The World is Filled with Poor Alignment
If you've ever read the book, Fixing the Game, then you'll know why I love everything Roger L. Martin writes. But this was one of my favorites. His take: that stock-based compensation for executives has driven an improper focus for leaders in corporate USA.
In short, there's poor alignment between goals and short-term thinking.
Today, an article came out on the Scientific American blogs that looks at recklessness of Wall Street. Again, the topic is poor compensation alignment.
The article even has some great suggestions for how to game Wall Street to make the most money – personally (regardless of the cost or impact on the banks).
Given all this, you might think I'd make the case for dismissing stock-based compensation. But I'm not.
Hire for Integrity
Instead, I'd like to make the case for something different. That regardless of the size of your endeavor – from startup to lifestyle business to the medium or large enterprise – focus on hiring staff with integrity.
Notice I didn't say honesty – which I think you need as well, and is part of integrity. I didn't choose honesty because it's only part. Integrity means more. It includes the notion of strength. And it has nuances of alignment.
Hire strong workers, people who have their own world aligned (know what they want for themselves, understand their own motivations), and who are honest. Those are winners.
And keep searching until you find them, because with them, you and your company can change the world. Without them, you'll be left paying the consequences of poor hiring.