A couple of years ago I spent nine days in April camped out at the Crown Plaza in Times Square. My wife was working. I was a kept man. With city pass (a seven day NYC subway, train, and bus pass) in hand I was free to explore. Most of my ventures were within walking distance of my room, for example, Radio City Music Hall where I met a Rockette and discussed recruiting for character with a staff member — more about that later.

The Idea to Build Radio City took Character   

“When the stock market crashed in 1929, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. held a $91 million, 24-year lease on a piece of midtown Manhattan property properly known as “the speakeasy belt.” Plans to gentrify the neighborhood by building a new Metropolitan Opera House on the site were dashed by the failing economy and the business outlook was dim. Nevertheless, Rockefeller made a bold decision that would leave a lasting impact on the city’s architectural and cultural landscape. He decided to build an entire complex of buildings on the property. Buildings so superior that they would attract commercial tenants even in a depressed city flooded with vacant rental space. The project would express the highest ideals of architecture and design and stand as a symbol of optimism and hope.” — RadioCity.com About

The Rockettes have Talent and Character

“The Rockettes are a celebrated world-class precision dance company that exemplifies extraordinary talent, athleticism, teamwork, and self-confidence. Captivating New York City and beyond through the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the Rockettes prove that if you dream big together, you achieve together. When this sisterhood comes together as a team, magic happens.” — Rockettes.com

Meeting a Rockette

I toured the Hall with a group of friends. As part of the tour, we were introduced to one of the dancers. She’d made it to her second season; regardless of tenure each Rockette auditions for a position every year. We asked her questions about her path to the dance troupe. She grew up in Pennsylvania, began dancing at the age of three, and participated in summer camps help by the Rockettes since she was a pre-teen. After High School, she completed her BFA in … you guessed it dance. Her story showed a lot of determination and character.

Chatting with Staff about Recruiting for Character 

After our time with the Rockette I asked a staff member how important cultural fit and character were to the recruiting process. He stopped for a moment and looked at me. He answered that character was the key, there were thousands of qualified dancers, but the ability to get along with others, work with choreographers and directors, and be part of a team was more important, in his estimation, than talent. Yes, talent was essential, but they’d learned years ago that talent without character was toxic.

What’s this have to Do with Your Business?

Everything. If you take a hard look at your personnel, I’d wager you can identify talented employees that through lack of character are a constant source of problems. But they’ve been allowed to behave poorly because they’re good at their job. Are they? If they create problems, those problems can hurt your business, and someday the cost could be expensive. The answer is to hire, train, and recognize character and replace those who poison your company. You’ll be a stronger organization in the long run and a hell of a lot happier.

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

So, does your business have a  management training plan? Because, if not, many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by Lo Sarno on Unsplash