Wednesday, October 26, 2005

No Dickheads, Please.

Recently the Sydney Swans won their first premiership in seventy-two years. One of the stories to come out of the post-victory analysis concerns the recruitment policy of the Swans.

While interviewing the recruitment manager for the team, one of the specific policies that was mentioned is a policy called, in a wonderfully to-the-point way, the “No Dickheads” policy. The manager stated “You won’t find any dickheads in our team”.

Apparently this comes down to two factors. One is that the team has instituted a player welfare scheme that aims to provide training and support for the players to keep them out of trouble and keep them playing.

More interestingly, though, is that the team has overlooked potential recruits with “superior skills” because they didn’t have the right character. Says the manager “I won't name the names, but we've been laughed at sometimes for overlooking kids because they didn't have the qualities we wanted…a few years later, the same blokes are making headlines for the wrong sort of things. They’re underperforming”.

Having just finished “Good to Great”, it made me wonder about the Swans performance. It seems Jim Collins provides the basis for this policy with the summary point;

“Whether someone is the “right person” has more to do with character traits and innate capabilities than with specific knowledge, background, or skills”.


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