As a young entrepreneur, I was in a VC’s office asking for money. He took a call from one of his portfolio companies and chewed out the CEO. In front of me.
I should have walked out of the room. I didn’t have the experience at the time to appreciate that he was an ass and having him as an investor would have been a living hell. Luckily for me, he didn’t invest in us.
Manners matter. Pay close attention to how people treat those who are junior to them. The great test: Anyone who is a jerk to a secretary or a waiter.
We have a fake head of HR named Preston Firestone. Job seekers call and ask for Preston (who is never there, of course). We listen to how they treat the person who answered the phone. Preston has saved us again and again from someone who would have been hired, but was actually a complete prick.
Don’t do good deals with bad people. (Don’t do bad deals with anyone.)