Billionaire, entrepreneur and founder/CEO of Dell, Michael Dell, is quoted saying “Try never to be the smartest person in the room. And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people…or find a different room.” If you’re committed to growing your business, the biggest favor you can do yourself and your company is to hire people who are smarter than you.
Many CEOs, leaders and managers are afraid of hiring brilliant people. Why? Because then, they’re no longer the smartest person in the room. Rethink this: if you build a team of “B, C, D” players, you are required to micromanage and/or you’re constantly dealing with failure and disappointment. This is frustrating and is guaranteed to stunt your company growth.
With a team of “A” players, not only will you be able to manage from a higher level, allowing you to focus on your actual job, but new ideas will be brought to the table. Fresh perspectives and shared knowledge invite out-of-the-box thinking, a competitive edge, and foster a challenging, fun workplace where employees are excited and motivated to work. Plus, you’ll be able to trust that in your absence, your employees can run the business without you.
Less micromanagement? Finally taking a stress-free vacation? Out-of-the-box thinking? Consistent company growth? This sounds like every manager’s dream! Here's how to get there:
- Ditch the ego – “Understand your strengths and weaknesses and put your ego aside” says David Hassell, founder and CEO at 15Five. Don’t be threatened by someone who is smarter than you; be awestruck and trust that knowledge and expertise that surpasses your own will lead your company to greatness.
- Define qualities of your company’s unique “A/B/C/D” players – learn how to assess candidates in the areas in which you need improvement and the kind of talent you want; only hire “A” players that fit these criterion. If needed, bring in an outside expert in the field in which you are hiring to assist in identifying candidates who have the skillsets and expertise you're looking for. Get multiple opinions on candidates, and always trust your gut.
- Hire people that care about more than money – you need people who care about more than compensation; they should have other reasons for joining your company such its team comradary, culture/vision, a learning opportunity, professional goals, etc. That said, recognize and compensate your top performers accordingly to ensure they stay happy and committed. If an employee is making more than you, it should be because they are a star – that means you’re doing it right!
- Unify your company culture – build a company culture based on a unified vision with a great team and opportunities for growth. Selectively hire only the people who fit seamlessly into this culture; one bad egg can completely destroy a positive company environment.