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This story appears in the January 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

" It was a $50,000 mistake," says David Sanso, CEO of Lakewood, -based medical equipment firm Carsan Engineering Inc. The company was expanding quickly, and Sanso needed a high-level manager to handle the $5 million firm's "fast forward" direction. He interviewed someone who came on good recommendation and looked good on paper. Sanso had a few gut-level reservations based on the interview, but he went ahead with the hire.

But it was soon clear things weren't working out. Sanso, 42, was a high- entrepreneur who interacted constantly with his 26 employees; his new manager had a corporate mentality and preferred to sit aloof in his office. It was a hiring decision gone wrong on many levels. Sanso had to let the manager go, he says, because "one person can set the tone for the whole place."

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