Are you hiring for the most important quality?

209-by-248-the-good-ones-coverQuestionable character is costly. Employees who lack character cost businesses and nonprofits billions of dollars each year. Unfortunately, employers focus too much on what candidates need to know or do and rarely think about what makes an employee great: character.

The Good Ones: Ten Crucial Qualities of High-Character Employees presents ten qualities that clarify what it means to be a high-character employee. Stories from employers and employees illustrate how these traits are critical to the long-term success of your nonprofit and to the employees who exhibit them. This book contains advice for the employer, the interviewee and employee in search of a character fit.

The phrase, “the good ones,” relates to two contexts. First, author Bruce Weinstein uses it to refer to employees of high character. Second, he applies it to the ten qualities associated with high-character employees:

1) honesty

2) accountability

3) caretop-10-list

4) courage

5) fairness

6) gratitude

7) humility

8) loyalty

9) patience and

10) presence.

Honesty is listed first because Weinstein asserts it’s the most important one by far. If someone is fundamentally dishonest, it’s hard to imagine any other quality outweighing that flaw.

When Weinstein’s publisher asked if he had favorite stories among those he collected from interviews and sources, he said these stood out in his mind:

Brenda Harry, an employee at the Goodwill store in Pearisburg, Virginia, who found $3,100 in cash in a coat she was processing. She turned in the money, even though no one would have ever known if she had decided to keep it for herself.

Janice Piacente, a senior compliance officer who routinely gives her team the credit for implementing groundbreaking ideas that she generates.

The 20,000 employees at Market Basket, a New England grocery store chain, who left their jobs after the company’s CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas, was fired. Demoulas had fought tirelessly for his workers, and they repaid his loyalty with such a widespread protest that it drew national media attention and resulted in his reinstatement.

Weinstein appreciates the men and women of high character in these stories who have chosen to take the high road when it would have been much easier to do otherwise. This book is a chapter-by-chapter exploration of the ten qualities evident in these favorite case stories and a guide for how to attract these kind of high-character employees.

See also:

The Good Ones: Ten Crucial Qualities of High Character Employees

Match: A Systematic, Sane Process for Hiring the Right Person Every Time

Mission-Based Management: Leading Your Not-for-Profit in the 21st Century, 3rd Ed.

Image credit: New World Library

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