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The No. 1 quality Discovery's CEO looks for in an excellent employee

Benjamin Snyder
The No. 1 quality Discovery's CEO looks for in an excellent employee

Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav has a piece of advice for hiring employees who will boost your company's success: Hire the "doers."

In a wide-ranging interview with CNBC contributor Suzy Welch, Zaslav says it's essential to select the right people for a team. Otherwise, it may be impossible to hit goals.

Zaslav has had an extensive career in the media industry. He's been CEO of Discovery since 2007 and before that, he spent nearly two decades working on a variety of different projects at NBC, including the launch of CNBC and MSNBC.

Welch asks Zaslav point-blank: "When you're hiring, do you look at somebody and say, 'This person is gonna give me bad news fast?'"

"I want the doers," Zaslav says. "I don't want to talk to somebody that's gonna call somebody to get the answer."

Zaslav adds that this is the "number one criteria" for a good hire. He continues, "The person I'm looking for is not necessarily the person who was in charge of the company, but maybe who was doing all the deals."

Those people, he says, were working until 2 or 3 in the morning during their last positions and can put in the time to ensure a company hits its goals.

Notably, this advice mirrors what he learned from his own business mentors over the years.

"More often than not, it's a matter of will," says Zaslav. "It's a matter of drive."

His advice for others who are looking to get ahead in their careers and become doers is straightforward: "Get in early. Stay late. First impressions really matter," says Zaslav. "Having positive energy is what drives every bit of success."

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Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of NBC, MSNBC and CNBC.



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