The best way to hire great people is to build the type of company that attracts them. At Hire Thoughts, I often share directly from people who have valuable insights -- from their own experience -- about what it takes to successfully lead and manage a great company.
Charlie Crystle, serial entrepreneur and startup adviser, is a frequent commenter at AVC.com and someone that I consider to be a sage. I was struck by his recent comment in response to Fred Wilson's post on Building A Company vs Building A Business.
Charlie provides this invaluable advice from his own experience...
Integrity can be defined as the measure of the gap between who you say you are and what you actually do.
Building companies well takes something different from building a great product: embracing and committing to a framework of principles and ethics that reflect and define the culture you want.
Knowing what principles to adopt is the tough one.
I didn't want people worrying about their health or economic insecurity because of poor healthcare coverage, so we insured 90%. It turns out that's a great recruiting and retention tool as well. (Unfortunately, healthcare costs have more than doubled since we adopted that in that company, and it's been restructured since I've been gone).
Companies are fundamentally about people--organizing them around the mission, goals, the plan to get there, decision-making along the way, and execution. Enabling and catalyzing your people to take initiative and do great things is the job of your leadership team; in fact it's your primary job.
If uninformed by your set of principles, you'll get unintended outcomes that make you scratch your head as you say to yourself "but that's not who we are".
But it will be who you are if you fail to adopt your core principles, your operating values, your people principles.
That's one of the most enjoyable parts of building a company--defining what kind of people you want to be, the impact you want to have on the world, your employees, your community; and then cheerfully getting it done and evangelizing what you do, why you do it, and how you do it.
The last part--how you do things--is critical for building a healthy company with integrity.
For more of this type of wisdom, follow Charlie on Twitter or check out his blog.