68 Rules? No, Just 3 Are Enough

These  “Corner Office” interviews are always interesting and insightful.  In this one, we hear from the CEO of Accenture, a company with 177,000 employees worldwide.

What struck me the most about this interview was the story buried on the third page.  Mr. Green first described how Accenture recruits, with its “critical behavior interviewing” and other sophisticated techniques, likely designed to test how well a candidate performs across those “68 rules.”

Then, Mr. Green tells the story of Sam. Sam, whose resume was thin, whose GPA was 3.2, and who spent Friday afternoon through Sunday night, straight through, working at his family’s restaurant before returning to classes Monday morning and starting all over again.  After hearing that, Mr. Green wrote “hire him,” in unequivocal lettering on the cover page.  Eighteen years later, Sam is still with the company.

That is perhaps the most eloquent illustration of why 3 rules are enough, and 68 are too many.  If the measuring stick for whether or not to hire Sam had been “68 rules,” Sam probably would not have made the cut—when in reality, Sam possessed what Mr. Green cites as the three most important capabilities, all three of which became stunningly clear from Sam’s simple explanation of why his resume was so thin.

Read the NYTimes article here.

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