue that the resume' matters very little.  What matters is if the person has values that match the values of the organization.  In order to determine that, the organization's values need to be defined.  Then questions need to be developed for the interview process that pull that out of people.

Getting People in the Right Spot

To put them in the right position, first requires a good definition of the job responsibilites and expected results from the position.  This is more than just a "Job Description."

Two examples of responsibilities may include:

  • Greet everyone who enters the front door with a genuine smile, direct eye contact, and by name (whenever possible).
  • Analyze every transaction to confirm the proper amount was billed and collected from every responsible party.

Each responsibility requires a different mind-set.  Yet many of us are expected to perform both with perfection.  Imagine if a person's responsibities were aligned with their own individual talents and passions.  The result is a happy employee who continuously does great work.

Most organizations have a majority of one personality type, usually similar to the leader. I first realized this was true about my practice when we took a simple, and free, personality test at, called the HOTS survey.  Since then, we've begun using more sophisticated tests and strategically matching people to responsibilities.  We also actively work to better understand and appreciate each other.


Later in Miracle, a frustrated team goalie, Jim Craig said to his coach, "I don't understand you with your ridiculous sayings and those stupid psychology tests!" The point is that this stuff works if you stick with it even when your whole team is frustrated and thinks its "stupid."

Hang in there.