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This is a guest blog post from Herb Greenberg, CEO and Founder of Caliper, a human resources management firm and a member of Inc. Business Owners Council

Since 1983, Caliper has been involved with many teams in all 4 major sports (basketball, baseball, football and hockey), helping them select candidates from their respective drafts. Typically, our sports work is based purely on our proprietary profiling tool, the Caliper Profile.

As might be imagined we are often asked 'how can you suggest to a team whether or not to draft a player if you have never heard of them or seen the player play? The answer we give is that while the scouts and general managers hopefully assess a player's physical skill, they usually fall short when it comes to uncovering personality qualities, which could drag a player down or drive that player to heights beyond expectation. That's where our Caliper Profiler comes in.

I had an opportunity to test our theories out in a very personal way some years ago. In 1999, we bought a team in the International Basketball League – the Trenton Shooting Stars.  For 2 years I was in the war room working with our GM and coach in determining who to draft. While our basketball experts provided feedback as to their view of a player's talent, we drafted without exception based on a players personal qualities so we could judge their ability to maximize their talent. In 2 seasons, our team missed the league championship by one shot. We created a winning team by developing a positive team environment. In the end, we were able to determine that we can put together a successful team using personality as a key factor and that great players could be great teammates as well.

Sports metaphors often have a place in business life. In this case, we had the literal opportunity to test that cliché out. We re-affirmed to ourselves what our company has preached for 50 years: judge whom a person is rather than simply what they happened to have done.

Agree with Herb? Disagree? Herb can be reached at hgreenberg@calipercorp.com.

Last updated: Feb 14, 2011

LEWIS SCHIFF | Inc. Business Owners Council

Lewis Schiff is the executive director of the Inc. Business Owners Council. His latest book is Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons From the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons.




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