Note: I don’t review substandard books. I make time to read a lot, but I don’t have a lot of time to review books, so what I do share, I’m sharing because the book has been very influential and helpful to me in my life, and I believe it will also help others. If you are a marketer or entrepreneur, these are must reads.

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Quick links/info:

How to know if this book can help you:

  • You’re an entrepreneur.
  • You’re a manager.
  • You’re involved in the hiring process.

Review:

Everyone loves Good to Great and we all remember the part where author Jim Collins talks about the importance of getting the right people in the right seats on the bus. This is the book that tells you how to do that.

Two months ago I had never heard of this book. Now it’s influencing everything about my business. It’s one of the most directly applicable business books I’ve ever read, because it strikes at the heart of what will make or break a business–who you hire. If you hire the wrong people, it doesn’t matter what systems, processes, brand, intellectual property, technology, etc. you have, because they’ll ruin it all. If you hire the right people, it also doesn’t matter so much what you have in place, because they’ll figure it out and make it work. Get the people right and your business will have a much better chance at success. Get the people wrong and you’ve got no chance.

Part of what I like so much about the book is that it’s based on research and data. It’s not merely the theoretical musings of someone who has been mildly successful and thinks they can pass on their wisdom and everyone will bow to it. It’s the result of thousands of surveys and case studies, adding up to clear directions on how to find, recruit, and hire the right people to be on your team. The process it outlines isn’t complicated, and you can customize it to your specific needs. For example, if all you did was implement the following steps as a result of reading the book (or merely this review of it) you’d see a dramatic improvement in your company:

  1. Interview at least 3 candidates for any position.
  2. Call at least 3 references for each candidate you’re considering hiring.
  3. Have 3 individuals within your company separately interview each candidate.

Contrast that with the normal hiring procedure inside many companies which goes something like this:

  1. CEO gets the idea a certain position needs to be filled.
  2. CEO meets someone he really likes, and who seems like they could fill that position.
  3. CEO hires said person.
  4. CEO fires said person 12 months later.

The book isn’t long and the steps it advocates aren’t difficult. Yes, they’re more difficult than doing nothing, but think about the bad hires you’ve made and how much time, money, and emotional energy was spent on those mistakes. Is reading a book and spending a few hours putting new processes in place really that big a deal compared to that?