Getting the Right People on the Bus

Have you heard these questions before?

  • I just can’t seem to get the right people for the job!
  • My staff seems to only be concerned with what’s in their paycheck and not how the money gets there!
  • How do I hire the right people for my business?

Sounds familiar?

These are typical dilemmas faced by all business owners who are expanding their business and have to start to hire people in jobs and tasks that they used to doing themselves. Jim Collins, in his book “Good to Great” said that in building a great organization, the leaders of these enduring companies followed the principle of First WHO,

Then WHAT. These leaders began the transformation of their team by first getting “the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figured out where to drive it”. They key point in Jim Collins’ thesis is not just the idea of getting the right people on the team but that the WHO question come before the WHAT question.

So in building your ‘dream team’ for your business, first ask the question, WHO are the people that I want to help me build my dreams. Who, do they need to BE? Place Attitude, such as discipline, willing to learn and willing to go the extra mile, above Skills.

Here are five points to look out for when looking for the ‘right’ people:

  1. The right people are good communicators. Look for someone who articulates their points well when answering questions and presenting facts. A clear communicator is a reflection of clear, organized thinking. Look for the words used; a clear tone of voice as well as body language.
  2. The right people are problem solver. A problem solver is someone who gets involved with activities and tasks that require them to use leadership and organizational skills. They rarely work alone and are committee members of organized group activities. The problem solver will be an asset to your organization as the journey is hardly problem free.
  3. The right people are self-directed. Self directed people have their own sense of knowing the right thing to do, before being told what to do. They will fix the small problem before it gets bigger. They will alert small deviations in plans, are pro-active in their actions and are normally well organized. They have a sense of what is important and not just ‘fire-fight’.
  4. The right people are TEAM players. Being able to work well with others is a must if you want a productive team. They must have the caring attitude and must look out for the interest of the team rather than self. Team players know the team’s objectives and goals and know their role in achieving the goals.
  5. The right people are motivated learner. Personal development is always on the agenda of people who are dissatisfied. They look for learning opportunities by reading, attending seminars as well as associating themselves with the right people. They are motivated and eager to absorb new information and to try new things.

A few more tips on people decisions:

   1. When in doubt; don’t hire-keep looking.
   2. When you know you need to make people change, act.
   3. Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems.

Good luck and may you get the TEAM you deserve.



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