Whisky: The Essential Ingredient in Hiring EHS Professionals

Some EHS pros drink. General Ulysses S. Grant probably drank more.

After a rough start at Vicksburg, advisors to President Lincoln commented on Grant’s drinking. Lincoln is said to have replied “Tell me what brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.”

Lincoln had promoted generals before who were good at many things. Too many things. But not great. Grant won. And it was this single great quality to which Lincoln was speaking.

In The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker counseled to hire on strengths and not to fill-in weakness gaps. Five decades later, Tom Rath wrote Strengthsfinder 2.0 about this idea.

That iPhone you’re holding exists because it does a few things great. Not because the designers built it to be good at everything.

This idea doesn’t excuse fatal flaws, but does give perspective to hiring and self-development.

Whisky. It’s not just for Civil War generals.


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