According to legend, one day a man was wandering in the desert when he met Fear and Plague. They said they were on their way to a large city where they were going to kill 10,000 people. The man asked Plague if he was going to do all the work. Plague smiled and said, No, I'll only take care of a few hundred. I'll let my friend Fear do the rest.
There is no decision in your business that is more important than the hiring decision. Each business rises or falls on its ability to hire not good staff but great staff. One of the important qualities in hiring, is acqiring smart people. It is okay, however, if your new hires are smarter than you. In fact, I would claim that for your business’s ability to succeed and flourish you need to surround yourself with people that are smarter that you are.
I was consulting with a business that had around 35 employees. While the staff was hard working and very loyal, they were not the sharpest group of employees that this firm could have gotten.
I did spend a considerable amount of time learning to understand what drove the entrepreneur’s thought process in terms of not hiring smart staff. There is no question in my mind that the entrepreneur, just did not feel as if he could adequately manage staff that were smarter than he was. He just felt very intimidated by smart people and he just did not to be around these type of people.
Additionally, this entrepreneur’s business was stalling out with declining sales and profitability. Now, in all fairness, the effects of the economy were largely responsible for these declines but they could have been mitigated by hiring talented and smart people to help in this entrepreneurs business.
I spent so much time with this entrepreneur getting him to see very clearly that one of the biggest reason why his business was not surviving very well was because of his hiring decisions. As we dove deeper into the real reason for this “fear,” we quickly found out that this entrepreneur only had one year in college and felt bad that he had not progressed further with his formal education. Because of the guilt that he felt that these smarter and better educated potential staff members would further make him feel guilty for his lack of education, his business was suffering.
When I was finally, after many hours of conversations, got him to see and feel that his guilt and fear was holding the business back. This was not an easy process as these were very deep seated beliefs.
Now he is slowly starting to hire smarter people with commensurate results. However, this is going to be a very difficult for him but now he knows what he needs to do to make his business successful.
In order to hire smart staff you need to be willing to take the risk, that your image might get tarnished by not being as smart as they are. However, not taking the risk to hire smart people could lead to the complete demise of your business.
Now go out and make sure that all of your future hiring decisions that you make that you hire the smartest people that you can possibly get.
You can do this!!