The man credited with turning around Porsche is correct.
I’m amazed at how often recruiters focus on [past] skills, rather than character or attitude.
Ask yourself – does this really makes sense, particularly at executive level?
For example, boards are best served by having a diversity of skills, experience and personality to ensure that they can deliver on their charter. What they do need to share is a common set of ideals such as integrity and commitment to excellence.
When looking for another executive, you should be looking for somebody with complementary skills, who can add to the overall skill set of the company and help to develop it further. Adding an Independent Director from a completely different field, for example, will mean they ask questions about things you take for granted and so uncover new areas of business or improvement. Companies where the leadership shares a common background and experience-set generally stagnate.
So, unless you’re hiring to fill a particular role that needs immediate application of a strong, focused, typically technical, skill-set, look first at character – skills can be trained and honed – and even for that technical role, still make character a key factor in the final determination.
Your business will be all the better for it.