It wasn’t too long ago that I came across a talk that Guy Kawasaki gave shortly after the passing of Steve Jobs. It was within this talk that he reminded everyone of the importance of hiring people that are much better at what they do, than you ever could be.
The significance of this point makes a lot of people nervous, and one group of people in particular are too afraid to even consider hiring people that would do a better job than they would.
Who would that group of people be?
You see, managers are individuals that believe that they have all of the answers. They believe that they have the best ideas in the room, and that everyone would be better off if they just listened to what the manager directs them to do, without asking too many questions.
The thought of hiring in people that are really, absolutely outstanding at their jobs, scares them to death. They feel an immediate sense of competition and threat to their value, power, and ability to control outcomes. They need everyone on their team to follow their lead, rely on them, need them to function.
Managers are the individuals in the company that never take vacation, or sick days, and rarely spend less than 10 hours per day at the office just in case a decision needs to be made and they won’t be consulted.
The result of this is a manager that continually hires less skilled, experienced, or competent people than themselves. Allow this to go on long enough and you will eventually end up with a company full of individuals who are progressively less and less experienced. One day you wake up and look around to find an organization that is dysfunctional, unable to make even the smallest decisions, and can’t get out of its own way.
True leaders are comfortable with their skill set, understand what adds value when they do it and what is better left to a more skilled individual. Leaders understand that having strong people in every position of the team is what cultivates greatness, goal attainment, and success.
Great leaders are always looking to hire people that are better at doing their jobs than the leader ever could be. Superb leaders do not try to be the best sales person, accountant, human resource manager, administrator, etc. They focus on being the best leader they possibly can be, and in doing so hire the best possible accountant. The rock-star sales person, or the mind-reading administrator.
Stop thinking like a manager, start thinking like a leader.
Be unapologetically proud of the fact that you hire people that can do their job much better than you could. Surround yourself with the best possible people you can and you will watch your teams, and your company, soar to success.