“Tell me the brand of Whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.”
– Abraham Lincoln, in response to news about General Grant’s drinking, November 26, 1863.
Ulysses S. Grant was a tremendous general – Lincoln’s finest, in fact. When other generals complained to the President of his drinking habit, Lincoln responded with the quote above. Lincoln focused on Grant’s strengths: winning battles. He also accepted Grant’s weaknesses and worked around them. Lincoln had his eyes on the prize: winning battles which would eventually win him the war.
When you hire, remember this idea. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Figure these out with personal references. Then play to your employees’ strengths and complement their weaknesses by pairing them with the right counterpart. The most successful teams are built this way.