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Buzz Knight

Buck The System When Making New Hires

Hiring is a difficult process and we have all made mistakes in our career. As I observe the hiring by the St Louis Cardinals of new manager Mike Matheny, there are some lessons to consider in the process. Matheny is replacing the legendary Manager Tony LaRussa, who just won the World Series and we have no clue how he will fare in the long run. The hiring of Matheny suggests that we should re-think our criteria for hiring no matter what the position is. Just to give full disclosure, I am a Cardinal fan. Here are FIVE recommendations to keep in mind when hiring.

1) Organizational Trust  .
Matheny is one of the most beloved players to have played for St Louis in recent years and the organization has immense trust and respect for what he stands for. When our radio station organization has trust for someone already on the team, no matter what the position, we need to give that person a fair look.

2) Grooming for the Future.
Matheny was hired after his retirement as a player to be a roving instructor, but clearly the brass had their eye on him for bigger things. In our radio stations, let's try to think for the future in all positions and groom personnel for bigger things.

3) Experience isn't always the primary criteria.
Mike Matheny has never managed a baseball game in his life. The brass believes that doesn't matter and that he has the "goods" to get it done. Sometimes despite lack of experience, we have to take a leap of faith and trust our gut about the quality of an individual.

4) Coachability Matters
The Cardinals clearly felt that because of his in-experience, Matheny was someone who is willing to take input from others. When we hire in all positions inside our radio stations, team members on all fronts need to be willing to be coached.

5) Pride and love for an Organization is Vital
Matheny loves the Cardinals and St Louis.He bleeds Cardinal Red.This is a great trait for us to get from someone that we hire!

The lesson here is that the best person sometimes comes from a less conventional route. Keep your options open!

Buzz Knight is the Vice President of Program Development for Greater Media and he can be reached at Knight was named among “Best Programmers” by Radio Ink Magazine in 2007 and 2010. He has served on the programming subcommittee of the National Association of Broadcasters(NAB) and is currently a member of the Arbitron Radio Advisory Council and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) COLRAM Committee.

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