“The good-to-great companies made a habit of putting their best people on their best opportunities…” – James C. Collins
It’s a simple equation: When you find hard-working, brilliant, and creative people to work at your business, give them ways to shine.
Think about it…it’s not hard to find assistants. It’s not hard to find people to get paperwork and busywork done.
It is hard to find innovators. Doers. People who could really bring the special sauce to your business.
When you work hard to find a dreamer, an A-player, a true visionary—let them loose once they’re on your team!
It’s hard to do this. But it matters!
- When you’re managing a startup, it can be easy to think that your company is your baby. When there’s a big opportunity coming up, you naturally want to take care of it. Handing over the reins on a project can take humility. It also takes wisdom. Knowing where to play your best people is a ridiculously important skill for a CEO.
- The thing about A-Players is that – almost by definition – they’re leaders, not followers. When you let them head up a project, they’re going to want to put their own flair on how it’s done. And that’s okay – even great – after all, that’s why you hired them. However, letting go of this control can be very difficult.
- Think about your A-Player. They’ve worked hard to get where they are. They may have natural charisma or skills that can skyrocket your business. But! They also need your help. They need a place to shine. Otherwise, they’re going to be dissatisfied. And, ultimately, they’ll leave you for another company willing to capitalize on their strengths. You don’t want that to happen.
If you want your business to be truly great, you need to trust your people.
You need to let them fly.
Business coaches make this clear in class after class, including Jim Collins in his book Good to Great. They’re on to something. After all, would you purposely underutilize any of your other treasured, hard-won assets?
Of course not. That wouldn’t be savvy or efficient.
Remember, when you’re growing your business, your expanding team is your most important asset. You know this, and you’ve worked hard to find the perfect team players: People who will bring unique, hard-hitting skills to your brand.
Don’t treat your staff like trophies – destined to gather dust on a shelf. Don’t hire go-getters and make them low-level assistants.
Let them do what they’re good at. (Their skills, their experience, their dreams: That’s why you hired them in the first place, right?)
It’s a necessary part of growing your business. Let them level up and profit from awesome opportunities, so that (ultimately) you can as well.