The German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said: “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him”.
I believe this sentence to be of fundamental truth.
As entrepreneurs we find ourselves in situations where we need to make pretty significant and sometimes long-term decisions on the people we want to surround ourselves with. Be it as cofounders, (early) employees, investors or partners. Lots has been written and said about how to best vet each of these groups — and as much as I believe in asking the right questions, looking at someones past work or getting references; I encourage you to also look at the person’s behavior toward those who “can do nothing for him”.
How does the person treat the waitress in the restaurant you’re having lunch at? How does he talk about other people in your conversations? Does he hold the door open for other people? How does he interact with those waiting in line at your local Starbucks?
Watch for the little clues — they often act as a strong indicator of a person’s true nature.