It’s easier to start with great people than to make people great

Top firms have recruitment, and deployment, down pat
By Robert Gandossy and Marc Effron
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/28/2005

All leaders from all walks of life have always known that the secret to success is those behind them, those talented people who aren’t in the limelight.

Hall of Fame pitcher Lefty Gomez with the New York Yankees in the 1930s was once asked his secret. He replied, “Fast outfielders.” The late, great Alfred Sloan of General Motors once said, “Take my assets, leave my people, and in five years, I’ll have it all back.” More recently, Bill Gates said of Microsoft, “Take our 20 best people away, and I will tell you that Microsoft would become an unimportant company.”

“If I were sitting down with a colleague from another company who wanted to build what we have,” says Tom Weidenkopf, Honeywell’s senior VP of human resources, “I would say start with getting great people, don’t start with process. The CEO has to personally be involved in setting the standard.”