Photo by Jeff Fusco

I took a bit of a break due to a trip to the summer Olympics in Rio and a 9-day trip to London. Now that I am back from that travel, I plan to update the blog more regularly!

Over the summer I guided an older gentleman on a tour of CHOP. He had a special historical connection to the Hospital and has been a longtime supporter. I felt grateful for the opportunity to spend time with him since he is the retired CEO of a very successful company. Although he is no longer CEO, he remains on the board. Along the way, he had some good advice for me.

He told me the story behind hiring the CEO who replaced him. He said that he had two candidates, one who had the very best Ivy League School business credentials with an impeccable resume of experience. The second candidate he considered was someone from a less prestigious business school and not as experienced.

His company selected the second candidate for the role. Although he did not have the same pedigree, this former CEO told me that the board hired the second candidate simply because he embodied the company’s values.

His comment made me reflect on the organizational values where I work — Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence — and the importance of assessing those values in the people that I hire. Experience can be gained, but embracing and truly living your organizational values is what is most critical to success. When you hire people, reflect on your values and the values of the company where you work. Make certain that you ask questions and reference check to better understand how well your candidate embodies those values. Don’t get distracted from what’s important by placing all your focus on pedigree and experience.

I always tell people that everyone you hire is a reflection on you and an extension of your leadership. Ensuring that you surround yourself with people who espouse your values is an important foundational step toward making sure they represent you as the leader and the place where you work.