That was a favorite interview question of one long-time district administrator. In response, he’d often hear comments about how much was expected of employees and students, how high standards were set, and about the push for excellence that was ingrained in the organization. “Hmm,” he’d reply, “well, that’s all true! Do you still want to work here?”
In Clovis Unified, we want people who don’t just have “jobs,” but who have “responsibilities.” If you hire self-disciplined employees, you won’t have to spend a lot of time on discipline. Great leaders never compromise during the hiring process. They are rigorous and thorough because, as much as a leader interviews someone for skill set and attitude, potential employees should weigh whether their personal wants and needs are a good match for the culture of the organization. In his book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins rightly says successful organizations with strong core values will expel like a virus anyone who doesn’t share those values, or the person will be so uncomfortable in the organization, that the individual will self-eject. You can’t pay someone to care, and yet it’s the level of care that makes the difference between good and great. We intentionally look for people who care.