What is a source of pride for me..
.. is that I can lift up the phone and call *any* of the people that worked for me and ask them to join me somewhere new, and I know they would come.
I have a few simple principles:
1 - no BS. No, sorry, which part of "no" was unclear? Anyone who needs political message massaging is not having me work with them for long. Granted, I mostly get called in because of a panic or a project gone off the rails so I get away with being brutally direct despite the blame flying low and thick, but especially when leading a team I want facts, and respect for each other (it takes a little while to tune a good team, but as with everything, the effort pays off). OK, granted, maybe I enjoy upsetting people playing politics because I have a seriously evil sense of humour (which is why I'm good at criss and security work).
2 - praise in public, discuss in private. Anyone who manages with an ego is playing a losing game. I have no problem with acknowledging a good idea or contribution, and I will happily fight for getting it rewarded in some form or another (I tend to always set up a budget for that if I can). Mistakes do happen, however, but I find a quiet chat with someone is so much better. In a well managed team, human error becomes the butt of good natured humour for a while - much better, less stress and FAR more effective. And you gain someone with more experience. Of course, there are limits. I do expect people to use their brain.
3 - lead, not manage. I don't see the point in recruiting people with outstanding skills, honing them to a good working team and then micro managing them to death. You manage kit, you lead people. You have to be open for different opinions (that what you pay people for), and have enough own skills to recognise ideas and opinions for what they are because the end decision remains yours. In my opinion, the most pleasant and efficient team is one that has a clear goal, and knows it has leadership support to get there. It take s a blend of diplomacy, democracy and benign dictatorship to point your team in the right direction, doing it right creates exceptional performance.
4 - HR merely supports, it does not choose, Where I could build my own team, I was actively involved in the recruitment process, with HR and agents doing the bare minimum of filtering. I know what a CV tells between the lines because I have been on both sides myself, and software can still not do that. As a matter of fact, I once took on a guy whose CV I got by accident after HR clipped a big "no" to it. It was a *perfect* fit.
Incidentally, recruitment agents should keep in mind that today's candidate they do not bother to get back to can become tomorrow's project leader or business owner seeking staff. If you cannot be bothered to close an enquiry (even if it's automated), don't expect a positive response when bidding for a staff acquisition project. I think everyone is entitled to normal basic politeness..