I know I have! It’s not that any one person is bad. After all, every single person of the over 500 I have hired over time have ALL been earnest in their desire to be a part of a team aiming at reaching the same admirable and important business goals. Whether that’s been to serve our young students optimally in the 2 private education companies I founded, or to make a great film in our media company. But sometimes it was too easy for our seemingly romantic missions to too easily attract the ‘wrong’ person for the job.
Several times I wound up with someone whose work ethic or even personality proved to be too disruptive to the good flow of the rest of our team. There were a handful of people that wound up being the cause of more problems for us than they actually helped us solve. Not good. And it was my responsibility to actually ensure I addressed THAT problem quickly, because as CEO it was ultimately my call who to let get on or off our business ‘bus’. Luckily, once I did take the difficult steps to reverse course on my hiring mistakes, my core team was strong enough that they had the patience and understanding to allow me to grow my way to becoming a better leader, and a better employer, as a result over time.
All of us who have the entrepreneurship bug dream of building not just a good company but a GREAT company. Maybe even one that will endure well past our own expiration date and live on as our legacy, impacting 1000s or more lives in the process. For every CEO who has this desire, I can’t recommend Jim Collins’ Good to Great book enough.
The concept of ‘Getting the Right People on the Bus’ is such a simple one, yet in this age of incredible technology and connectedness, it’s actually people skills that still reign supreme. They are all too often completely overlooked by startups to traditional businesses. ‘Business as usual’ is no longer good enough. PEOPLE ARE OUR BUSINESS. So much like your kindergarten teacher taught you so many years back, the Golden Rule is more important than ever: Treat people as you wish to be treated in order to have a good life (or great business). And having a team of people you WANT to see everyday and naturally find easy to work with because you’re a good fit– as opposed to people you think ‘tick a box’ to get a series of siloed tasks done– sets the stage for you to drive your business to becoming your greatest legacy.
If you haven’t had a chance to read the book, I challenge you to pick up a copy and schedule time to do it starting on Monday. If you drive to work, buy the audio version to listen to. Guaranteed this book will help transform you. It will inspire you to ask better questions of yourself each evening when you look at your list of important items to tackle the next day to move your business forward.
Here is a short excerpt on the concept Jim shares about ‘Getting the Right People on the Bus’.
“The executives who ignited the transformations from good to great did not first figure out where to drive the bus and then get people to take it there. No, they first got the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figured out where to drive it. They said, in essence, “Look, I don’t really know where we should take this bus. But I know this much: If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.”
This notion and many, many others proved invaluable to me in being able to create not just a good business team, but the best franchise team in our international system for three years in a row and a top 4 business for 6 years running, before we sold it at the top of its game.
If you’d like help creating your BEST business version for you and your team and customers to enjoy everyday you work, get in contact. Leave a comment below or email me through our contact page and let me know what one change you think could be the difference to keeping your company good, and making it truly great.