Crain's New York Business - 24 January 2011 by Rance E. Crain (Editor)

By Rance E. Crain (Editor)

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By the late 1970s, Eckerd's revenues equaled Walgreens', and it looked like Eckerd might triumph as the great company in the industry. But then Jack Eckerd left to pursue his passion for politics, running for senator and joining the Ford administration in Washington. Without his guiding genius, Eckerd s company began a long decline, eventually being acquired by J. C. 18 The contrast between Jack Eckerd and Cork Walgreen is striking. 19 Whereas Jack Eckerd had a gift for seeing which stores should go in what locations, Cork Walgreen had a gift for seeing which people should go in what seats.

But that's not the way it really works. The Marine Corps recruits people who share the corps' values, then provides them with the training required to accomplish the organization's mission. We look at it the same way at Pitney Bowes. We have more people who want to do the right thing than most companies. We don't just look at experience. We want to know: Who are they? Why are they? We find out who they are by asking them why they made decisions in their life. 33 One good-to-great executive said that his best hiring decisions often came from people with no industry or business experience.

Instead of firing honest and able people who are not performing well, it is important to try to move them once or even two or three times to other positions where they might blossom. 58 Jim Collins But how do you know when you know? Two key questions can help. " decision), would you hire the person again? Second, if the person came to tell you that he or she is leaving to pursue an exciting new opportunity, would you feel terribly disappointed or secretly relieved? Practical Discipline #3: Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems.

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