Warren Buffett Says, “If You Hire People on Intelligence but They Lack This Other Trait, Don’t Bother!”

Warren Buffett gave some great advice a few years ago on key attributes to look for when considering job candidates.

He narrowed it down to three, but one is purely non-negotiable. Buffet said:

You’re looking for three things, generally, in a person: intelligence, energy, and integrity. And if they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two.

Buffett is dead on. Here’s why integrity is so important in the people you hire, especially your future managers.

You don’t question them for their actions.

Hall of Fame football coach Tony Dungy, in his book Uncommon, said: “Integrity is the choice between what’s convenient and what’s right.” When someone leads with integrity, it makes it hard to question that person.

People operating within parameters of truth, honesty, and ethics will listen to their heart and do the right thing, even when nobody is watching. Their actions are open for everyone to see; they don’t have to worry about hiding anything from anyone, nor do you have to worry about them hiding anything from you!

Trust is developed seamlessly.

When someone exercises integrity and good judgment, trust is gained, especially with those working and collaborating in close proximity. Colleagues see each other as dependable and accountable for their actions. When trust develops, people feel safe in each other’s presence and influence is spread within the tribe.

Patti Thoma
After 14 years with the same company, my position was affected due to a corporate consolidation. Even though I knew it was coming, I was worried about starting a job search after being out of the market for so long. My FACET Career Strategist, Harry LeBouef, helped me update my resume to work with online systems, and coached me through ways to search and use LinkedIn to connect with people. In addition, the written materials FACET provided were very helpful as I tried to get my thoughts together to launch my job search. The elevator pitch worksheet was especially useful when I started interviewing.I was really nervous about reaching out to strangers, but Harry encouraged me and helped me develop different approaches to networking with specific professionals. Harry was a huge source of support. We talked weekly about what I had accomplished that week, and he helped me create a list of things to do the next week. He was always upbeat and positive, and would not allow me to undersell myself. More than anything, he kept my spirits up. I’m very thankful to Harry and FACET for giving me the confidence I needed to land a director-level job.


About facet
FACET is a human resources consulting firm specializing in the four phases of the Talent Management Cycle: Attract, Retain, Develop, and Transition. The Group's practice specifically addresses facilitation of smooth career/life transitions for individuals leaving organizations as well as career management, leadership training and coaching for employees whose assignments within organizations are impacted by change or other organizational needs. By application of several directions of pursuit, the corporation accomplishes a single goal: maximum utilization of human resource potential and productivity through efficient hiring, training and career development. The Facet Group was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana. As an ARBORA GLOBAL PARTNER, The Facet Group shares a parallel philosophy of the highest quality and standards with other owner invested firms. Through this network, we provide services worldwide. To address organizational needs outlined by its clients, The Facet Group offers a comprehensive package of workplace consulting services, focusing on providing high quality, creative programs which favorably impact the bottom line.

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