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Recruiting: Get the best, turn ’em loose

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in Hiring,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Here’s some advice on finding and keeping talent from David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker magazine and winner of a Pulitzer Prize for his book on the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Remnick takes somewhat of a laissez-faire approach. “What you do as an editor is go out and try to support the writers and artists you believe in,” he says, “and let them do what they know how to do.”

He admires former longtime New York Yankees manager Joe Torre because Torre seeks out excellent players “and then you have to let those players play.”

On the flip side, Remnick didn’t like previous Yankees manager Billy Martin because Martin constantly wanted the spotlight on himself and “made people into nervous wrecks after a while. It worked for a season and then it would all fall apart. I don’t like that management style at all. It’s not about me.”

While acknowledging that the magazine does reflect what he and his editors like to read, the fact is that customers are the ones who ultimately choose the talent—the writers —through their subscriptions. “People don’t come to read the editor,” he says.

Lesson: Especially among “knowledge workers” and other professionals, you will never grasp all the specialized information your employees know. Let them do their jobs while you scout for more talent and opportunities.

—Adapted from “Extending Moments in Time,” JC Gabel, Stop Smiling magazine.

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