4. Hiring is the most important thing a manager does.

Strategy is important, but perhaps even more important than that is recruiting the talent. Business people lose sight of this: they often attribute success to those scintillating meetings where product development is ironed out.

By contrast, sports coaches understand better that more than meetings and strategies, talent is far more crucial to winning the game. Success depends on recruiting competent players. No matter how good a coach is, how solid his strategy, his little league team will never beat the Red Sox. Strategy is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for success. The key is hiring.

From entry-level positions to senior manager positions, the interview process at Google is extremely rigorous. It’s an investment of time and resources, but finding the best candidate possible typically results in a solid return on investment.

Because the interview and recruiting process can be grueling, those who are higher up delegate the task to underlings, which means they are increasingly removed from the hiring process as they climb the organization’s ladder. This is a terrible mistake. Those toward the top should care the most about who gets hired. 

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