Design a business with the proper attitude toward teamwork and human capital, the right combination of people, plus a dynamic team configuration and play book, and it will be unstoppable en route to the kind of success that is only limited by the imagination. And with the right team in place, imagination itself becomes a plentiful and automatically renewable resource.

Recruitment is the first step, and the ideal place to start scouting for star players is at home. But before assembling the team it is necessary to know the mission and purpose of the business. Recruiting the best quarterback in NFL history will be little help if what the team really needs is receivers who know how to catch the ball or running backs to add a ground game to the aerial attack.

Too many owners pick employees for their individual talents without regard to how those skillsets integrate into the bigger picture, and other employers hire employees before they themselves – the owners – know what their own company’s core values and vision for the future are.

Before even creating a job application form or placing the first classified ad to broadcast employment opportunities it is first important to create a philosophy and define the mission. Perhaps the core values and competencies and a unique positioning statement were articulated when the business plan was first drafted, but they need to be revisited and refined, refreshed, or recommitted to memory as tangible guidelines. Some entrepreneurs view those original documents as just means to an end, and after they use them to impress investors or convince lenders to provide start-up capital, they dismiss them as no longer relevant. They miss the whole point of such fundamental blueprints and regard them as some form of marketing hype or fluff.

But, if that is how they perceive these basic outlines of goals and ideals, that means that they have no clue or overall view of how to lead others in a realistic and viable way.

The blind leading the blind is no way to run an organization, so smart and success-oriented entrepreneurs always pay close attention to the building blocks of the business. Defining the focus of one’s efforts and then continually redefining it as goals are met and strategies evolve is a process that delivers value at every level of the operation. So before recruiting employees the focus needs to be taken to heart, sharpened, and clarified. We get what we ask for, and until we know what we want (and why) there is no point in spending time and money to hire employees. The first and most important step in recruitment is, therefore, to craft a powerful vision statement.

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