Jim Whitt and I had a great turnout at our “Power of Purpose: How to Transform Lives, Leaders, and Organizations” workshop recently. One of the points that regularly came up in our discussions on employee engagement and overall performance of the organization, was the idea of having the right people in an organization being instrumental to success. You’ve heard it before – it’s practically cliché. It’s the idea of having “the right people on the bus.”

Seeking profit should never be the sole-purpose for the existence of a business. I realize that one of the goals of a small business is to make money – there’s no doubt about that! Yet, for one reason or another, many companies neglect the importance of hiring the right people – a costly mistake!

I recently read in an online article that small-business owners should have “the right people on the bus,” prior to establishing strategic direction for the company. For the sake of playing “The Devil’s Advocate,” I’m going to question this statement: How can a company hire the right people and begin to make strategic changes in the organization without first knowing why the organization is in business in the first place.
In other words, what is the organization’s purpose?

Jim Collins said, “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” I agree with his statement; however, I’m going to take it one step further and say that even a business driven by purpose without employees committed to that purpose is futile! Having the right people means having employees who are “buying-in” to the purpose of your business. In many instances they will share the same values as you.

The right people understand the difference between working for wages, having a job or a career, and the opportunity to help an organization fulfill its purpose! A great question to ask yourself is this: Knowing what you know now about your employees, which ones would you rehire all over again? If you can’t say yes to the rehire question, then more than likely they are not a good fit for your company.

It’s true. The right people are critical to the success of a company, but without an organizational purpose, it’s really hard to be effective in the employee selection and hiring process.

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