I’ve been accused of being a bit crazy about my insistence that the most important thing for hiring people is to find people that are passionate about what you do.  No matter how good the skills, if they don’t share the values and focus of the organization, you don’t want them infecting others.

I feel so strongly about this that I often advise clients to help employees who don’t want to be on the bus find other transportation.  It’s always better to help someone move along to a better fit for them than to force the rest of your people…and customers…to accommodate the irritant in their midst. 

While waiting for my flight last week at O’Hare Airport, I happened to look at a copy of USA Today.  There was an interesting article by Scott Martin titled “How Apple rewrote rules of retailing.”  It was filled with useful ideas for improving your marketing. (I would have put a link here but USA Today made it so difficult that I couldn’t figure out how to do it.  Seems exactly the opposite of what Apple would do.)

Right in the middle of the article was a quote from Jay Elliot who worked closely with Jobs and wrote “The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation.” (Clearly Elliot understands marketing through new media) 

The article mentions how Apple hires people more than anything for how they fit into the team.  As Elliot says, “you’ve got to be totally wedded to the culture.  You’ve got to love the product and what it is.”

By the way, I said the most important thing, not the only thing.  But I do stand by my statement that no matter the other skills, if they don’t have the passion…forget them. 

Build a passionate organization and make your job a lot easier.

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