He who walks with the wise grows wise,
but a companion of fools suffers harm.
The Smart, Mature Manager Hires Smarter
How do some leaders always seem to get their vision implemented? We can study these CEOs closely: They are indeed smart—but not all that smart. They labor hard—but not all that hard. They do great work—but it’s far from perfect.
How do they do it? How do these leaders, who are no Einsteins, end up smart enough to manage success in these fast-moving times?
A hundred years ago a wealthy family might send a son off to university where he might not, let’s say, ‘perform up to his potential.’ Just getting by he would be awarded a Gentleman’s ‘C.’ And he would matriculate back to his family’s fortune.
We know better today. Brad Smart, Ph.D. (his real name) has advised leaders on how to execute a vision. Dr. Smart has a simple philosophy:
Hire people smarter than you are.
Yes, Dear Leader, I know this is sometimes a challenge…
But the challenge might be more with the size of the ego of the CEO, rather than the size of the recruit-able talent pool.
Dr. Smart gives us a management variation of Proverbs 13. The best performing teams — let’s call them an ‘A’ team — will hire other ‘A’ team types.
‘B’ Team players maybe hire ‘B’ team — but more likely hire ‘C’ Team. Who are probably very nice fellows I’m sure.
The ‘A’ Team thinker hires first-rate talent that is smarter than he is. (Even if he is not yet ‘A’ Team himself.) The ‘B’ Team player will hire those not quite as sharp as he is. She may attempt to recruit ‘B’’s; she can never attract the ‘A’’s; and usually settles for the ‘C’’s.
Guy Kawasaki, former “Chief Evangelist” of Apple, calls this “the Bozo Explosion.” Then he adds: “It is followed by The Layoff.”
He who walks with the wise grows wise, says Proverbs 13:20, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
The ‘A’ Team marries up. The ‘B’ Team goes south. Your organization should avoid the foolish harm of the Gentleman’s ‘C’ (team).
All managers can move their Teams up to an ‘A’ level when they insists that only ‘A’ quality personnel are on the payroll.
Hire and walk with the wise on your business journey.