1. Mike Michalowicz, founding partner of PG Lewis & Associates, wanted to hire extraordinary "do what it takes" salespeople for his data forensics company, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J. What was his scheme?
- Have candidates face off in games of chess, Trivial Pursuit, and poker.
- Hire 10 people. After a week, the two with the most sales stay, the rest go home.
- Test the candidates' hunger and desire by scheduling interviews for 4 a.m.
2. Today, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? is a junk-removal company based in Vancouver, B.C., that has 140 franchises, 373 trucks, and annual revenue of $38 million. But the company took a big hit several years ago because CEO Brian Scudamore neglected to check the background of:
- A CFO who claimed to have a Harvard M.B.A.
- A VP with a litany of sexual harassment charges
- A truck driver with a sketchy driving record
3. Select the two true I-wish-I-could-have-that-back choices made by Barry Becher and Ed Valenti, founders of the company that sold the late-night staple Ginsu knives.
- Pricing the knives at $19.95 instead of $19.99 for no good reason and forfeiting thousands over the years
- Turning down Ted Turner's offer to get in on the ground floor of CNN because "who the hell will watch news 24 hours a day?"
- Failing to register a trademark for the catch phrase "But, wait! There's more!"
4. Anne-Marie Faiola, CEO of make-your-own-soap company Bramble Berry, based in Bellingham, Wash., had to take an emergency 10-day buying trip. While away, she left her company in the capable hands of:
- Her husband (assuming he wouldn't make any major changes)
- Her ex-husband (assuming that her former partner knew how to fulfill orders)
- A part-time employee who had been fired (assuming she would try very hard to impress)